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.
What You Need To Know
- The most common causes of knee pain are related to aging, injury or repeated stress on the knee.
- Common knee problems include sprained or strained ligaments, cartilage tears, tendonitis and arthritis.
- Diagnosing a knee injury or problem includes a medical examination and usually the use of a diagnostic procedure such as an x-ray, MRI, CT scan or arthroscopy.
- Both non-operative and surgical treatment options are available to treat knee pain and problems depending on the type and severity of the condition.
Why Do My Knees Hurt After Running
Why do you run? Because it feels good. Because it relieves stress. Because it enables you to eat cake. I get that, because running is also important to me. Im a 32-time marathoner who knows how frustrating it is to be injured. Its the reason I became a sports doctor. Ripping my anterior cruciate ligament playing football when I was in medical school was devastating, but it was the single most important event to influence my work. Its what drives me to help my patients. Almost every day I treat runners with achy knees. Many are freaked out: can I still run? Will I have to switch to swimming? Thankfully, most knee problems wont keep you off the road for long. Heres what you need to know about common knee injuries.
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What Is Hamstring Tendonitis
The hamstring muscle group includes two inner, or medial, muscles. These muscles are known as the semitendinosus and semimembranosus. Theres also an outer, or lateral, muscle the bicep femoris. Tendons, a type of connective tissue, attach these muscles to the pelvis, knee, and shinbones, and allow the knee to flex and the hip to extend.
When hamstring tendons are overused or misused, tiny tears occur, causing inflammation and pain.
Cases of hamstring tendonitis can be lateral or medial depending on the muscles involved. They can also be described as distal, involving the tendons around the:
- back thigh
Tendon inflammation is technically called tendinitis, but popular use of tendonitis has made the terms interchangeable. Tendonitis is often confused with tendinosis, a chronic condition caused by repetitive overuse or injury.
The most common symptoms of hamstring tendonitis include:
- sharp, burning pain
Three Reasons Your Knee Hurts When Straight But Not When Bent
Your knees are complex joints that bear a lot of your body weight and power your legs for a wide range of activities like walking, running and jumping. Its important to take care of your knees so you can live out your normal daily life and enjoy physical activities. However, despite your best efforts, injuries and conditions can affect your knees, which can limit their use.
Some conditions cause pain that only affects your knees when trying to straighten them but not bending them. Common conditions that cause this kind of pain include:
1. Torn meniscus
The meniscus is a small, flat piece of cartilage that rests between the thighbones and shinbones on each side of your knees. There are two menisci in each knee. They exist to absorb shock in the knees and keep the bones from grinding against one another.
A traumatic injury that causes the knee to violently twist can cause a meniscus to tear. A torn meniscus might fold on itself, which can keep you from fully straightening your leg and cause knee pain when you try to do so.
2. Runners knee
Runners knee is the common term for pain around the kneecap. This is a condition in which the tendon that connects your kneecap to your shinbone becomes inflamed from repetitive motions. This can make it painful around the kneecap when you try and fully straighten your leg.
3. Strained muscles
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Chondromalacia: What Makes Knee Pain Worse
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MDMedical Editor:Barbara K. Hecht, PhD
Chondromalacia, technically termed chondromalacia patellae, is the most common cause of chronic knee pain. The condition develops due to softening of the cartilage beneath the knee cap , resulting in small areas of breakdown and pain around the knee. Instead of gliding smoothly over the knee, the knee cap rubs against the thigh bone when the knee moves. The changes can range from mild to complete erosion of the cartilage. This process is sometimes referred to as the patellofemoral syndrome.
Chondromalacia commonly occurs in females. Girls in their teens are at elevated risk because the cartilage of the knee is subjected to excessive and uneven pressure due to the structural changes that accompany rapid growth. Chondromalacia may also occur in adults over age 40 as part of the wear-and-tear process that eventually leads to osteoarthritis of the knee joint. Other factors that may precipitate chondromalacia include trauma, overuse, or abnormal forces on the knee joint. It can develop in skiers, runners, cyclists, and soccer players, especially if someone is knock-kneed or flat-footed.
The pain of chondromalacia occurs in the front or inside of the knee. The pain is generally worse with activities such as running, jumping, using stairs, or kneeling. The pain is also typically worse after prolonged sitting with the knees bent. This pain is called the “theater sign” of chondromalacia.
Why Does My Knee Feel Like It Is Ripping Tight And Hurts When I Bend It
Ripping or tearing pain during knee bending can be a sign of a ligament sprain or meniscus tear. It can also indicate that your kneecap or patella is dislocated.
Tightness and stiffness of the knee are commonly associated with ligament sprain, meniscal tear, or simple muscle tightness.
To understand the cause of your pain, it is important to determine the location of the pain, the task or activity that triggers the pain, and how the injury occurred.
If the injury occurred after an accident or while engaging in sports and you heard a popping sound, it can indicate a ligament and/or meniscal injury. Knee injuries acquired in sports are likely to damage several soft tissue structures. Therefore, it is important to have your knee evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible in this case.
Muscle tightness or stiffness may also occur after an intense exercise, and this is commonly known as muscle soreness. This will only require rest and can resolve on its own in a few days.
When your knee feels stiff after you have not been active for some time such as when getting out of bed in the morning or getting up from a chair, it can be a sign of osteoarthritis.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Pfp Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome causes pain under and around the knee. The pain often gets worse with walking, kneeling, squatting, going up or down stairs, or running. It may also hurt after sitting with a bent knee for a long time, such as in a long car ride or in a movie theater.
Some people with PFP syndrome feel a “popping” or creaking after getting up from sitting or when going up or down stairs.
Can Knee Pain In Teens Be Prevented
Most knee pain that is caused by injury or overuse can be prevented with some attention and work by your teen, including:
- Make sure your teen wears proper shoes for the activity/sport and wears knee pads and leg guards . Replace worn out footwear and gear.
- Engage in muscle strength training exercises. Check with a trainer to make sure proper form and body alignment are being followed. Always do warm up and cool down exercises before and after workouts.
- Keep your muscles flexible by proper stretching exercises or yoga.
- Dont engage in activities that cause or worsen knee pain.
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Types Of Knee Pain When Bending
Pain in the Knee, with Locking in the Joint
Inside the knee joint, there are two C shaped pieces of cartilage called menisci, which keep the surfaces of the upper leg bone and lower leg bones from grinding against each other. Injuries to this cartilage usually result from a trauma, like landing a jump or twisting your knee. You may also notice problems with range of motion, walking, or even a locking sensation in the joint. Resting the knee and managing inflammation will help heal minor tears, while physical therapy can help strengthen and stabilize it.
Pain Behind the Kneecap
Patella-Femoral Syndrome is a term that describes joint pain between the kneecap and upper leg bone. Under the kneecap is a smooth cartilage lining that creates a gliding surface between the bones, and if it softens or wears away it can result in pain and inflammation. According to Neuromuscular Specialist and co-founder of the Performance Institute in New York City, major contributing factors to this knee pain are poor alignment when landing, as well as imbalanced quadricep muscles, which can pull the kneecap side to side. Strengthening the quads and stretches to lengthen hamstrings and calfs will help reduce the risk of injury.
Pain and Tenderness on the outside of the Knee
Pain with a Pop
What Causes Pfp Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is an overuse disorder. These happen when someone does the same movements that stress the knee over and over again.
In PFP syndrome, repeated bending and straightening the knee stresses the kneecap. It’s most common in athletes.
Some people with PFP syndrome have a kneecap that is out of line with the thighbone . The kneecap can get out of line, or wiggle as it moves along the thighbone, because of muscle weakness, trauma, or another problem. If this happens, the kneecap doesn’t glide smoothly over the thighbone when the knee bends and straightens. The kneecap gets injured and this causes the pain of PFP syndrome.
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Why Do My Knees Hurt When I Bend Them Or Go Up And Down Stairs
Many knee pain patients will report that they have trouble with deep bending through the knee, or going up and down stairs due to an increase in anterior knee pain. When you bend the knee under load, such as when you go down or up the stairs, there are a lot of muscles that are working, and putting pressure on the kneecap via their strong tendinous attachments. The patella sits above a groove in the femur when we are standing. When we start to bend the knee, the kneecap glides into this groove. This groove keeps the kneecap stable and in place. Within the groove, there will be building pressure within the patellofemoral space . Under normal circumstances, we will be able to tolerate this increase in joint pressure without any concerns. However, when there is thinning of the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap, as is the case of chondromalacia patella, our tolerance for compression is lessened, and this may provoke feelings of pain. Further, if there is osteoarthritis in the knee, affecting the joint space or shape of the bone, this can slightly change the way the kneecap tracks and alter the forces seen acting on the knee.
What’s The Outlook For Teenagers With Pain In Their Knees
Most knee pain in teenagers can be managed with simple treatments. However, many soft-tissue tears and bone breaks require surgery. Most teenagers recover without long-term problems if they follow the recover plan provided by their healthcare providers. Because there are many causes of knee pain, be sure to ask your healthcare provider for specific information on long-term prognosis for your teen’s knee condition.
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On My First Visit Dr Patel Diagnosed The Problem As Plantar Fasciitis And Began Treatment
I was dealing with nearly unbearable pain in my left foot. I was barely able to get through each day. I was sure my neuropathy was the problem. I went to a local podiatrist who told me the only problem I had was the neuropathy in my feet and I needed to see a neurologist. After conferring with my family doctor he referred me to Dr. Sanjay Patel.
On my first visit, Dr. Patel diagnosed the problem as Plantar Fasciitis and began treatment. After following Dr. Patels advice I no longer have pain in my left foot.
Why Does My Knee Hurt When I Bend It
Finding the cause of your knee pain can be really helpful for ultimately finding the cure for your pain. Here are some potential causes for knee pain, do any of them match what you are feeling?
Possible causes include:
- Patellofemoral syndrome, which causes a dull ache in front of your knee and pain with stairs and squatting.
- Patellar tendonitis, which causes burning and pain in or at the base of your kneecap.
- Iliotibial band syndrome, which can cause burning pain outside of your knee that spreads to your hip or thigh.
- Hamstring tendonitis, which leads to pain behind your knee and thigh.
- Quadriceps tendonitis, which causes pain above or in front of your knee.
- Knee bursitis, which may cause swelling, warmth, and pain over or below the knee.
- Osteoarthritis, which causes diffuse knee pain, swelling, and stiffness especially in the morning. Pain typically improves with movement.
- Injury or trauma to the knee joint or ligaments, which may cause sharp pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the knee.
- Bakers cyst, which might cause tightness and swelling behind your knee
Maybe nothing has stood out yet so heres some more help for narrowing down the cause:
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How Can I Treat My Knee Pain
Treatments at home, such as rest, ice, using bandages or bracing, and elevation can often help. If your doctor gives permission, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications and stretching or strengthening exercises can also often aid in relieving the pain. If your symptoms worsen or do not improve, make sure to seek medical attention.
Are you experiencing knee pain while bending down? At Flexogenix®, our board-certified physicians are dedicated to non-surgical solutions for knee and joint pain. Contact us today for a no-cost consultation and let us give you a personalized plan to relieve your pain and get you back to the active lifestyle that you deserve.
Common Treatments For Knee Pain When Bending And Straightening
Specific treatment will depend upon the specific type of knee injury and its severity. Not all knee injuries are treated the same. Establishing a proper diagnosis is essential so that treatment and rehabilitation are tailored for your specific condition. When appropriate conservative care should be the first line of treatment. Common treatment options include:
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Common Causes Of Extensor Tendinitis
Wearing shoes that do not fit your feet well or are laced too tightly can cause pressure on your feet and lead to this condition. For runners, hill running is often what leads to this problem: the way your feet have to work when going up or down a hill can affect the tendons on top of your toes.
There are a number of other contributing factors you should keep in mind:
- Constant friction. Having your foot rubbing against a tight shoe, either from it being too small or being laced up too tightly, can cause extensor tendinitis.
- Activity choice. Extensor tendinitis tends to affect people who spend long periods on their feet, especially people who walk or run on uneven surfaces or up and down hills.
- Calf tightness. Tightness in the calf muscles places the extensor muscles under greater strain, making tendinitis more likely to develop.
- Abnormal foot arches. People with high foot arches are more likely to have pressure on the top of their foot, and people with flat feet find their extensor tendons under more strain, both of which increase the chance of developing this condition.
- Injury. Injuries such as dropping something heavy on top of your foot can also lead to extensor tendinitis.
How Did You Hurt Your Knee
Traumatic injuriesare noticeable right away and worsen dramatically the next day as pain and inflammation set in. traumatic injuries typically occur playing sports, during slips, falls, and other work-related accidents. The trauma is caused by the injury exceeding the tolerance of knee structures leading to breaks, ruptures or tears.
Knee ligaments, bones, and menisci are the most commonly damaged structures in the knee joint. Injuries to bone and connective tissue result in long term pain and will impede normal knee function for some time after the initial injury. Less serious traumatic injuries may result in only painful, superficial contusions which heal relatively quickly. If you believe you have incurred serious knee trauma you should visit a doctor as soon as possible. If bone or connective tissue within your joint is damaged a surgical assessment could be required.
Overuse injuriestypically cause knee pain that comes and goes and varies in intensity. Sometimes our favorite activities subject our knees to stressful movement patterns repetitively. Think jumping, squatting, kneeling, running, lunging type movements. Moving in this way over and over again can irritate knee structures such as bursae, tendons, and articular cartilage.
Degenerative Joint Disease is the number one cause of long term disability relating to knee pain. Pain often comes on slowly and over time those affected by arthritis will experience constant pain while performing weight-bearing activities.
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