The Meniscus Tear Test
Before utilizing more sophisticated imaging, your doctor may guide you through a series of movements to test the overall mobility of the knee joint and pinpoint the underlying knee injury. In this way, your doctor can also rule out other possible knee injuries and conditions. The circumduction knee test is used to demonstrate knee locking, knee clicking, pain, general mobility limitations, and instability. This test will identify any protruding meniscus tags or fully adrift loose bodies in the knee. A loose body in the knee will prevent the knee from moving optimally and may also cause the knee to catch and lock up.
How Do I Take Care Of Myself With Knee Osteoarthritis
It can be frustrating to cope with osteoarthritis of the knee symptoms that keep you from working or enjoying daily activities. Fortunately, there are several things you can do for your symptoms:
- Applying ice or heat reduces your knee pain, stiffness and swelling.
- Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight takes stress off your knees.
- Enjoying activities such as swimming, biking or walking keeps your knee joint flexible.
- Using a knee brace or adding shock-absorbing inserts in your shoes can reduce pressure on your knees.
- Participating in self-management programs can help you feel more in control of your health.
What Is The Prognosis Of A Knee Injury
The prognosis of a knee injury depends on the type and severity of the injury.
Most minor knee injuries heal on their own with conservative treatment. The prognosis for these types of injures is good.
Ligament or cartilage injuries that lead to dysfunction or instability of the knee may require surgery. These injuries generally respond well to surgery and patients can ultimately gain full or nearly full range of knee motion.
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What Does A Knee Injury Feel Like
Obviously, it hurts! But the type of pain and where you feel it can vary, depending on what the problem is. You may have:
- Pain, usually when you bend or straighten the knee
- Trouble putting weight on the knee
- Problems moving your knee
- Knee buckling or âlockingâ
If you have these symptoms, see your doctor. They will check your knee. You may also need X-rays or an MRI to see more detail of the joint.
Your Knee Hurts In A Specific Location
Serious knee injuries can cause pain in a very specific way and location. People with meniscus tears usually complain about pain along the joint line, rather than throughout the knee. Medical meniscus tears hurt along the inside of the knee, while later meniscus tears cause pain along the outside of the knee. Stress fractures on the other hand usually cause localized pain on the bone at the site of the fracture.
Next time you feel an unusual sensation in your knee, keep these signs in mind when observing if your knee injury is serious or not. The best way to find out if its something to worry about is to go to the doctor. Another way to keep your joints healthy with or without injuries is by adding an all natural joint supplement to your daily diet. Joint supplements can help decrease inflammation, reduce pain levels, and help lubricate the joints.*
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The Anatomy Of The Knee
Before looking into how to rehab your own injury, it is important that you understand a bit of the anatomy of the knee. This will make it easier to follow the instructions later on.
There are several main muscles that surround the knee. The first set is the Quadriceps muscles, which are grouped on the anterior side of your thigh and attach to the knee via the Quadriceps Tendon. On the posterior of your thigh you have the Hamstring muscles, which attach to the knee via the Hamstring tendon.
The bone structure of the knee is made up of the Femur , the Patella and the Tibia . There are two types of ligaments in the knee. The Collateral ligaments are found on the sides of your knee, while the Cruciate ligaments cross over the knee.
Finally, the Meniscus is a type of fibrous cartilage that provides support, stability, and shock absorption for the knee.
How Does The Sciatic Nerve Affect The Knee
As you grow older , the vertebrae discs protecting your spine may degenerate or bulge out, pressing on the nerves and irritating them. The sciatic nerve roots located in your lower back transmit pain sensations depending on which disc is protruding.
If the pinched nerve is at the second, third, or fourth lumbar vertebrae, referred pain will be received by the knee. Referred pain is a phenomenon where discomfort is felt at a location other than where the cause is situated as a result of pain signals being sent along interconnected sensory nerves.
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How Can You Tell If You Have A Torn Meniscus
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So what is the meniscus? Its a piece of cartilage in your knee that cushions and stabilizes the joint. It protects the bones from wear and tear. But all it takes is a good twist of the knee to tear the meniscus. In some cases, a piece of the shredded cartilage breaks loose and catches in the knee joint, causing it to lock up.
Meniscus tears are common in contact sports like football as well as non-contact sports requiring jumping and cutting such as volleyball and soccer. They can happen when a person changes direction suddenly while running, and often occur at the same time as other knee injuries, like an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Meniscus tears are a special risk for older athletes since the meniscus weakens with age. More than 40% of people 65 or older have them.
Signs You Should See A Doctor About Your Knee Pain
You may deal with little aches and pains fairly often, especially if you live an active life or work on your feet. You probably postpone seeing a doctor about this discomfort, deciding that if you wait for a little while the sensation will subside.
Sometimes, this theory holds true, but what about the cases where it doesnt? In this blog, we list 10 warning signs that justify a trip to your doctor or an orthopedic surgeon to talk about knee pain.
1. Deformity of the Joint
Look at your knees next to each other. If your affected knee appears misshapen compared to your healthy knee, you may have a fracture, dislocated knee cap, or patella injury.
2. Difficulty Walking
When your knee pain progresses enough to give you a limp or make you avoid walking, see a doctor. Pain of this intensity can indicate a bone injury or a degenerative condition.
3. Inability to Hold Weight
When you stand up, do you feel the need to shift your weight away from your bad knee? If your affected knee cannot hold your weight, seek help. This symptom can indicate a range of knee conditions, all of which require medical care to address.
4. Knee Instability
If you notice that your knee wobbles or feels like it will collapse, seek medical help. Generally, joint instability indicates a ligament problem, which may become worse if you continue using your knee as usual.
5. Less Sensation in the Knee
6. Long-Term Pain or Discomfort
7. Pain That Affects Your Daily Activities
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Why Do I Feel Knee Pain When I Exercise
If youre under the age of 50 and you feel sudden knee pain when you exercise, you probably have a sprain or a strain. Symptoms include tenderness and swelling, and you may not be able to put weight on the injury or use it normally.
If youre over 50 and you feel sudden knee pain, its more likely that its a sign of arthritis. Exercise can trigger symptoms of arthritis that are already present in the knee but havent yet been identified. Your doctor may book you in for X-rays if theysuspect you have arthritis.
Indications Of Knee Aspiration For Diagnostic Purposes Include
- To evaluate joint effusion
- To assess unexplained monoarticular arthritis
- To evaluate possible infective or septic arthritis
- To evaluate type of arthritis and joint related conditions
- To determine presence of crystal induced conditions like gout
- To determine the nature of accumulated fluid and cytology studies in synovial fluid analysis.
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Page Last Updated: 10/06/21
How Is A Dislocated Knee Diagnosed
Following a potential knee dislocation, a healthcare providers first priority will be to stabilize your injured limb.
Reduction, or repositioning of the injured joint, is crucial in order to reduce any pressure on the skin, blood vessels, and nerves in the affected area. Sometimes reduction occurs spontaneously before youre able to see a healthcare provider.
Once youre stabilized, your doctor can then assess the extent of your injury. They can perform various tests to determine the amount of ligament damage thats occurred. These tests typically involve determining the stability and range of movement of specific parts of the knee.
Since a dislocated knee can cause potentially serious disruption to the blood vessels and nerves of the joint, your doctor will perform an examination to assess if injury to these structures has occurred. This exam may include:
Additionally, a technique called arteriogram may be used to assess blood vessel damage. It combines an injected dye and X-rays so your doctor can see how your blood flows through the arteries in your legs.
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Knee Pain Diagnosis Chart
Reviewed by: KPE Medical Review Board
A knee pain diagnosis chart can be a really useful tool to help you work out why you have pain in your knee. There are lots of different structures in and around the knee that can cause pain.
Knowing what typicallycauses pain in each area of the knee makesit easier to reach an accurate knee pain self diagnosis.
We have therefore devised these two knee pain location charts so that you can see what causes pain in the parts of the knee.
Your Knee Pain Is Accompanied By Back Pain
Knee pain accompanied by back pain is the easiest symptom to identify which suggests the deeper problem is with the spine. Even if the back pain is mild or simply feels like some tension and tightness, it should not be disregarded because these signs are both related.
Think back if youve experienced mild back and knee discomfort at the same time, especially if you tend to spend your day sitting down. Sitting shortens the height of the discs along your spine and increases the disc bulge by pushing water out. The pressure on these discs is lowered when youre sitting compared to when youre standing. If youre sitting a lot during the day but have knee and back pains, your spine may be the problem.
Your knees and back are connected by the spinal cord through a nerve branch that controls the lower extremities. If your spine has a pinched nerve or a bulging lumbar disc, the lower back where the nerve branch is located can redirect the pain to the knees. For some people, this is the reason why they only notice the discomfort in the knee but not in the back.
If youre experiencing acute or chronic knee pain, make a mental scan of your body for discomfort in other areas — even if it seems completely unrelated. Let your physician know about these other aches so they can make a fully informed diagnosis.
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Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
The anterior cruciate ligament is often injured during sports activities. Athletes who participate in high demand sports like soccer, football, and basketball are more likely to injure their anterior cruciate ligaments. Changing direction rapidly or landing from a jump incorrectly can tear the ACL. About half of all injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament occur along with damage to other structures in the knee, such as articular cartilage, meniscus, or other ligaments.
Learn more about ACL injuries:
Why Does My Knee Hurt
If you are experiencing knee pain when walking, knee pain when bending, knee pain when resting, or are hearing popping/clicking in your knee, etc., it may be a minor concern or indicator of a serious issue.
Knee pain is usually caused by traumatic injuries, repetitive motion injuries, long-term wear & tear, or tissue disorders. Below are injuries that are common causes for knee pain, but it is best to enter your symptoms into our Knee Pain Diagnosis Symptom Checker to gain a better understanding of your injury.
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You Have Significant Weakness Trying To Straighten Your Knee
Severe weakness when trying to straighten the knee, even a few days after the injury, could mean that you suffered a severe tendon injury. Common causes of weakness include patella dislocations, patella tendon tears, and quadriceps tendon tears. Patella tendon and quadriceps tendon tears are not common in youth or collegiate sports, but we will see a few of these every year.
In older weekend warriors who are wondering why their knee is weak after a serious injury, patella tendon and quadriceps tendon injuries are far more common. If you are over 35 and felt a loud pop in your knee while pushing off during tennis, or basketball then you need to consider that you have seriously injured your patella or quadriceps tendon.
After an injury to one of these large, critically important tendons, you will find that the knee will feel unstable. You will think that the knee is unable to support your weight without giving way. You should be promptly evaluated by a Sports Medicine physician to determine the type of injury you had. Both quadriceps and patella tendon injuries require surgery to repair these large essential tendons.
What Are The Causes Of Knee Pain In Teenagers
Common knee pain problems in your teenager can be generally divided into three types:
- Anterior knee pain, also called patellofemoral pain.
- Injures to ligaments and tendons of the knee or to the kneecap itself.
- Medical conditions that affect the knee.
Anterior knee pain happens when your teens kneecap is pulled out of its groove from increased pressure. Increased pressure on the knee joint is caused by:
- Abnormal hip rotation due to imbalances in muscle strength and flexibility around the hips.
- Improper training methods or equipment.
- Poor flexibility of the thigh muscles, which support the knee joint. Thigh muscle weakness or tightness.
- Overuse of the knee from repetitive bending of the knee during running, jumping, and other activities.
- Problems with alignment, for example, the kneecap not being properly aligned within the knee or having flat feet, which changes the normal gait.
Knee pain resulting from sprains, strains and tears to ligaments and tendons or injuries to other soft tissues. These conditions include:
Medical conditions that can affect your teens knee include:
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What You Need To Know
- The most common causes of knee pain are related to aging, injury or repeated stress on the knee.
- Common knee problems include sprained or strained ligaments, cartilage tears, tendonitis and arthritis.
- Diagnosing a knee injury or problem includes a medical examination and usually the use of a diagnostic procedure such as an x-ray, MRI, CT scan or arthroscopy.
- Both non-operative and surgical treatment options are available to treat knee pain and problems depending on the type and severity of the condition.
Your Hips Or Quadriceps Feel Weak
Your quads are a group of muscles located at the front of your thigh. The three vastus muscles and rectus femoris make your thighs, one of the most powerful parts of the body, as they allow you to extend your knees and move your hips.
On the other hand, each hip is a ball-and-socket joint responsible for bearing most of your bodys weight. The hips have many ligament attachments for stability and muscular attachments to help control the motion of your leg and knee joints. The rectus femoris muscle crosses over from the quads and connects to the hip so if a problem occurs with the quad muscles, your hips will be affected.
Now, the parts of the human body are connected like a chain. Even if you didnt experience an injury or a major trauma to your hips and quadriceps, you may suddenly feel like youre unable to move them at full strength. This is a condition that may be caused by a spinal problem since the nerves that control the motor functions of the quads are located between the vertebrae of the lumbar spine.
If those nerves become irritated or get pinched by the vertebrae, the movement of your hips and quads will be affected. Weakness in these areas will cause the knee joints to work harder and wear out faster, which explains the knee pain you might be feeling.
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