Creating Waves of Awareness
The knee and its disorders in terms of Homoeopathy
© Dr. Rajneesh Kumar Sharma MD (Homoeopathy)
Homoeo Cure Research Institute
NH 74- Moradabad Road
Kashipur (UTTARANCHAL) - INDIA
The knee, largest of human joints, is compound joint. Despite its single cavity in man, it is convenient to describe it as two condylar joints between the femur and tibia and a sellar joint between the patella and femur. The former are partly divided by menisci between corresponding articular surfaces. The level of the joint is at the (palpable) proximal margins of the tibial condyles. Being too complex, the knee joint is prone to have a number of disorders. To study these problems, one must be thoroughly acquainted with anatomy and normal movements of the knee joint. Then after a very keen case taking as well as physical, radiological and pathological examinations needed, the correct diagnosis, prognosis and only then the remedial diagnosis could be made to meet the cure.
Anatomy of Knee Joint
One should study the following in detail from some standard books on anatomy-
Articular Surfaces, Fibrous Capsule, Synovial Membrane, Bursae, The ligaments of the knee, Menisci, Vessels and Nerve Supply to the Joint.
The extensor mechanism of the knee
Extension of the knee is produced by the quadriceps muscle acting through the quadriceps ligament, patella, patellar ligament and tibial tubercle.
→quadriceps inhibition →quadriceps wasting →knee instability →ligament stretching and further injury →pain.
Weakness of the quadriceps is also sometimes found in lesions of the upper lumbar intervertebral discs, as a sequel to poliomyelitis, in multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders, and in the myopathies. Quadriceps wasting may be the presenting feature of a diabetic neuropathy or secondary to femoral nerve palsy from an iliacus haematoma.
The term ‘jumper’s knee’ is used to describe a number of conditions where there is pain in the patellar ligament or its insertion: it includes the
Sinding–Larsen–Johansson syndrome- seen in children in the 10–14 age group, where there are X-ray changes in the distal pole of the patella.
Osgood Schlatter’s disease- (often thought to be due to a partial avulsion of the tibial tuberosity) which occurs in the 10–16 age group. In it there is recurrent pain over the tibial tuberosity, which becomes tender and prominent. Radiographs may show partial detachment or fragmentation. Pain generally ceases with closure of the epiphysis. In an older age group (16–30) the patellar ligament itself may become painful and tender. This almost invariably occurs in athletes, and there may be a history of giving-way of the knee. CT scans may show changes in the patellar ligament, the centre of which becomes expanded.
Common Pathology about the Knee
Swelling of the knee
The knee may become swollen as a result of the accumulation within the joint cavity of excess synovial fluid (Psora/Sycosis), blood (Psora/ Syphilis) or pus (Sycosis/Syphilis). Much less commonly the knee swells beyond the limits of the synovial membrane. This is seen in soft tissue injuries of the knee when haematoma (Psora/Sycosis/Syphilis) formation and oedema (Psora) may be extensive. It is also a feature of fractures, infections (Psora) and tumours (Psora/Sycosis/Syphilis) of the distal femur, where confusion may result either from the proximity of the lesion to the joint or because it involves the joint cavity directly.
The synovial membrane secretes the synovial fluid of the joint; excess synovial fluid (Psora/Sycosis) indicates some affection of the membrane. Joint injuries cause synovitis by tearing or stretching the synovial membrane (Syphilis). Infections act directly by eliciting an inflammatory response (Psora). The membrane itself becomes thickened (Sycosis) and its function disturbed in rheumatoid arthritis (Syphilis/Sycosis) and villo-nodular synovitis (Psora/Sycosis); both are usually accompanied by large effusions (Sycosis). In long-standing meniscus lesions and in osteoarthritis of the knee (Sycosis/Syphilis), the synovial membrane may not be directly affected, and no effusion may be present. The recognition of fluid in the joint is of great importance. Effusion indicates damage to the joint (Syphilis), and the presence of a major lesion must always be eliminated. A tense synovitis (Sycosis) may be aspirated to relieve discomfort.
Blood in the knee is seen most commonly where there is tearing of vascular structures. The menisci are avascular, and there may be no haemarthrosis (Psora/Syphilis/Sycosis) when a meniscus is torn. Bleeding into the joint will take place (Psora/ Sycosis), however, if the meniscus has been detached at its periphery or if there is accompanying damage to other structures within the knee (e.g. the cruciate ligaments) (Syphilis).
Infections of the knee joint are rather uncommon, and usually blood-borne. Sometimes the joint is involved by direct spread from an osteitis (Psora) of the femur or tibia; rarely the joint becomes infected following surgery or penetrating wounds. In acute pyogenic infections (Psora/Syphilis), the onset is usually rapid and the knee very painful (Psora); swelling is tense (Sycosis), tenderness is widespread (Psora), and movement resisted (Syphilis). There is pyrexia and general malaise (Psora). Pyogenic infections in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (Syphilis/Sycosis) have often a much slower onset, often with suppressed inflammatory changes if the patient is receiving steroids. Tuberculous infections of the knee (Psora/Syphilis) have a slow onset, spread over weeks. The knee appears small and globular, with the associated profound quadriceps wasting (Syphilis) contributing to this appearance. In gonococcal arthritis (Sycosis), great pain and tenderness (Psora) (often apparently out of proportion to the local swelling and other signs), are the striking features of this condition. When it is thought that there is pus in a joint, aspiration should be carried out to empty it and obtain specimens for bacteriological examination. If tuberculosis is suspected, synovial biopsy to obtain specimens for culture and histology is required.
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