Knee pain is the most common musculoskeletal complaint that brings people to their doctor. With today’s increasingly active society, the number of knee problems is increasing. Knee pain has a wide variety of specific causes and treatments.
Knee pain is a common complaint that affects people of all ages. Knee pain may be the result of an injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage. Many types of minor knee pain respond well to self-care measures. Physical therapy and knee braces also can help relieve knee pain. The knee joint’s main function is to bend, straighten, and bear the weight of the body, along with the ankles and hips. The knee, more than just a simple hinged joint, however, also twists and rotates. To perform all of these actions and to support the entire body while doing so, the knee relies on several structures including bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.
Symptoms of Knee Pain
The location and severity of knee pain may vary, depending on the cause of the problem. Signs and symptoms that sometimes accompany knee pain include:
- Swelling and stiffness
- Redness and warmth to the touch
- Weakness or instability
- Popping or crunching noises
- Inability to fully straighten the knee
Causes of Knee Pain
Knee pain can be caused by injuries, mechanical problems, types of arthritis and other problems. Being active is one of the best things you can do for your joints and the rest of your body. But injuries can happen, and they often involve the knees. Several other things can also cause knee pain, such as:
Bursitis: A bursa is a sac that holds a small amount of fluid that’s under the skin above your joint. It helps prevent friction when the joint moves. Overuse falls, or repeated bending and kneeling can irritate the bursa on top of your kneecap. That leads to pain and swelling. Doctors call this prepatellar bursitis. You may also hear it called ”preacher’s knee.”
Dislocated kneecap: This means that your kneecap slides out of position, causing knee pain and swelling. Your doctor may call this “patellar dislocation.”
IT (iliotibial) band syndrome: The iliotibial (IT) band is a piece of tough tissue that runs from your hip down to the outer part of your knee. When you overdo activity, it can become inflamed over time. That causes pain on the outer side of the knee. It’s common among runners when going downhill.
Meniscal tear: Sometimes, a knee injury can cause the cartilage to rip. These rough edges can get stuck in the joint, which causes pain and swelling. Many times, people will have the sensation of “catching” in the joint when they are active.
Osgood-Schlatter disease: This condition happens when you’re young when bones and other parts of the knee are still changing. It can cause a painful bump below the knee, where a tendon from the kneecap connects to the shin. Overdoing exercise, and irritation at a point on the bottom of your knee called the tibial tubercle, often make this area hurt. The ache may come and go over time. It’s especially common in teenage boys and girls.
Osteoarthritis: This is the “wear and tear” type of arthritis. It’s a top cause of knee pain after age 50. This condition causes the knee joint to ache or swell when you’re active. Joints affected by osteoarthritis can also be stiff early in the day.
Patellar tendinitis: This means you have inflammation in the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shin-bone. Tendons are tough bands of tissue that connect muscles to your bones. When you overdo exercise, they can become inflamed and sore. You may also hear it called “jumper’s knee” because repetitive jumping is the most common cause.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome: Muscle imbalance, tightness, and alignment problems of the legs usually cause this condition. It causes knee pain and occasional “buckling,” meaning your knee suddenly can’t bear your weight. It’s not due to an injury. It’s more common for women than for men.
Knee Pain Treatment
Treatments will vary, depending upon what exactly is causing your knee pain.
Your doctor may prescribe medications to help relieve pain and to treat underlying conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
Strengthening the muscles around your knee will make it more stable.
If you are physically active or practice a sport, you may need exercises to correct movement patterns that may be affecting your knees and to establish good technique during your sport or activity. Exercises to improve your flexibility and balance also are important.
In some cases, your doctor may suggest injecting medications or other substances directly into your joint.
If you have an injury that may require surgery, it’s usually not necessary to have the operation immediately. Before making any decision, consider the pros and cons of both nonsurgical rehabilitation and surgical reconstruction about what’s most important to you. If you choose to have surgery, your options may include:
Arthroscopic surgery: Arthroscopy may be used to remove loose bodies from your knee joint, remove or repair damaged cartilage (especially if it is causing your knee to lock), and reconstruct torn ligaments.
Partial knee replacement surgery: The surgery can usually be performed through small incisions, so you’re likely to heal more quickly than you are with surgery to replace your entire knee.
Total knee replacement: In this procedure, your surgeon cuts away damaged bone and cartilage from your thigh-bone, shin-bone and kneecap, and replaces it with an artificial joint made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics and polymers.
You can query your doubts or for an appointment feel free to contact Medisys Hospital, a growing super speciality hospital in Hyderabad that represents the vision and mission of a group of highly qualified and experienced veteran medical professionals. They offer you a wide range of specialized treatments and surgical options for orthopaedic problems. You can trust them for your difficulties.