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How To Diagnose Knee Pain

What Is Anterior Knee Pain

How to Diagnose and Rehab a Knee Injury | Sports Injury Clinic

Anterior knee pain is a generic term used to describe pain at the front of the knee. The term is descriptive and relates to a number of different diagnoses. Diagnoses which come under the umbrella of anterior knee pain can usually be categorised into three sections.

Knee cap related pain, termed patellofemoral pain, encompasses the majority of cases of anterior knee pain. Patellofemoral pain is most often caused by weakness to the stabilising quadriceps muscles and poor flexibility to the muscles such as the hamstrings, quadriceps and iliotibial band. However, some individuals suffer with patellofemoral pain due to degenerative changes to the joint during middle and older age.

Some individuals do not get pain from the patellofemoral joint itself but get pain arising from the soft tissue to the inside and outside of the knee cap. The cause of this pain relates to poor biomechanical alignment which stretches the retinaculum leading to pain.

The third sub category within anterior knee pain relates to pain in the lower knee cap area. Pain is this area can relate to the patellar tendon or this tendons insertion to the patellar or tibia . Alternatively, the pain can relate to inflammation of a structure known as Hoffas fat pad or fluid filled sacs known as the infrapatellar bursae.

Symptoms Of Pain Inside The Knee Joint

What does deep knee pain feel like? It depends on your personal experience, as well as which part of the knee is most involved. The pain may feel sharp, dull, achy, burning, or simply feel like pressure in the joint. If there isnt severe pain, it may feel like youre more aware of one knee as compared to the other one or feel a lack of stability. Some people experience a deep ache from within the joint, primarily at bedtime or while resting. Others feel sharp pain only when squatting or bending or a nagging stiffness after sitting in the same position for extended periods of time.

Different experiences dont always point to different causestwo patients suffering from the same problem, such as an MCL tear, may experience significantly different symptoms. This can make it hard to figure out whats causing the problem. No matter what is happening, though, there is usually something that can be done. Keep an open mind and keep communicating with your practitioner. Its better to investigate whats happening instead of ignoring it and waiting for it to get worse.

What Are Risk Factors For Knee Pain

Biomechanics: The knee joint is complicated in its operation and is used frequently throughout the day. Any change in the movement of the joint can cause subtle changes and cause pain and injuries.

Excess weight: The stress on the knee joint is increased with excess weight. Obesity also increases the risk of knee osteoarthritis as the cartilage breaks down more rapidly.

Overuse during repetitive motions as are found during certain exercises or work conditions can cause breakdown of cartilage and lead to pain.

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How Can I Find Relief From My Knee Pain In Atlanta Ga

If you are interested in getting to the root of your knee pain, finding relief, and enjoying your life to the fullest again, the first step is to be evaluated by a qualified, experienced, and skilled professional. Call Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Christopher Williams today, and discover how the solution for living a more comfortable life may be closer than your think!

What Are The Symptoms Of Patellofemoral Pain

Self Diagnosing Knee Pain
  • Pain around the knee. The pain is felt at the front of the knee, around or behind the kneecap . Often, the exact site of the pain cannot be pinpointed instead the pain is felt vaguely at the front of the knee.
  • The pain comes and goes.
  • Both knees are often affected at the same time but one is usually worse than the other.
  • The pain is typically worse when going up or, in particular, going down stairs.
  • Running, especially downhill, squatting and certain sports can all set it off – anything that leads to the patella being compressed against the lower part of the thighbone.
  • The pain may be brought on by sitting still for long periods. For example, after going to the cinema or for a long drive, when it will be worse when starting to move about again.
  • There may be a grating or grinding feeling or a noise when the knee bends and straightens. This is called crepitus.
  • Sometimes there is puffiness or swelling around the kneecap.

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Exercises To Strengthen Your Knee & Prevent Knee Pain

Patients who experience pain often do not want to move a muscle in the fear that it will worsen the discomfort. However, medical experts emphasise that being mobile is an integral part of relieving and preventing pain.

If youre looking for simple exercises that help to strengthen your knees, consider the following:

When Should I See A Doctor For Knee Pain

When we experience knee pain, our first course of action may be to turn to home remedies. However, if not done right, self-diagnosis and treatment can do more harm than good. The best course of action you can take is to consult a doctor to find the root cause and get the right treatment.

Certain signs may indicate that something more serious is causing your knee to hurt. Make an appointment with the physician if you or your loved one:

  • Cannot bear weight on one of both knee often, patients describe this as their knee feeling unstable or giving out when they try to stand
  • Experiences severe knee pain even when not bearing weight
  • Hears buckling, clicking or locking sounds
  • Notices swelling
  • Cannot fully straighten or bend their knee
  • Observes an obvious deformity in the knee
  • Experiences fever along with pain, redness and swelling on the affected knee
  • Experiences severe knee pain after an injury
  • Notices swelling or bluish discolouration around the knee or in the calf below the affected knee
  • Feels a numbing or tingling sensation in the calf below the affected knee
  • Experiences pain even after 3 days of home remedies

Heres an important reminder, though: you dont need to wait for any of the above signs to occur before you seek medical help. If your knee causes considerable discomfort and interferes with your daily routine , dont hesitate to talk to your doctor.

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What To Expect At Your Office Visit

Your provider will perform a physical exam, and look at your knees, hips, legs, and other joints.

Your provider may do the following tests:

Your provider may inject a steroid into your knee to reduce pain and inflammation.

You may need to learn stretching and strengthening exercises. You also may need to see a podiatrist to be fitted for orthotics.

In some cases, you may need surgery.

Self Diagnosing Knee Pain

When To Diagnose Your Own Knee Pain

Knee pain is an extremely common finding and it can affect individuals of all ages. Not all knee injuries are equal and fortunately not all knee injuries are serious. The art is to find which are serious and which are not!

Pain is an interesting phenomenon. Its simply just a signal our brains send to tell us to be aware of the area that has either sustained an injury or is vulnerable to sustain an injury. But there are cases where pain is simply a misfire and so theres a lot of conditions that just kind of go away.

Although there is no accurate way of self diagnosing knee conditions there are some findings that can help us break down how badly the knee is injured and if wait and rest the best option!

What happened?

1) The first part of any diagnosis starts with a history because it can tell us a lot about our conditions. First part is where on the knee does it hurt?

Lets use this diagram to break down the areas based on the colors .

  • Magenta : Iliotibial Band Syndrome Sprain, Lateral Meniscus Tear
  • Green : Infrapatellar tendonitis , Osgood Schallaters disease , Osteochondritis Dessicans , Tibial Plateau Fracture
  • Cyan : Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, Chondromalacia Patellae, Arthritis , Patellar fracture
  • Yellow : Suprapatellar tendonitis
  • Dark Blue : Adductor muscle strains, Medial Collateral Ligament sprain , Medial Meniscus Tear, Arthritis
  • Red : Pes anserine bursitis, Medial Plica Syndrome

2) How did it start?

4) What is the quality of the pain?

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What Is Knee Pain

Pain is a common knee problem that can originate in any of the bony structures compromising the knee joint , the kneecap , or the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage of the knee. Knee pain can be aggravated by physical activity, as well as obesity, affected by the surrounding muscles and their movements, and be triggered by other problems . Knee pain can affect people of all ages, and home remedies can be helpful unless it becomes severe.

Can Knee Pain Come Back After Treatment

Frequently, knee pain will occur for a short period of time and then resolve. Sometimes it can return a few weeks or months later. For chronic knee pain, it is important to get it evaluated to avoid further damage to cartilage, bones, or ligaments. Prognosis depends on the underlying causes of the pain.

With modern surgical techniques, it’s possible to relieve many of the knee pain syndromes and return to an active lifestyle.

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Why Should I See A Pain Management Specialist

Pain management is an important part of any treatment plan, both for lessening discomfort and aiding in recovery. Pain management specialists understand the full range of pain relief options and how to use these options in combination. Treatments done as part of a comprehensive, multimodal plan may help even if each treatment does not seem to make a difference when used in isolation.

Pain management specialists work with patients to help diagnose pain and treat it safely and effectively with as few side effects as possible. These treatments do not have to involve medication. In fact, pain management is generally more successful when a comprehensive approach is used, with or without medications.

What Is The Long

Pin on Knee Treatment

Some knee pain, especially pain caused by osteoarthritis, will likely be permanent. Thats because the structure of the knee is damaged. Without surgery or another type of extensive treatment, youll continue to feel pain, inflammation, and swelling in your knee.

The long-term outlook for chronic knee pain involves managing pain, preventing flare-ups, and working to reduce irritation to the knee.

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What Are Risk Factors For A Knee Injury

High-impact sports, including running, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, cycling, and others, can increase the risk of knee pain and injury. Sports where shoes with cleats are worn and sharp, sudden changes in direction are made, along with contact sports, are common risks for knee injury. Exercise, such as high-impact cardiovascular activity or yoga, can also cause knee injury.

The elderly may be at higher risk for knee injury due to falls and osteoporosis.

Women may be at higher risk for anterior cruciate ligament injuries and patellar injuries. This is due to the anatomy of a woman’s hips and femur and the angle at which the knee is tilted. This can lead to chondromalacia patella , an inflammation or irritation of the underside of the patella.

Being overweight can be a risk factor for knee injury, as excess weight puts more stress on the lower extremity joints.

Overuse and overtraining, improper or insufficient training for a sport, or not properly rehabilitating acute injuries can also predispose a person to knee injuries.

Patellar Dislocation Or Instability

Patella dislocation is usually obvious as the knee cap will become stuck to the side of knee. Pain will be severe and require an assessment at accident and emergency. Instability is however more common. In this situation the patellar feels as though it might dislocate but doesnt and resumes its normal position. This is commoner in individuals who are female and hyperflexible. This condition is best managed by exercise advice from a physiotherapist.

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Muscle Weakness And Lack Of Flexibility

Having weak muscles and lacking flexibility does not directly cause knee pain, but they increase your risk of sustaining injuries that affect the knees. Strong muscles protect our joints and help us become more stable being flexible, on the other hand, reduces the risk of injury by increasing our range of motion. When we say range of motion, were referring to the extent by which our joints can move.

Symptoms Of Knee Pain

3 Simple Steps to Understanding Your Knee Pain Diagnosis by The Knee Pain Guru

Knee pain usually manifests in the following ways:

  • The onset of pain can be sudden or gradual, beginning with a mild discomfort and worsening over time.
  • The pain tends to exacerbate while bending or straightening the knee, putting weight on it, walking, climbing, and even resting or sleeping.

Knee pain may be accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Inability to straighten or bend the leg completely
  • Locking of the knee joint

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What Treatments Can Provide Pain Relief

The nature of your injury will guide the treatment. So will your preferences. It is best to consider the full menu of options available. These include:

Physician anesthesiologists are committed to patient safety and high-quality care, and have the necessary knowledge to understand and treat the entire human body.

What To Think About

These tests provide the best information if there is little or no knee swelling, you are able to relax, and your doctor is able to move your knee and leg freely. If this is not the case, it may be difficult to accurately check your knee.

If your knee is red, hot, or very swollen, aknee joint aspiration may be done, which involves removing fluid from the knee joint. This is done to:

  • Help relieve pain and pressure, which may make the physical exam easier and make you more comfortable.
  • Check joint fluid for possible infection or inflammation.
  • See if there is blood in the joint fluid, which may indicate a tear in a ligament or cartilage.
  • See if there are drops of fat, which may indicate a broken bone.

Local anesthetic may be injected after aspiration to reduce pain and make the exam easier.

If you are going to have arthroscopy, the knee may be examined in the operating room before the procedure, while you are undergeneral or spinal anesthesia.

Complete the medical test information form to help you prepare for this test.

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How Do Doctors Diagnose Knee Injuries

The initial evaluation by the health care professional will begin with a medical history. Whether the evaluation is occurring immediately after the injury or weeks later, the physician may ask about the mechanism of injury to help isolate what structures in the knee might be damaged. Is the injury due to a direct blow that might suggest a fracture or contusion ? Was it a twisting injury that causes a cartilage or meniscus tear? Was there an injury associated with a planted foot to place stress and potentially tear a ligament?

Further questions will address other symptoms. Was swelling present, and if so, did it occur right away or was it delayed by hours? Did the injury prevent weight-bearing or walking? Does going up or down steps cause pain? Is there associated hip or ankle pain? Is this an isolated injury, and have there been other occurrences?

Past medical history and information on medications and allergies will be helpful information to learn about the patient.

Sometimes X-rays of the knee are required to make certain there are no broken bones, but often with stress or overuse injuries where no direct blow has occurred, plain X-rays may not be initially needed and imaging of the knee may wait until a later date. Standing X-rays of the knees are used to assess the joint space and compare the injured knee to the uninjured one. An MRI might be considered to evaluate the ligaments and cartilage within the knee joint.

What Is The Recovery Time For A Knee Injury

Knee Pain Diagnosis Chart

The recovery time for a knee injury depends on the type and severity of the injury. If the injury is significant enough to require surgery and/or physical therapy, the recovery time will be longer.

Simple strains or sprains can last for one to two weeks. More extensive injuries requiring arthroscopic surgery may take one to three months to heal.

Major traumatic injuries to the knee may take up to a year to heal.

Following the doctor’s instructions for rest, immobilization, staying off your feet, and avoiding exercise that aggravates the injuries will help speed recovery.

Physical therapy can also speed recovery time. It is important to follow directions of your physical therapist to insure you are doing the exercises correctly and attaining the best results.

Chronic knee injuries that do not require surgery may flare up from time to time. Physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and cortisone injections are used to provide temporary relief.

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Will Surgery Treat And Cure Knee Pain


Knee operations range from arthroscopic knee surgery to total knee replacement. Arthroscopic knee surgery is a very common surgical procedure that allows the physician look inside your knee through a few small holes and a fiberoptic camera. The surgeon can repair many of the injuries and remove small pieces of loose bones or cartilage. This is a common outpatient procedure.

Partial knee replacement: The surgeon replaces the damaged portions of the knee with plastic and metal parts. Because only part of the knee joint is replaced, this procedure has a shorter recovery then a total knee replacement.

Total knee replacement: In this procedure, the knee is replaced with an artificial joint.

Other therapies

Acupuncture has shown some relieve of knee pain, especially in patients with osteoarthritis. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements have shown mixed results in research studies.


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