What Causes Knee Pain?
First and foremost it is important to understand that knee pain is one of the most common muculoeskeletal condition that forces people to visit an orthopedic specialist. It is common because the knee joint is particularly vulnerable to damage due to is function in taking the full body weight as well as the force when running or jumping.
When a patient’s knee becomes injured or diseased, the patient can experience severe pain can greatly limit his/her ability to move or even walk. Knee pain can originate from any of the bones compromising the knee joint (femur, tibia and fibula), the kneecap (patella), or the meniscus (ligaments and cartilage of the knee).
When determining the causes of knee pain, it is usually comprised into three types:
- Injury: a broken bone or fracture, torn ligament or meniscal tear
- Medical Conditions: arthritis, infections
- Overuse: osteoarthritis, patellar syndromes, tendinitis and bursitis.
When Knee Pain Becomes a Problem
When pain arises, specially in the joints, the first step is to rest unless you know that the pain is a result of a severe injury or disease. If you knee pain does not respond to rest and continues after a few days, it is recommended to visit a doctor. The following signs or symptoms mean that you need a doctor evaluation:
- Inability to bend
- Unable to walk (or discomfort)
Please consider that even light injuries can lead to serious complications if not treated or healed properly.
Knee Pain Treatment
The type of treatment determined by your orthopedic specialist will depend upon the severity and cause of your knee pain. When visiting any of our offices in South Florida, the first approach is always a moderate non-invasive option. Your knee specialist may prescribe medications to help with the inflammation and pain in the case of conditions such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis.
Physical therapy may also be recommended in order to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint focusing in the quadriceps and/or hamstrings as well as a routine to improve balance. Your doctor may also recommend knee injections that go directly into the knee joint. The medications injected usually contain corticosteroids (potent anti-inflammatory), hyaluronic acid (to lubricate the knee joint and improve mobility), and/or platelet-rich-plasma or PRP (contains different growth factors that help in reducing inflammation and to promote natural healing).
If moderate treatment doesn’t yield results and/or the condition or knee injury is too severe, you may require a knee surgery. Regarding knee surgery, the options available nowadays vary from minimally invasive knee surgery to a total surgical joint reconstruction. Among the knee surgical options, the most common are arthrostopic surgery, partial knee replacement, total knee joint replacement.