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How To Diagnose My Knee Pain

More About Knee Pain Diagnosis

Diagnose Your Knee Pain

So here we have looked at how to make a knee pain diagnosis by the location or onset of the pain. You can find out everything you need to know about each of these knee problems by using the links above. You may not find the right things first time, but by using these tools, you will get there.

Alternatively, have a look at our knee pain diagnosis chart.

If you have specific symptoms associated with your pain e.g. the pain is sharp or burning, or there is instability or swelling visit the knee symptoms guide.

If you want to know how to get rid of your pain, visit the knee pain treatment section for a variety of treatment options.

But remember, the best way to get an accurate knee injury diagnosis is to see your doctor/physical therapist.

Page Last Updated: 11/03/21

Deformities Of The Knee

The appearance of the knee can change during a flare and as damage progresses.

In RA, swelling and redness are common during a flare. In the long term, persistent inflammation can result in permanent damage to the cartilage and the tendons. This can affect the shape and appearance of the knee.

With OA, the muscles around the knee can weaken, resulting in a sunken appearance. The knees can start to point toward each other or bend outward.

Knee deformities range from barely noticeable to severe and debilitating.

Treatment will depend on the type of arthritis a person has.

How Common Is Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Experts note that iliotibial band syndrome often affects U.S. Marines during training. More than 20% get iliotibial band syndrome. Frequent runners, especially long-distance runners, are also prone. Iliotibial band syndrome accounts for about 12% of running injuries. More females than males have iliotibial band syndrome.

Knee pain of which iliotibial band syndrome is one of many causes affects as many as 25% of adults.

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How To Beat Knee Pain

If the problem persists, its a good idea to consult with your GP, who may ask you tofill in a questionnaire to help decide the best course of treatment.

There are many treatments available, but it may not come to that knee pain canoften be treated with rest and an ice pack. So stay positive, because many knee injuries will get better on their own.

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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Types Of Diagnotic Tests

After the complete physical examination of the patient, the doctor evaluates the condition of the patient and then further recommends the type of diagnostic test that specific patient needs. There are two types of tests which the doctors perform to inspect the causing factor behind knee problem. Your doctor might suggest you one of these tests for an accurate diagnosis of a knee problem:

Laboratory tests

Your doctor might suggest you laboratory test, in case he/shes suspects an inflammation or infection in your knee. Then your doctor might suggest you to have blood tests and some of the time, the doctors also perform a procedure which in known as arthrocentesis to diagnose your knee problem. In this procedure, the medical professional with the help of the needle a small takes a certain amount of the fluid from your knee joint and sends the sample to a laboratory for further analysis.

The presence of effusion, tenderness, marked pain, and warmth along with a limited range of motion in the knee joint is most recurring in patients with inflammatory arthropathy and septic arthritis. Moreover, an erythrocyte sedimentation rate and complete blood count accompanying arthrocentesis is important to detect the underlying cause of knee problem. The laboratory analysis of the joint fluid is also necessary for detecting the cell count with glucose, protein, bacterial culture, and light sensitivity to rule out the presence of any crystals in the joint fluid.

Knee Pain And Problems

Knee pain is a common complaint among adults and most often associated with general wear and tear from daily activities like walking, bending, standing and lifting. Athletes who run or play sports that involve jumping or quick pivoting are also more likely to experience knee pain and problems. But whether an individuals knee pain is caused by aging or injury, it can be a nuisance and even debilitating in some circumstances.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Iliotibial Band Syndrome

A tense iliotibial band can cause several symptoms:

  • Hip pain: Your iliotibial band repeatedly rubs against your greater trochanteric in your hip. Your greater trochanteric is where the bone widens near the top of your femur. The friction causes inflammation in your tendon and pain in your hip. You might hear a snapping sound.
  • You might feel a snap, pop or click on the outside of your knee.
  • Knee pain: Your lateral epicondyle is on the outside of your knee near the bottom of your femur, where the bone widens. Your tense iliotibial band repeatedly rubs against your lateral epicondyle when you flex and extend your knee. The friction causes inflammation in your tendon and pain in your knee.
  • Warmth and redness: The outside of your knee might look discolored and feel warm to the touch.

At first, the pain will start after you exercise. As the syndrome worsens, youll feel it the whole time you exercise and, eventually, also when youre resting.

What Are Six Of The Most Common Causes Of Inner Knee Pain

When To Diagnose Your Own Knee Pain

Each person is unique in what may cause inner knee pain for them, but here are six of the most common types of inner knee pain.

  • Arthritis Arthritis can develop in anyone, but it’s especially common with people who are over the age of 50. There are a couple of common forms of arthritis that are usually the culprits of inner knee pain. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that develops gradually causing joint pain and usually affects weight-bearing joints like knees, hips, hands, or feet. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause inner knee pain. This autoimmune disease causes inflammation and pain throughout your body, but especially in the joints.
  • MCL injury The medial collateral ligament, or MCL for short is one of the four major ligaments in your knee. This inner knee ligament injury happens when it gets stretched too far which can create inner knee pain and may cause a MCL sprain, a partial tear, or even a full tear.
  • Knee contusion This can happen from accidents or trauma to the knee and cause your knee to be bruised.
  • Injured meniscus This is a very common injury that can happen from sports or overuse activities. It occurs when there is too much pressure on either side of the inner knee, which results in a meniscus sprain or meniscus tear of one of the two pieces of cartilage in the inner knee.
  • Bursitis This inner knee pain can happen when there is inflammation of the bursa, which are small fluid-filled sacs that cushion your joints.
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    Understanding Knee Pain Diagnosis

    Understanding what is causing your knee pain is the first, crucial step to overcoming knee pain. The knee pain diagnosis charts here are very useful visual tool to help you work out what is wrong.

    You can find out loads more about these conditions by using the links above. Alternatively, if you want some more guidance, visit the knee pain diagnosis section.

    There are lots of other causes of knee pain that don’t appear on either of these knee pain diagnosis charts e.g. gout knee. They tend to cause more general, widespread knee pain, rather than pain in a specific locations so haven’t been included here on these knee pain diagnosis chart. You can find out more in the common knee conditions section.

    What Natural Home Remedies Relieve Knee Pain

    Over-the-counter pain medications can frequently alleviate the pain. If someone is taking these medications on a regular basis, he or she should see a health care professional to evaluate the knee pain for proper diagnosis and to avoid the potential side effects of chronic medication use.

    The RICE mnemonic is often helpful, especially for minor injuries:

    Rest: Rest the joint, and take a break from your usually activities involving the knee joint.

    Ice: Applying ice can help with pain and inflammation.

    Compress: A compression bandage can help prevent swelling and help knee alignment. It should not be tight and should be removed at night.

    Elevate: Elevation can help with swelling and resting of the knee.

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    Pain From Osteoarthritis Of The Knee Is Caused By Changes In Synovial Fluid And Joint Structures

    A healthy knee contains synovial fluid, a viscous liquid that is responsible for lubricating the joint and absorbing shocks. Hyaluronic acid is a major component of normal synovial fluid and contributes to the fluids viscoelastic properties. Pain from osteoarthritis of the knee is caused by changes in synovial fluid and joint structures.

  • Cartilage: Tough elastic material that protects the ends of the bones
  • Synovial fluid: Thick liquid that lubricates and cushions the joint
  • Changes in the synovial fluid and degeneration of joint structures may lead to pain in people with osteoarthritis of the knee.

  • Cartilage wears away: Over time, the bone surfaces may rub together
  • Cartilage begins to break down
  • Synovial fluid becomes less healthy: The fluid becomes thinner and less elastic
  • Eroding meniscus
  • Bone spurs
  • Changes in the synovial fluid and degeneration of joint structures may lead to pain in people with osteoarthritis of the knee.

    How Is Knee Pain Diagnosed Knee Problem Diagnosis Tests

    Self Diagnosing Knee Pain

    As several physical conditions or diseases cause knee problems so there is a wide range of diagnostic tests for detecting and tracing back the underlying cause of knee problem in each individual. Some of the most commonly occurring physical conditions which become the cause of knee problem include gout, osteoarthritis, joint dislocation, bakers cyst, rheumatoid arthritis , tendinitis, meniscus tear, and bursitis. Moreover, for each different cause of knee problem, there is need of a different diagnostic test for that specific cause. The detailed diagnosis gives the doctor a specific and accurate cause of the knee problem in a patient. Some of the common in practice diagnostic tests for knee problem includes blood testing, CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging , ultrasound, X-rays and other scanning tests.

    After doing an initial checkup, the doctor further goes for the more suitable imaging test for a specific patient.

    Physical examination

    • Examine your knee for pain, swelling, warmth, tenderness and visible bruising
    • To monitor or evaluate the integrity of the muscles and the structures which are present in your knee by pulling or pushing the joint
    • And doctors also observe that how far a patient can move his/her lower leg in various directions

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    What Does Knee Pain Caused By Arthritis Feel Like

    With the immense amount of pressure and strain put on our knees day after day and year after year, it is not surprising that knee pain is such a widespread complaint in men and women of all ages in Atlanta, GA. While there are certainly some more serious causes of knee pain, in a large number of people, knee pain is temporary and, relatively, harmless. However, if you think the pain in your knees may be caused by arthritis, here are a few telltale signs and symptoms to watch for:

    What Is Iliotibial Band Syndrome

    Iliotibial band syndrome is where a tendon called the iliotibial band gets irritated or swollen from rubbing against your hip or knee bones. The tendon is on the outside of your leg, and it goes from the top of your pelvic bone down to your knee. It rubs against your bones when it gets too tense . There are many reasons why your iliotibial band might tighten.

    Tendons are flexible, elastic-like fibrous tissues that connect your muscles to your bones. Your tendon pulls on the bone when you squeeze a muscle, and that makes your bone move.

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    What Are The Types And Causes Of Knee Injuries

    While direct blows to the knee will occur, the knee is more susceptible to twisting or stretching injuries , taking the joint through a greater range of motion than it was meant to tolerate.

    If the knee is stressed from a specific direction, then the ligament trying to hold it in place against that force can stretch or tear. These injuries are called sprains. Sprains are graded as first, second, or third degree based upon how much damage has occurred. Grade-one sprains stretch the ligament but dont tear the fibers grade-two sprains partially tear the fibers, but the ligament remains intact and grade-three tears completely disrupt the ligament.

    Twisting injuries to the knee put stress on the cartilage or meniscus and can pinch them between the tibial surface and the edges of the femoral condyle, potentially causing tears.

    Injuries of the muscles and tendons surrounding the knee are caused by acute hyperflexion or hyperextension of the knee or by overuse. These injuries are called strains. Strains are graded similarly to sprains, with first-degree strains stretching muscle or tendon fibers but not tearing them, second-degree strains partially tearing the muscle tendon unit, and third-degree strains completely tearing it.

    There can be inflammation of the bursas of the knee that can occur because of direct blows or chronic use and abuse.

    What Is The Anatomy Of The Knee

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

    The knee is a hinge joint that has a simple purpose. It needs to flex or extend to allow the body to perform many activities, like running, walking, kicking, and sitting. Imagine standing up from a chair if your knees couldn’t bend.

    While there are four bones that come together at the knee, only the femur and the tibia form the joint itself. The head of the fibula provides some stability, and the patella helps with joint and muscle function. Movement and weight-bearing occur where the ends of the femur called the femoral condyles match up with the top flat surfaces of the tibia .

    There are two major muscle groups that are balanced and allow movement of the knee joint. When the quadriceps muscles on the front of the thigh contract, the knee extends or straightens. The hamstring muscles on the back of the thigh flex or bend the knee when they contract. The muscles cross the knee joint and are attached to the tibia by tendons. The quadriceps tendon is special, in that it contains the patella within its fibers. The patella allows the quadriceps muscle/tendon unit to work more efficiently. The quadriceps tendon is renamed the patellar tendon from the kneecap to its attachment in the tibia.

    Bursas surround the knee joint and are fluid-filled sacs that cushion the knee during its range of motion. In the front of the knee, there is a bursa between the skin and the kneecap called the prepatellar bursa and another above the kneecap called the suprapatellar bursa .

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    Pain Gradually Came On

    A gradual onset of knee pain usually indicates an underlying problem that may have been there for a while without you realising. Sometimes, the knee will cope with a developing problem for so long, and then for no obvious reason will start being uncomfortable. It may be knee arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis or wear and tear

    In the Common Knee Conditionssection we look at common knee problems, what causes them, typical knee symptoms and how to treat them.

    What Questions Might A Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose Iliotibial Band Syndrome

    Your healthcare provider will want to fully understand what youre experiencing so that you receive the best care possible. Questions they might ask include:

    • What are your symptoms?
    • Where is the pain located?
    • What does the pain feel like?
    • How long have you had these symptoms?
    • What medications do you take?
    • How much pain are you in?
    • Do you play any sports?
    • Does the pain increase the longer you exercise?

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    Why Do I Have Pain Behind My Knee

    Pain behind the knee may be caused by several things, from age or the presence ofosteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, to a knee injury or an infection in the joint.

    If youre under 50 and your pain is in the crease at the back of your leg behind theknee, it may be the result of an injury, such as a hamstring or other knee-relatedissue.

    If youre over 50 and you have a creaking, squeaking pain behind the kneecap, or acyst on the crease at the back of your leg behind the knee, it may be arthritis. Again,your doctor can help identify arthritis by excluding other issues.

    What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Iliotibial Band Syndrome

    Knee Pain
    • What caused my iliotibial band syndrome?
    • Do I need an ultrasound or MRI?
    • Can you recommend a physical therapist?
    • Will I need surgery?
    • When can I get back to my normal activities?

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    If youre part of the 25% of adults who experience knee pain, you might have iliotibial band syndrome. When the tendon rubs against your hip or knee bones, it gets swollen and irritated, causing several symptoms. Athletes have an above-average chance at getting ITBS.

    You might have to hop off your bike if you have iliotibial band syndrome. The pain might take you off the court, field or track. But, likely, you’ll just have to take a break from your favorite sports, not give them up forever. ITBS is treatable. With your healthcare providers’ help, you can recover from iliotibial band syndrome.

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