inflammation of the knee joint.
Gonitis, as in other forms of arthritis, arises as a result of the penetration of infection into the joint through the blood, from affected neighboring tissues, or directly (for example, from a wound that communicates with the joint). Gonitis may be acute or chronic. In acute gonitis an exudate (serous, purulent, or fibrous) accumulates in the cavity of the joint; pain and reddening of the skin over the joint appear, and body temperature is elevated. Forced semiflexion of the knee joint is characteristic of the condition; if this is prolonged, the contracture may become permanent, and if the joint cartilage is involved, the process may end in ankylosis. Chronic forms of gonitis develop either from the acute or may take a prolonged course from the start (for example, in tubercular and syphilitic gonitis). The manifestations of chronic gonitis are the same as those of the acute form, but they are less strongly pronounced. Treatment depends on the cause and course of the condition; antibiotics, immobilization, and, in severe cases, surgery are recommended.
A. V. KAPLAN