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 don’t 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.
Inflammatory Swollen Calf Causes
Causes of a swollen calf due to inflammation may be related to the following.
- Autoimmune: Disorders that cause the body to attack itself can cause conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Infections: Swelling may result when the sections of the lower leg become infected.
This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.
Locking And Giving Way
Symptoms of locking may occur immediately after injury or more commonly, after the initial acute, severe phase of injury has resolved. These symptoms are suggestive of a mechanical block, usually to extension in the knee.
Causes of mechanical block include:
A torn piece of meniscus caught between the femoral and tibial condyles
Chondral or osteochondral fragments
Occasionally, a torn anterior cruciate ligament with tissue blocking extension.
Giving way can be caused by the mechanical block as above, or instability from ligamentous pathology. Sportsmen often describe instability as the inability to trust their knee, especially when turning at pace. One further cause of locking or giving way is a perceived mechanical phenomenon due to patellofemoral pathology, either patellofemoral chondral wear, degeneration or mal-tracking. While this is not a true mechanical locking the patient perceives the sensation of locking, particularly after rising from a seated position after a long period or when squatting.
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What Else Can Help
In most cases of a swollen knee, the whole joint swells up, but there are some knee conditions where the swelling forms a pocket at the back of the knee – find out more in the swelling behind the knee section.
SAFETY ADVICE: Fluid on the knee can indicate a serious problem, and you should always see your doctor with any unexplained or persistent knee swelling.
If you have other symptoms besides a swollen knee such as instability, pain on the stairs or popping/cracking noises, then visit the knee symptoms guide for help working out what is wrong.
Page Last Updated: 12/09/21
When To See A Doctor
Consult a doctor if knee pain does not improve with rest or occurs with other symptoms. Also, see a doctor after a sudden injury, such as from blunt force trauma.
In addition, it is important to receive professional care if there are any indications of an infection, such as a fever or pus coming from a wound.
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Treatments That Have Already Been Instituted
Many patients have undergone physiotherapy, steroid injection or previous arthroscopy. The success of previous therapies guides further management.
If a patient has not undergone physiotherapy this may be the first port of call particularly in anterior knee pain related to patellofemoral joint dysfunction. History of previous surgery, in particular total knee replacement or cruciate ligament reconstruction, associated with new onset of symptoms should warrant a referral to the orthopaedic surgeon.
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My Knee Hurts When I Straighten It And Put Pressure On It
If youre here, youre probably asking: My knee hurts when I straighten it and put pressure on it. Why? Well, we come across this question fairly often and there are at least 9 possible reasons for this.
Some of them are harmless and could resolve on their own with some rest, like patellar tendinitis.
Others need physical therapy and maybe surgery to get better, like a ligament tear.
Whatever the case, this list has you covered with 9 common conditions so you know what to do next.
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What Causes A Swollen Knee
Knee swelling from mild knee osteoarthritis, non-septic knee bursitis, or a minor injury can be treated at home with over-the-counter medication and the R.I.C.E. formula. ReadHow to Care for a Swollen Knee
Swelling in a knee joint may limit knee flexibility and function. For example, a person may find it difficult to fully bend or completely straighten a swollen knee, and the joint may naturally bend 15° to 25° while the leg is at rest.1 The swollen knee may also be painful, red, and/or difficult to put weight on.
Depending on the underlying condition, a swollen knee may be treated at home using the R.I.C.E. formula or may require medical treatment. A doctor can make an accurate diagnosis.
What Causes Arthritis Of The Knee
Experts have identified some genes that might cause arthritis, including arthritis of the knee. They predict that there are more genes not yet discovered. You could have a gene linked to arthritis without knowing it and a virus or injury could trigger arthritis of the knee.
Though the cause is unknown, some risk factors increase the possibility of arthritis of the knee. Risk factors of osteoarthritis, specifically, include:
- Age. Osteoarthritis happens to older adults more often than younger adults and children.
- Bone anomalies. Youre at a higher risk for osteoarthritis if your bones or joints are naturally crooked.
- Gout. Gout, also a type of inflammatory arthritis, might lead to osteoarthritis.
- Injuries. Knee injuries can cause arthritis of the knee.
- Stress. A lot of stress on your knees from jogging, playing sports or working an active job can lead to osteoarthritis of the knee.
- Weight. Extra weight puts more pressure on your knees.
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Warning Signs Of More Serious Knee Problems
In some instances, knee pain can indicate more serious problems. These problems might include, fractures, dislocations, infection, or severe nerve compression .
Fractures of the knee can be caused by a direct hit, fall or accident but sometimes can occur with minimal or no trauma. Spontaneous fractures usually occur in elderly people with osteoporosis or those who may be taking steroid medications that weaken the bone.
A dislocated kneecap can occur when the triangular bone that covers the knee slips out of place, usually to the outside of the knee.
Infections of the knee tend to occur if patients have a weakened immune system from any cause or medical condition. Sometimes infections of the knee can occur if there is an infection elsewhere in the body. People with knee infections usually feel unwell and can have sweats and a fever.
Nerve compression: one type of compression condition is lumbar foraminal stenosis and can cause radiating pain anywhere down into the leg, which includes the knee. Another type of nerve compression is myelopathy, where there is a dangerous compression of the spinal cord in the neck. Myelopathy could cause symptoms that might include weakness or problems with coordination in the arms, hands, legs, or even feet.
Seek urgent and specialist medical advise if you:
Rare Causes Of A Swollen Knee
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The Most Common Conditions Contributing To Knee Pain Are Listed Below:
Too much use of the knee or bending this makes the front of the knee joint pain, and it will be persistent while running, climbing, and sitting for too long. Arthritis it comes with inflammation of the knee joint characterized as different types. The most common in the elderly is osteoarthritis that causes pain, stiffness, and swelling of the knee joint. Bursitis it is a condition in which the fluid-filled sac, called bursae, present around the knee becomes irritated and swollen. It accompanies pain and swelling. Fluid accumulation knee injury often brings fluid accumulation in the knee. Meniscus tearing meniscus is a cartilage lining between the thigh bone and the leg bone. Ligament tearing ligaments are the strands of tissues that connect two bones. We have four ligaments in a knee. Muscle strain/pull the knee is supported with different muscles that help in bending and relaxing the knee. If one muscle fails to do its job, knee pain results. Others knee injuries, knee infection, problems in the hip, gout may result in knee pain.
Types Of Knee Swelling
Knee swelling usually develops in one of four ways:
Let’s have a look at the features of each and then we’ll look at the common causes.
1. Rapid Knee Swelling After An Injury
A swollen knee that develops immediately after an injury, within minutes, is usually due to haemarthrosis, where blood accumulates in the joint. Essentially what happens is that a structure inside the knee gets damaged and starts to bleed. The blood pools inside the capsule building up pressure in the joint.
Knee swelling after an injury is normally profuse and the knee typically balloons very quickly. It will feel tense and very sore and is often accompanied by bruising, although that may take longer to develop. A sudden, swollen knee caused by a haemarthrosis needs urgent medical attention.
2. Delayed Knee Swelling After An Injury
If a swollen knee develops anything from a few hours to a few days after an injury, it is most likely due to an increase in the synovial fluid in the joint a knee effusion.
3. Gradual Knee Swelling Without An Injury
4. Rapid Knee Swelling Without An Injury
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What Are The Complications Of Knee Pain
Frequently, knee pain will disappear without ever finding a specific cause. Depending on the underlying cause of the pain, the condition can progress and lead to more serious injuries or complications. Usually, these complications are long term and result in worsening pain or an increasing difficulty to walk.
When Should You Go To The Doctor
Pain and swelling behind the knee may be caused by a simple reason, or it may be caused by a more complex and serious reason.
|It would be helpful to see a doctor if you have the following symptoms :
The cause of back knee pain will be determined by your doctor and he will start treatment to relieve your symptoms.
You should seek emergency medical attention if you experience the following symptoms along with pain and swelling behind the knee :
- severe pain
- Visible changes in the knee joint
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Why Is The Top Of My Leg Swollen
This causes a decrease in blood flow back to the heart. So blood begins to pool in the legs instead of circulating well, and this can cause swelling. The most common cause of leg swelling in older adults is what we call venous insufficiency. The second most common cause of leg swelling, he said, is a reaction to certain medications.
Can Surgery Be Used To Treat Heart Failure
In heart failure, surgery may sometimes prevent further damage to the heart and improve the hearts function. Procedures used include:
- Coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. The most common surgery for heart failure caused by coronary artery disease is . Although surgery is more risky for people with heart failure, new strategies before, during, and after surgery have reduced the risks and improved outcomes.
- Heart valve surgery. Diseased heart valves can be treated both surgically and non-surgically .
- Implantable left ventricular assist device . The LVAD is known as the bridge to transplantation for patients who havent responded to other treatments and are hospitalized with severe systolic heart failure. This device helps your heart pump blood throughout your body. It allows you to be mobile, sometimes returning home to await a heart transplant. It may also be used as destination therapy for long-term support in patients who are not eligible for transplant.
- Heart transplant. A heart transplant is considered when heart failure is so severe that it doesnt respond to all other therapies, but the persons health is otherwise good.
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How Is Sciatica In The Knee Diagnosed
To make a diagnosis and determine the cause, your doctor will review your medical history and perform a physical exam.
To diagnose sciatica, your doctor will tap on the area around the top of your tibia. This is where the nerve in your knee is located. You probably have a pinched peroneal nerve if you feel shooting pain down your leg.
Diagnosing sciatica also involves getting an X-ray so that the doctor can check for fractures or abnormal masses in your knee.
A knee MRI can confirm the diagnosis and show details of the fractures or other issues in the bones, including masses within the nerves.
The doctor will also test your muscles using electromyography and do a nerve conduction test to determine how fast signals travel along a nerve for a more accurate diagnosis.
Sciatica can be mistaken for the runners knee. Make to get a proper diagnosis from a doctor or therapist.
This medical condition can have several underlying causes, such as cysts and tumors. Injuries in the hip joint may also cause it. Make sure to seek medical care when pain in the knee is reoccurring more than usual.
What Are The Dangers Of Swollen Legs
In either situation, the blood clot can be life threatening. The main danger is the possibility that the blood clot will break free and damage another major organ while traveling through the blood stream. Water retention is one of the most common causes of swollen legs, but it usually causes both legs to swell.
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Page Last Updated: 10/06/21
Causes Of Swollen Knee
If your pain and swelling have come on suddenly, it may be due to an injury from playing sport or after an accident or fall. Common injuries include:
- A fracture
- Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs eg ibuprofen to relieve your pain
Chronic swelling, often with night-time pain, could be due to an underlying disease. These conditions, such as arthritis, are more likely as you age.
If you have arthritis, you will have chronic inflammation but you may also have symptoms of acute inflammation. There are different types of arthritis, which can all cause a swollen knee. These include:
- Gout caused by too much uric acid in your blood
- Infectious arthritis caused by an infection of a joint that leads to swelling
- Juvenile arthritis occurs in people aged up to 16 years
- Osteoarthritis the most common form of arthritis caused by break-down of cartilage in the joints
- Reactive arthritis usually occurs after an infection of your genitals or urinary tract and becomes chronic this is not common
- Rheumatoid arthritis your immune system mistakenly attacks your joints
If your doctor thinks your swollen knee could be caused by arthritis, they will ask you about any other symptoms and your medical history. They may refer you for further investigations, such as blood tests or an X-ray.
Treatments for arthritis vary depending on the type you have. They include:
- Lifestyle changes eg exercise
- Self-help devices eg easy-grip utensils, jar openers and reachers
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