How Is A Knee Sprain Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask about your injury and examine you. Tell him or her if you heard a snap or pop when you were injured. Your provider will check the movement and strength of your joint. You may be asked to move the joint. You may also need any of the following:
- An x-ray, CT scan or MRI may show the sprain or other damage. You may be given contrast liquid to help your injury show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.
- Arthroscopy is a procedure to look inside your joint with a scope. The scope is a long tube with a magnifying glass, a camera, and a light on the end.
What Is The Medical Treatment For A Knee Injury
More serious knee injuries require medical care.
Knee immobilization or splinting keeps the knee from moving and decreases the chance of further injury. Immobilizing the knee can help stabilize an injured knee that may not be stable due to torn ligaments. It also keeps the knee from moving to assist in resting the knee.
Chronic knee injuries involving inflammation and bursitis may be treated with anti-inflammatories. Injections of cortisone may be helpful in these situations.
More extensive injuries involving torn ligaments, instability of the knee joint, swelling, decreased range of motion, or fractures will require an orthopedic surgeon consultation. In the initial stages of these more extensive injuries, RICE therapy can still be used. Staying off the leg by using crutches or a wheelchair may be advised.
Surgery may be indicated for tears of the ligaments or extensive meniscal tears. Surgery may also be needed for fractures or dislocations of the knee. Some acute injuries such as those with high-force impact, or multiple parts of the knee damaged, may require emergency surgery.
Most knee surgery can be done by arthroscopy, a procedure in which a camera is used and small punctures are made in the knee to insert instruments. Repairs can be done inside the knee without having the open the knee with a large incision. Most arthroscopic surgeries do not need to be done immediately after an acute injury. Some are delayed to allow for decreased inflammation.
How Is Knee Pain In Teens Treated
Treatments depend on the cause of your teens pain.
Pain from overuse and general knee pain management tips include:
- Apply ice to the knee. Ice, wrapped in a towel, relieves inflammation and swelling. Apply up to 20 minutes at a time.
- Take anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen , naproxen or aspirin, to reduce pain and swelling.
- Rest. Rest allows tissue to heal. Your teen should take some time off from the activity that caused the pain.
- Use compression around your knee if prescribed by your healthcare provider or physical therapist.
- Elevate the knee to reduce swelling. Keep the injured knee elevated above the level of the heart anytime your teen is sitting or icing their knee.
- Follow through with the physical therapy plan. Physical therapy can help relieve pain, reduce swelling, increase strength and flexibility, improve range of motion, increase speed and endurance and improve coordination and balance. Physical therapists teach strengthening and stretching exercises and can suggest braces, insoles or other orthotics as appropriate.
- Lose weight if overweight. Extra weight puts strain on the knee joint.
- Take anti-inflammatories to reduce pain.
- Apply ice to reduce pain and swelling.
- Commit to an exercise program.
- Relieve pain and discomfort through electrotherapy and/or hydrotherapy .
Sindling-Larsen Johansson syndrome:
- Soft tissue treatments, including myofascial release, trigger points, massage.
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Try To Be Active Throughout The Day
The benefit of exercise in knee pain in the evening is twofold:
- An increased level of daily physical activity is associated with better sleep and less insomnia.
- Doing physical activities can help you reduce knee pain and restore function.
Just walking a little more through the day can make a huge difference at night.
You can also try tai-chi, yoga, and water-based disciplines. Theyve shown to help manage knee pain at night.
If you prefer more demanding activities, start and progress gradually. This should help cut down your risk of injury.
Although, its still best to check with your physical therapist first.
What Types Of Doctors Treat Knee Injuries
Often, knee injuries are cared for by primary care providers who have the knowledge and skills to diagnose and treat many of the common knee injuries that occur. Orthopedic surgeons are involved in knee injury care to determine whether surgery might be required. They are also the specialists to perform the surgery. Physical therapists have an important role in the treatment of knee injuries regardless of whether surgery is required.
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What Specialists Treat Knee Injuries
A knee injury may first be examined and treated by a primary care provider , such as a family practitioner, an internist, or a child’s pediatrician. If you go to the emergency room for your knee injury, you will be seen by an emergency medicine specialist.
If the knee injury is severe, you may be referred to an orthopedist or an orthopedic surgeon. If your knee injury is related to sports, you may see a sports medicine specialist.
Other medical professionals who may be involved in treating your injured knee include physical therapists, occupational therapists, or other rehabilitation specialists.
You Sit For Long Periods Of Time
If your knee hurts, you might want to stay off of it. But resting too much makes your muscles weaken and often makes knee pain worse. Find a way to get moving without hurting your knee. Some good exercises for people with knee pain include walking, swimming, and water aerobics.
Exercise strengthens the muscles around your knee and helps support the joint. At Coastal Empire Orthopedics, we can help you find the best exercise to keep you moving, even with knee pain.
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Apply Heat And/or Cold Before Bed
Different temperatures can also help you ease knee pain at night.
Use cold if youre having pain after an injury, as it will help you reduce swelling. To apply it:
- Lie on your back.
- Place an ice pack above the kneecap, wrapping it around the knee to add some compression.
- Remove the ice after 10 minutes.
Heat can help you relax the tissues. This is best for osteoarthritis patients.
To apply it, place the warm towel or heat pad on top of the kneecap. But, unlike using ice, dont add any compression as it could worsen the inflammation.
Why Might I Need A Knee Ligament Repair
The anterior cruciate ligament is located toward the front of theknee. It is the most common ligament to be injured. The ACL is oftenstretched and/or torn during a sudden twisting motion . Skiing, basketball, andfootball are sports that have a higher risk of ACL injuries.
The posterior cruciate ligament is located toward the back of theknee. It is also a common knee ligament to be injured. However, the PCLinjury usually happens with sudden, direct impact, such as in a caraccident or during a football tackle.
The medial collateral ligament is located on the inner side of theknee. It is injured more often than the lateral collateral ligament ,which is on the outer side of the knee. Stretch and tear injuries to thecollateral ligaments are usually caused by a blow to the outer side of theknee, such as when playing hockey or football.
Early medical treatment for knee ligament injury may include:
A knee ligament tear may be treated with the following:
Protective knee brace
Knee ligament repair is a treatment for a complete tear of a knee ligamentthat results in instability in the knee. People with a torn knee ligamentmay be unable to do normal activities that involve twisting or turning atthe knee. The knee may buckle or give-way. If medical treatments are notsatisfactory, ligament repair surgery may be an effective treatment.
There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to recommend a kneeligament repair.
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Follow A Healthy Diet
Chia seeds, walnuts, and foods loaded with omega-3 fatty acids are known to help subside inflammation. Also, the consumption of vegetables and fruits can provide your body with pain-reducing antioxidants.
Eating a diet enriched with such foods also helps you lose weight, consequently reducing the pressure on your knee joints.
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Treat The Underlying Condition
What is the fastest way to relieve knee pain at night, you ask? This is it.
Theres no one-size-fits-all solution here. Treatment options will depend on the root cause of the pain.
For instance, sports injuries, excess/lack of exercise, and osteoarthritis each have a different treatment plan.
Most knee pain at night goes on its own. But, if youve been suffering for 4-6 weeks, the fastest way to get rid of it is by going to a physical therapist.
We can help you by:
- Reducing pain.
- Helping you return to the activities you love.
- Giving you specific recommendations for your daily life.
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Prevention Tips For Knee Injuries
- Warm up joints and muscles by gently going through the motions of your sport or activity and stretching muscles.
- Wear appropriate footwear.
- Avoid sudden jarring motions.
- Try to turn on the balls of your feet when youre changing direction, rather than twisting through your knees.
- Cool down after exercise by performing light, easy and sustained stretches
- Build up an exercise program slowly over time.
What Is Jumper’s Knee
Jumper’s knee also called patellar tendonitis is an overuse injury that occurs when a tendon is overloaded, causing it to thicken. I see this most often in younger patients who complain about pain in the front of the knee.
It can be especially painful when you squat, jump or land. Jumper’s knee typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood.
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What Causes Pain Behind The Knee: Bakers Cyst
Bakers cyst is a well-known knee injury. Bakers cyst is caused by an accumulation of synovial fluid in the knee and is generally concentrated in the bottom of hamstring. Thus, this fluid deposit forms a cyst in the area called Bakers cyst.
This injury usually results due to swollen knees. This swelling produces pain and stiffness behind the knee. It will feel as if you have a small water balloon on the back of your knee. Sometimes it can also result in spread inflammation or bruising. Causes of Bakers cyst include:
- A ruptured cartilage of the meniscus
- a lesion of the cartilage
- rheumatoid arthritis
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Ignoring The Need For Treatment
The occasional ache or pain may be nothing to worry about, but failing to pay attention to strong pain may end up causing you a lot of problems in the future. If knee pain is reducing your ability to take part in the activities your normally do, then it is time to get it looked at. In general, chronic knee pain that is affecting your life is a sign that something is wrong. A serious problem will not correct itself, and left untreated, can result in more pain and irreversible damage.
As we get older, knee joints become more vulnerable too and we do not bounce back from injury as easily. Even a relatively minor injury could develop into something more serious, if ignored. If your knee is very swollen, or you cannot put weight on it, it is probably a good idea to seek professional help, as this could be a sign of tendon or ligament damage.
If you can feel something moving around in your knee, it could be that a piece of bone or cartilage has come loose. An arthroscopy may be required to get it out of there, as it could cause further damage to your cartilage, or wedge itself into a position where the pain is severe and the knee may not lock or unlock successfully.
If your knee has been injured, then accept that it could several months before it improves. Rushing back to action may delay healing and cause further problems.
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How Are Knee Problems Diagnosed
In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, other tests for knee problems may include:
X-ray. This test uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to make images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
Magnetic resonance imaging . This test uses large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to make detailed images of organs and structures within the body can often determine damage or disease in a surrounding ligament or muscle.
Computed tomography scan . This test uses X-rays and computer technology to make horizontal, or axial, images of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.
Arthroscopy. A minimally-invasive diagnostic and treatment procedure used for conditions of a joint. This procedure uses a small, lighted, optic tube , which is inserted into the joint through a small incision in the joint. Images of the inside of the joint are projected onto a screen used to evaluate any degenerative or arthritic changes in the joint to detect bone diseases and tumors to determine the cause of bone pain and inflammation.
Radionuclide bone scan. A nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected into the patient’s bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.
Muscle Pain Behind The Knee: Tendinitis
Have you heard of the muscle biceps femoris? This muscle has two parts the long head, which is attached to the ischium , and the short head, which is attached to the femur. Both allow the knee to flex, but the longer muscle also helps the hip to extend. When knees are semi-flexed, the biceps femoris aids external rotation.
If you are a runner, it is possible that this muscle is damaged. This damage can cause pain and swelling in the area where the tendon inserts into the bone. If you feel pain when you bend your knee or when you have just exercised, you are possibly suffering from this tendinitis.
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Establish A Bedtime Routine
According to the Sleep Foundation, a bedtime routine is a group of activities done in the same order every night before going to bed.
This routine helps our brains recognize that those activities come before sleep. This makes it easy for us to fall asleep and rest.
The activities vary from person to person, but theyre usually relaxing. A warm bath, light stretching, reading, meditating, or journaling are a few good examples.
If you have joint pain, a good routine before bed would include activities that ease pain, such as:
- A warm bath
- 10 minutes of ice therapy on the painful joint to reduce inflammation. Or heat to increase the blood flow and relax the muscles.
- 15-20 minutes of another relaxing activity you enjoy
- Going to bed and waking up roughly at the same time
Try different activities and keep the ones you enjoy the most.
How Can I Prevent Another Knee Sprain
Exercise your legs to keep your muscles strong. Strong leg muscles help protect your knee and prevent strain. The following may also prevent a knee sprain:
- Slowly start your exercise or training program. Slowly increase the time, distance, and intensity of your exercise. Sudden increases in training may cause another knee sprain.
- Wear protective braces and equipment as directed. Braces may prevent your knee from moving the wrong way and causing another sprain. Protective equipment may support your bones and ligaments to prevent injury.
- Warm up and stretch before exercise. Warm up by walking or using an exercise bike before starting your regular exercise. Do gentle stretches after warming up. This helps to loosen your muscles and decrease stress on your knee. Cool down and stretch after you exercise.
- Wear shoes that fit correctly and support your feet. Replace your running or exercise shoes before the padding or shock absorption is worn out. Ask your healthcare provider which exercise shoes are best for you. Ask if you should wear shoe inserts. Shoe inserts can help support your heels and arches or keep your foot lined up correctly in your shoes. Exercise on flat surfaces.
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How To Treat Knee Inflammation
This article was co-authored by Jonathan Frank, MD. Dr. Jonathan Frank is an Orthopedic Surgeon based in Beverly Hills, California, specializing in sports medicine and joint preservation. Dr. Franks practice focuses on minimally invasive, arthroscopic surgery of the knee, shoulder, hip, and elbow. Dr. Frank holds an MD from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. He completed an orthopedic residency at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and a fellowship in Orthopedic Sports Medicine and Hip Preservation at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. He is a staff team physician for the US Ski and Snowboard Team. Dr. Frank is currently a scientific reviewer for top peer-reviewed scientific journals, and his research has been presented at regional, national, and international orthopedic conferences, winning several awards including the prestigious Mark Coventry and William A Grana awards.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 65,708 times.
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