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How To Know If You Have Knee Problems

Your Kneecap In Motion

How to Know If You Have a Serious Knee Injury or Problem

Patella is the medical term for your kneecap. Patellar tracking disorder describes movement of your kneecap that isnt aligned, like your kneecap moving sideways. It can usually be relieved with exercises and physical therapy.

The kneecap is a separate bone thats attached to your thigh bone at the top and your big shin bone by powerful tendons and ligaments. It is a type of bone that forms within a tendon to give a mechanical advantage for the knee.

When its working properly, the kneecap glides in a groove or cutaway thats near the end of your thighbone called the trochlear groove.

Injuries from sports, overuse, or trauma can cause the patella to move slightly off and not track properly in the trochlear groove. In most cases, the kneecap shifts to the outside of the leg, but it can also move towards the inside.

Heres what you need to know about patellar tracking disorder and keeping your knees healthy.

What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Knee Pain

A health care professional will begin by asking questions related to the person’s general health and then specifically to the nature of the knee pain .

Next, an examination of the knee will be performed. This will include bending the knee through the full range of motion, checking for stability of the ligaments, and evaluating for any tenderness and swelling. It is often helpful to compare the results of the examination of the painful knee with the other knee. Frequently, this is all that is required to make a diagnosis and start treatment. In several research studies, it has been found that an experienced examiner is as reliable as X-ray examination.

Sometimes the doctor might want to do further studies such as the following tests.

Radiologic tests

Plain X-ray can establish fractures and degenerative changes of the knee.

MRI is used to evaluate the soft tissues of the knee for ligament tears or cartilage and muscle injuries.

Blood tests

If gout, arthritis, or other medical conditions are suspected, a health care professional might order blood tests.

Removal of joint fluid

Are Your Knees Worn Out What To Know Before Considering A Knee Replacement

If you suffer from knee pain, stiffness, and swelling and in general feel that your knees are just worn out, you are certainly not alone. An astonishing 250 million people worldwide suffer from knee osteoarthritis, the major cause of worn out knees. In fact, osteoarthritis is often referred to as wear and tear arthritis. Although knee osteoarthritis can occur in younger people, its much more likely in people 45 years of age and older, with women more likely to be affected than men

This is because the cartilage, that layer of spongy cushioning tissue between the bones of the knee joint, gets worn out and can no longer do its protective job. The bones of the joint begin to rub on each other causing painful symptoms, loss of mobility, and an increased risk of falling.

Many people who have painful knee osteoarthritis may think their only option is to undergo a knee replacement. But thats not necessarily true. Lets look at what options you should explore before you agree to knee replacement surgery. This is especially important if you are younger than 60 years of age. Because knee implants only last from 12 to 15, many orthopedic surgeons may be less inclined to do surgery on people who are less than 60 years old or so, although there are many factors other than age that must be considered before surgery is offered.

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How To Recognize Fix And Prevent Itb Syndrome

Many runners suffer from sore iliotibial bands, also simply called the ITBs. Each ITB is a thick band of fascia that connects the outside of the knee to the outside of the pelvis, running over the hip and knee joints. As the leg swings during running, the band moves from behind the femur to in front of the femur. Thus, one suggestion on the cause of ITB syndrome is that the continual rubbing of the band over the lower femoral epicondyle combined with the repeated flexion and extension of the knee during running may cause inflammation.

Which Came First The Knee Or The Itb

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The knee and the ITB can be a bit of a chicken and the egg problem. Valgus collapse at the knee can be caused by weak feet, allowing for excessive pronation. But it can also be caused by weak hip rotators allowing internal rotation of the femur, too. Sometimes it is difficult to tell if the problem is occurring up- or downstream of the symptom.

The problem at the hip can also manifest in another way that is not as obvious. In good runners, the feet are not placed in line with each other when striking the ground. Imagine running along a painted line, like the lines on a tennis court. Good runners will run with each foot hitting the line, but not crossing over the line, nor fully covering it. Basically, theyll hit the outside of the line on each step, with the left foot touching the left side of the line and the right foot touching the right side of the line.

Treatment for the pain should still remain the same, and I cannot urge you strongly enough to go with the Marine Corps method of full immobilization for three days. In addition, some time spent with a running coach or performing video analysis would be time well spent, as without fixing the mechanical error causing the issue, you will only end up suffering from it again.

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Torn Acl Symptoms And Signs

With an acute injury, the patient often describes that they heard a loud pop and then developed intense pain in the knee. The pain makes walking or weight-bearing very difficult. The knee joint will begin to swell within a few hours because of bleeding within the joint, making it difficult to straighten the knee.

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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Can You Prevent Knee Pain

There can be many reasons for knee pain. Therefore, there are different strategies to prevent the pain depending on the underlying cause. Running on soft surfaces or decreasing the amount of running can help if the pain is due to overuse. Avoiding any direct injuries to the knee including wearing a seatbelt can prevent traumatic injuries. Weight loss can be helpful for many different forms of knee pain.

What Are Some Common Knee Problems

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Many knee problems are a result of the aging process and continual wear and stress on the knee joint . Other knee problems are a result of an injury or a sudden movement that strains the knee. Common knee problems include the following:

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Pain In A Specific Spot

This is another common sign that should be taken seriously. Specific injuries cause pain in certain areas rather than every part of the knee. For instance, meniscus tears are characterized by pain along the joint line. In addition, people with lateral meniscus tear feel pain on the outside, while those with medial meniscus tear feel it along the inside of the knee.

Localized pain is also a symptom of stress fractures. It occurs on the bone around the area where the injury occurred.

Ways To Tell If You Have A Psoas Muscle Imbalance

When you have a tight psoas muscle, you may experience pain in your lower back or in your hips, especially when lifting your legs. This is caused by the muscle compressing the discs in the lumbar region of your back.

Stretching your muscles and releasing the tension on the psoas is the best way to prevent this from happening. It takes time and daily attention to keep your psoas muscles relaxed, stretched, and strong.

And, while most people with psoas issues have tight psoas muscles, there are some people whose psoas muscles can be overstretched. In this case, if you stretch your psoas and it is already overstretched, you will cause more problems.

Your body will tell you what your psoas ultimately needs. Here are 7 ways to tell if you have a psoas muscle imbalance:

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Knee Ligament Sprains Or Tears

These are common among athletes. There are two types of ligaments: collateral and cruciate. You have four main ligaments in your knee: the lateral collateral ligament, medial collateral ligament , posterior cruciate ligament, and anterior cruciate ligament .

Ligaments help keep the bones in your knee stable, but they are prone to injuries, particularly through contact or from changing direction suddenly when youâre running. Sports fans know that ACL and MCL injuries can sideline an athlete for months.

But for most people who donât make their living running full speed or getting hit, it usually takes several weeks to recover.

It can take roughly 8 weeks to recover from surgery to repair a ligament tear. But if you need a major reconstruction of a torn ligament, it can take 6 months or so to get you back to full strength, Bush-Joseph says.

What Are The Causes Of Knee Pain In Teenagers

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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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Orthopedic Doctors In North Dakota

At The Bone & Joint Center Orthopaedic Center of Excellence, our orthopedic surgeons can quickly evaluate your hip pain and determine the root cause. We know the best and most effective treatments, and we will always aim for the least-invasive procedures to provide relief from your pain.

We also have an experienced team of physical therapists and occupational therapists who can help you learn some excellent exercises for strengthening your hip, movements to avoid in order to prevent overstressing the hip, and other tips that will help you keep your hip and other joints in peak condition.

If you have hip pain from arthritis or any other condition, seek treatment today. Call us at 424-2663 to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, or you can visit our appointment request page now. We look forward to helping you find relief from your hip pain so you can maintain the active lifestyle you enjoy.

Signs And Symptoms Of Knee Problems

Knee pain can affect your daily life. At times, your knees may feel pain because youve only overused the joints. These are signs and symptoms of knee problems that may need your attention:

  • Mild stiffness
  • Temporary weakness
  • Inability to fully straighten

These issues might worsen or not get better by themselves through home treatment such as rest, icing and exercise. If that happens, see a doctor. If you cant put any weight on your knee or you have extreme knee swelling , go to the emergency room.

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You Notice An Obvious Deformity

If you notice your knee jutting outward in a way it never has before, take note. A dislocated or fractured patella can cause injuries like this, explains Brian Schwabe, C.S.C.S., board-certified sports physical therapist based in Los Angeles.

While some deformities occur over time, when the deformity is a result of an injury, it could be the result of a fracture or chronic wear on the knee joint. If you are already experiencing any kind of misalignment in your lower extremities, then you could be more prone to this type of injury.

If you notice a bone deformity after an injury, he recommends seeking the assistance of an orthopedic doctor immediately. The doctor will likely take x-rays as well as perform a visual diagnosis to determine if you need surgery.

Why Does The Knee Become Worn

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A worn knee is a chronic joint disease that is generally caused by the condition of osteoarthritis. There are multiple factors that can cause degeneration of the knee. These are some of the most common:

  • Overexertion during movements
  • Excessive impact from physical activity
  • Genetic factors
  • Obesity problems

A worn knee occurs when there is a cellular alteration of the chondrocytes and subchondral bone within the joint cartilage. This disorder results in loss of elasticity, strength, resistance and pressure on the cartilage, so it gradually deteriorates. Furthermore, ageing and the passage of time produces degenerative changes in the bone and contributes towards the onset of arthritis. However, wear can be accelerated because of an injury such as a fracture, torn meniscus or any previous anomaly in the joint.

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You Felt Or Heard A Pop

Sometimes, a popping sound after a movement can indicate something is out of place.

Oftentimes this type of sound upon injury is indicative of a ligamentous injury, says Schwabe. Not all ligamentous injuries are full tears, though, and not all require surgery.

However, if you also experience excessive swelling and instability, get it checked out by an M.D. If you only have a mild sprain then you will be able to rehab it with physical therapy, he says.

The pop is what you hear as a result of a ligament tear, a meniscus tear, strained tendons, or a dislocated kneecap. Usually what happens is youll simultaneously hear and feel the pop.

If youre not familiar with the meniscus, its the cartilage in the knee that functions as a shock absorber. Each knee has two menisci, and theyre shaped like horseshoes. The medial meniscus is on the inside of the knee, and the lateral meniscus is on the outside.

The popping sensation can be difficult to explain, but youll certainly know it when it happens to you. Though the sound originates in the knee, youll hear it as though it was directly in your ear. Its as if the sensation travels up your body, and when it gets to your brain, it becomes audible.

If the pain is severe, youll want to visit a doctor as soon as possible. Surgery is often the recommended course of action, but physical therapy and other non-invasive remedies may be prescribed as alternatives.

Revision Total Knee Replacement

According to what I have read, total knee replacement is one of the most successful procedures in all of medicine. In most cases it allow patients to live an active pain free life.

A knee replacement can fail for several reasons. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, stiffness, and lack of stability.

If your knee replacement fails or wears out your doctor may recommend that you have a second surgery called revision total knee replacement. In this procedure, your doctor will remove some or all of the parts from the original implants and replace them with new parts.

Just like your first surgery, the goal of revision surgery is to relieve pain and improve the function of your knee.

Revision surgery is longer and a more complex procedure.Most patients who have revision surgery experience good long-term outcomes.

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Front Or Side Location Is The Main Obvious Difference Between It Band And Patellofemoral Pain

The easiest way to tell the difference between the two conditions is simply by the location of the symptoms. PFPS affects the kneecap and surrounding area, whereas ITBS definitely affects primarily the side of the knee .

The location of PFPS is less predictable,4 but it usually still has an anterior epicentre. ITBS does not spread much beyond its hot spot on the side of the knee.5

ITBS has a specific definition: it refers only to strong pain on the side of the knee, at or just above the lateral epicondyle. Pain in the hip or thigh is something else. For more detail about this common point of confusion, see IT Band Pain is Knee Pain, Not Hip Pain

Ow! Damn! The side of my knee hurts!

every single IT band syndrome victim ever

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