Why You Should Get A Clear Knee Pain Diagnosis
At Wimbledon Clinics, we keep things scientific, which means we give you the right treatment from the start so you dont have to waste your precious time and money.
We do this by giving you a clear diagnosis and an assessment of the severity of the problem, which may include an MRI scan. Only then do we recommend the treatment options to help you get back to your best as soon as possible.
These may include rest, anti-inflammatory tablets and, on occasion, steroid injections.
For more significant injuries, such as those to ligaments, some form of knee support or knee brace may be required but this would normally only be fitted after a clear knee pain diagnosis has been made.
For people with osteoarthritic knees, treatment can include injections of hyaluronic acid or PRP .
These injections can reduce pain and knee swelling with improvements sometimes lasting up to a year.
What Are The Reasons For A Leg To Be Swollen Below The Knee
It can be caused by a problem with the circulatory system, the lymphatic system or the kidneys. Leg swelling isnt always a sign of a heart or circulation problem. You may often experience swelling due to fluid buildup from being overweight, being inactive, after sitting or standing for a long time, or wearing tight stockings.
What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Knee Arthritis
A knee joint affected by arthritis may be swollen and painful. The discomfort can be felt anywhere around the knee and evolves gradually over time. Patients often present to the doctors office with years of pain either on the inside or the outside of the knee, or simply global knee pain that has progressed for years.
Other signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee may include:
- Inflammation in the joint that interferes with bending and straightening the knee
- Discomfort that worsens in the morning, or after resting
- Flare-ups after robust activity
- Locking of the knee as it moves loose fragments of cartilage can cause clicking, snapping, or grinding noises
- A general feeling of weakness or collapsing in the knee
- Many patients observe increased discomfort during damp or rainy weather
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Lateral Tibial Plateau Fracture
The tibial plateau is located at the top of the shin at the knee. A break on the outer or lateral part of the tibial plateau can cause considerable knee pain. A lateral tibial plateau fracture is often the result of a vehicle accident or a bad fall that impacts the outer knee directly.
If the bones are still aligned, surgery may not be required to treat the injury. If not, you may need surgery to place the affected bones in their proper position and secure them with screws or plates.
What Is Knee Bursitis
Knee bursitis is a condition caused by the inflammation and irritation of the fluid-filled bursa sacs near the knee joint. If you experience tenderness, swelling, and joint pains near your knees, you may have underlying knee bursitis, also known as a plumbers knee. To understand knee bursitis and its impact, you must understand the bursitis condition in general.
Bursa is a small, fluid-filled sac located near various joints in your body. It cushions the pressure points between your bones and tendons to reduce the friction caused by movements. While inflammation and irritation can happen on any of the bursa in your knees, the situation is most commonly found near the kneecap or the inside of the knee.
Knee bursitis can also lead to swelling, pain, and limitations in movement. You may experience a sharp pain in your knees when kneeling, hot knees, or the outside of your knees might be swollen. Knee bursitis is an extremely common condition, but most people opt for home remedies instead of consulting the doctor, so the issue can go under diagnosed.
If you notice the signs and symptoms of knee bursitis, we encourage you to consultinterventional pain treatment specialists in New York. Our knee pain doctors always diagnose the root cause of your knee pain to curate personalized, minimally invasive treatment plans that ensure optimal and long-lasting results. Pleaseschedule an appointment to explore your knee pain treatment options in New York.
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Why Rice And Ice Is Not The Answer
You may be recommended to use ice to reduce the swelling. For many athletes, a doctors recommendation of the RICE protocol for healing their sports-related soft tissue issue injury was seen as the gold standard of care. However, this treatment is now under criticism from a surprising source, the doctor who created the RICE treatment guidelines, Gabe Mirkin, MD.
In a recent article on his own website, Dr. Mirkin admits that both ice and rest may delay healing. This insight comes nearly 40 years after Dr. Mirkin authored The Sportsmedicine Book , where he coined the acronym RICE for the 4 elements which became the standard of care in treating soft tissue injuries- Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Coaches, physicians, physical therapists, and the lay public have recommended and followed the RICE guidelines for decades, but as Mirkin states:
- it now appears that both ice and complete rest may delay healing, instead of helping.
How To Care For A Swollen Knee
When does a swollen knee require medical care, and when can it be treated at home? Mild to moderate knee swelling and knee effusionsometimes called water on the kneecan usually be treated at home. Medical attention is recommended if the knee is persistently swollen or accompanied by severe pain or other serious symptoms.
Read on to learn when to contact a doctor, how to treat a swollen knee at home, and how doctors can remove fluid from a knee using a process called aspiration.
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Treatments For Swollen Knee
Your treatment will depend on whats causing your swollen knee and how painful it is. Your doctor will recommend the most appropriate treatment after diagnosing the underlying cause.
In most cases, youll be advised to take painkillers. You can also apply ice and elevate your knee to help reduce the swelling. Sometimes removing some of the fluid in your knee helps reduce the pain and stiffness.
Other treatments include:
When To Contact A Doctor
Below are guidelines to help people decide if their knee swelling requires medical attention. If the person is still unsure whether to seek professional medical treatment, a phone call to a doctor or nurse can help determine whether an office visit is necessary.
A doctor should be contacted if:
- The knee is severely swollen or has a pronounced abnormality
- The knee cannot fully straighten or fully bend
- The knee is severely painful
- The person cannot bear weight on the knee, or feels as if the knee is going to “give out”
- The skin over the knee turns hot or red
- The person has a fever of 100.4° F or higher
- Knee swelling has been present for 3 days or longer
A doctor will examine the patient’s knee and ask the patient several questions. The physical examination and patient interview may provide enough information to make an accurate diagnosis. If more information is needed, the doctor may recommend medical imaging, such as an x-ray, or removing fluid from the knee using an in-office procedure called aspiration.
Seek immediate care if the leg swelling occurs suddenly with no known reason, particularly if it is accompanied by symptoms such as leg pain, chest pain, and/or problems breathing, as these may be signs of a life-threatening blood clot.
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How Is The Cause Of Knee Swelling Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you questions about your pain. These may include:
- What is the exact location of the pain the front of the knee, the back, the inside, the outside, above or below the kneecap?
- Do you feel better or worse at certain times of day?
- Does it hurt more when youre walking up or down stairs?
- How does it hurt? Is it a dull ache or a sharp, stabbing pain?
- Is the knee range of motion decreased?
Along with these questions your doctor will physically examine the knee and afterward suggest the next step in terms of diagnosing the exact problem. You may have a blood test or fluid taken from the knee with a needle for lab examination. Imaging tests may also be used to diagnose your condition.
What Is The Knee Joint
Three bones come together to form your knee joint. They include the:
- Thighbone .
- Shinbone .
- Kneecap .
A smooth substance called cartilage covers the ends of each bone. Its a cushion between the bones that keeps them from rubbing together. The synovial membrane, a type of tissue that surrounds the joint, lubricates the cartilage.
Arthritis of the knee causes pain and swelling in the joint
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Symptoms Of Knee Bursitis:
- Knee hurts and feels warm
- Inner knee bone pain
- Inflammation of the bursa
The specific bursting knee symptoms can vary based on which bursa is affected and the root cause of the inflammation of the bursa. However, generally speaking, the affected parts of the inflamed knees will feel warm, swollen, and tender to the touch. You may even feel pressure while resting or moving. The symptoms may appear rapidly because of a sharp blow, or they may appear gradually because of the continued friction and irritation of the bursa of the knees.
Go To Physical Therapy
This is one of the best ways to heal a knee sprain as fast as possible. A physical therapist will tailor the treatment of your injured knee according to:
- The severity of your injury.
- Your lifestyle, needs, and goals.
- Past knee injuries.
PS: We can help you find a qualified physical therapist. Just give us a call.
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How Is Knee Pain On The Outside Of The Knee Diagnosed
When you see a doctor about lateral knee pain, theyll first ask you to describe the location and type of pain, for example is the pain sharp or aching? Theyll also ask you when the pain started and what activity you were doing when your symptoms began.
Theyll then perform a physical examination that will typically involve extending and flexing your knee, as well as moving it gently from side to side. This may reveal whether theres any swelling, areas of tenderness, or looseness in any of the ligaments.
Imaging tests may also be appropriate, including one or more of the following:
- X-ray to see bones
- Magnetic resonance imaging to get detailed images of ligaments, tendons, muscles, and cartilage
- Computed tomography scan provides a more detailed image of the bone than is possible with a standard X-ray
Based on your symptoms, the physical exam and imaging, a doctor should be able to diagnose the cause and severity of your knee injury and propose a treatment plan.
For minor lateral knee injuries, rest and conservative measures are all that are needed to allow them to heal. However, ligament tears, meniscus tears, and advanced arthritis may require surgery.
Natural Treatments For Knee Swelling
There are several natural treatments that you can do to reduce the symptoms of knee swelling:
1. Eating properly: Following a nutritious diet can help reduce the knee swelling and support the strength and energy your body has lost from the pain. Include vitamin C-rich foods that are filled with antioxidants, such as raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.
2. Rest: The more rest you get, the more time your body has to restore the damaged tissue. If you avoid rest, the recovery time will be delayed.
3. Ice: When your knee begins to swell, apply ice to it immediately. This will help reduce the swelling and your knee will heal quicker.
4. Apple cider vinegar: To reduce the swelling, soak a hand towel in organic apple cider vinegar and place it on the knee.
5. Arnica: This is known to help cure cartilage, connect tissues and bones it can be taken as a tablet or in the form of tincture. Place arnica ointment on swollen knees twice a day to get rid of the redness.
6. Warm bath: It will relieve the pain once the swelling reduces. You can also place a hot water-bag on the knees or hold a moist towel on the knee for 15 to 20 minutes.
7. Massage: This is another great remedy to reduce the swelling. It can help release endorphins and pain-relieving chemicals while helping to maintain blood circulation around the knee.
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Injuries That Could Lead To Knee Swelling
When your knee joint is damaged, it can cause excess joint fluid to build up. The following are common injuries that cause fluid buildup within the knee joint:
- Torn ligament
- Overuse of the knee joint
- Broken bones
Serious knee injuries can cause haemarthrosisblood within a jointwhich can lead to significant swelling, warmth, stiffness, and bruising.
Brief Anatomy Of The Knee
The knee is a vulnerable joint that bears a great deal of stress from everyday activities, such as lifting and kneeling, and from high-impact activities, such as jogging and aerobics.
The knee is formed by the following parts:
Tibia. This is the shin bone or larger bone of the lower leg.
Femur. This is the thighbone or upper leg bone.
Patella. This is the kneecap.
Each bone end is covered with a layer of cartilage that absorbs shock and protects the knee. Basically, the knee is 2 long leg bones held together by muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
There are 2 groups of muscles involved in the knee, including the quadriceps muscles , which straighten the legs, and the hamstring muscles , which bend the leg at the knee.
Tendons are tough cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Ligaments are elastic bands of tissue that connect bone to bone. Some ligaments on the knee provide stability and protection of the joints, while other ligaments limit forward and backward movement of the tibia .
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What Are Common Causes Of Joint Pain
Joint pain can be caused by injury or disease affecting any of the ligaments, bursae , or tendons surrounding the joint. Injury or disease can also affect the ligaments, cartilage, and bones within the joint, leading to a painful joint. Pain is also a feature of joint inflammation and infection and can be a feature of rare tumors of the joint or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Is It Normal To Have Fluid In Your Knee After Surgery
Patients that have a knee replacement surgery can have knee swelling, or a knee effusion as we call it, that lasts for months. After a big knee surgery like a ligament repair or replacement, you may have some of both fluid in the knee joint and swelling in the leg. This often lasts for several weeks.
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What Is Arthritis Of The Knee
Arthritis is a disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in your joints. It can affect the largest and strongest joints in your body. Its common in knees. Arthritis of the knee can be a serious, debilitating disease.
Although there is no cure for knee arthritis, there are steps you can take that might ease your symptoms and potentially slow the progression of your disease.
What Are The Types Of Arthritis Of The Knee
There are around 100 types of arthritis. The most common types that might affect your knees include:
- Osteoarthritis is the most common of the types on this list. Osteoarthritis wears away your cartilage the cushioning between the three bones of your knee joint. Without that protection, your bones rub against each other. This can cause pain, stiffness and limited movement. It can also lead to the development of bone spurs. Osteoarthritis gets worse as time passes.
- Post-traumatic arthritis is a type of osteoarthritis. The cartilage starts thinning after trauma to your knee . Your bones rub together, and that causes the same symptoms as osteoarthritis: pain, stiffness and limited movement. Your knee arthritis symptoms might not start until years after the trauma.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. A healthy immune system causes inflammation when it’s trying to protect you from an infection, injury, toxin or another foreign invader. The inflammatory response is one way your body protects itself. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you have an unhealthy immune system that triggers inflammation in your joints even though theres no foreign invader. The inflammation causes pain, stiffness and swelling of the synovial membrane, which can also wear away your cartilage.
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How Do I Massage My Knee To Reduce Swelling
There are many techniques that can be used to reduce the swelling of the knee. The most common are
- Deep strokes
- Lymphatic drainage
Massage can be used to help kickstart the healing process. It enhances circulation around the affected area.
Effleurage is a great way to begin reducing the swelling of the knees. It involves applying gentle pressure to the area using flattened hands and fingers.
The soft and gentle pressure is used throughout effleurage means that even the most tender areas can be treated.
It gently pushes the excess fluids in the swollen area towards the glands where they can be evacuated to different areas. This includes the armpit, groin, and behind the knee.
Deep strokes can also help to effectively reduce swelling. Like effleurage, it is also performed using flattened hands and fingers.
The pressure is a lot firmer than in the effleurage so that it gets deeper within the muscle fibers. It is used on swelling that has occurred for a long time and is no longer tender to the touch.
Firm pressure is used during deep strokes to allow the therapist to get deeper into the muscles to push and remove the excess fluid and waste products away from the swollen area.
It can create friction between the skin and the fingers, helping to stimulate the blood and lymph flow.
Lymphatic drainage is also very effective to minimise knee swelling. It involves applying pressure to the area in upwards movements in the direction of the glands.