What Are Some Common Knee Problems
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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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 .
Is The Sound That My Knee Makes Bad
As we reviewed in a popular post about the sounds that our knees make, we discussed that the majority of these sounds are not mechanical or dangerous! That means that you are probably not bone on bone or grinding away the insides of your knee when you bend it. Yes, these sounds can be annoying or even embarrassing, but they are rarely dangerous. The most common cause of this grinding sensation or sound is actually due to inflammation of the tissues inside the knee. You do not need cortisone or lubricating injections to treat these sounds or sensations.
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Will Surgery Treat And Cure Knee Pain
Knee operations range from arthroscopic knee surgery to total knee replacement. Arthroscopic knee surgery is a very common surgical procedure that allows the physician look inside your knee through a few small holes and a fiberoptic camera. The surgeon can repair many of the injuries and remove small pieces of loose bones or cartilage. This is a common outpatient procedure.
Partial knee replacement: The surgeon replaces the damaged portions of the knee with plastic and metal parts. Because only part of the knee joint is replaced, this procedure has a shorter recovery then a total knee replacement.
Total knee replacement: In this procedure, the knee is replaced with an artificial joint.
What Causes Sharp Burning Pain In The Knee
Before you identify the cause of sharp burning pain, you need to identify the pain and the location. What does burning pain in the knee mean?
It means that your pain does not just generally ache. You have a sharp, burning sensation in the front, on the side, or on the back of your knee. You can have it while you’re kneeling, while you’re just standing still, and even when you’re sleeping.
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What Other Symptoms Might Occur With Behind Knee Pain
Behind knee pain often occurs along with other symptoms that vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. These symptoms include swelling or , inflammation and redness, soreness, or . If you are experiencing other symptoms along with your behind knee pain, be sure to tell your health care provider. This additional information can help your doctor make a diagnosis.
Osteonecrosis Of The Knee
Osteonecrosis is a condition in which bone tissue dies due to a lack of adequate blood supply. People typically notice severe pain on the inside of the knee with tenderness and joint swelling as well as pain when bending or straightening the knee. These symptoms may cause a person to limp when walking.
Osteonecrosis in the knee is not common. It is most likely to occur after an injury, but it can also develop gradually in absence of a trauma. Older women who have osteoporosis are at the greatest risk for osteonecrosis.
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What Can You Do For Pain In Hips And Knees
The first recommendation I make, if the pain is not chronic, is to exercise correctly. The saying No Pain, No Gain, does not hold true when it comes to hip and knee pain. Especially if the pain comes from arthritis. Switching to a low-impact exercise, like a stationary bike, stair stepper, rowing machine, or yoga are great options. Swimming is an excellent exercise that doesnt place weight on your hips and knees.
Sometimes the answer can be as simple as an orthotic insert in your shoe to help distribute weight away from your arthritic joint. Other non-intrusive solutions include oral anti-inflammatories, such as Tylenol or Motrin. Braces can also be helpful. In many cases, pain can also be controlled through corticosteroid or lubricant injections. Physical therapy can greatly improve the range of motion and strengthen the muscles around the joint to take pressure off of the joint.
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When Should You Go To The Doctor
Knee injuries are prevalent, and you do not need to see a doctor immediately after an accident. Try not to bend your leg, don’t put pressure on it, and use an ice pack to reduce swelling. Rest for three days and do the following:
- Cover area with an elastic compression bandage
- Try walking with crutches for three days
- Ice the affected area three or four times a day for twenty minutes
- Do not bend your legs while sitting, and do not climb stairs
- Keep your knee slightly higher than your body when you sleep
- Take anti-inflammatory medications, such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen
However, if your pain does not decrease after three days and you have one or more of the following conditions, see your doctor.
- Severe pain and numbness in the legs even when there is no weight on it
- Swelling, redness, and deformity of the affected area
- Fever and bluish discoloration in your calf
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How To Treat It
Treating this knee pain is all about pain management and what you can do to reduce the stress on those joints. Losing weight is a helpful start. Besides being a key to overall good health, cutting excess pounds lessens the everyday stress on those knee joints and ligaments.
But there are plenty of other ways, too.
A lot of joint stress is caused by high-impact exercising, especially running on pavement. But there are ways to exercise that can keep you healthy and keep that load off your knee joints. Low-impact exercises like swimming, bicycling and elliptical are good because they exercise the knee joints but dont pound them, says Dr. Stearns.
Knee braces can also be a tool, he adds. There are special braces that work to keep pressure off of certain parts of the knee unloader braces that can sometimes help alleviate arthritis pain.
If youre considering over-the-counter painkillers to help ease the hurt, Dr. Stearns says its best to take naproxen or ibuprofen because they have anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease the swelling thats causing your knee pain.
Acetaminophen medications, like Tylenol, dont work as well because they mask the pain but do nothing about the source of the pain, he says.
He also recommends taking the dose after dinner as that allows you to have the maximum dose before you head to bed.
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Pain on the outside of your knee can be debilitating and tough to treat. This pain is known as lateral knee pain, or in other words, any pain you might feel outside or around your actual knee joint.
Figuring out the cause of your lateral knee pain is a great place to start toward a treatment plan that works. So, what causes lateral knee pain? Lets dive into it.
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Causes And Risk Factors
Several different risk factors can make you more likely to develop chondromalacia patella in your knee. Individuals who are overweight are at greater risk due to the increased amount of stress placed on the joint. Females and people with a previous injurysuch as a fracture or dislocationto their knee cap are also more susceptible.
Often informally called runners knee,” chondromalacia patella is also more frequently seen in individuals who participate in endurance sports like running or biking. In this situation, muscular imbalances that cause the knee cap to track improperly in the femoral groove may lead to repetitive rubbing and irritation.
Proximal Tibiofibular Joint Dislocation
Proximal tibiofibular joint dislocation is one of the most unusual causes of lateral knee pain. It affects the joint between the top of the shin bone and the fibula, the small, thin bone that runs down the outer side of the shin, just below the knee joint on the outer side.
It takes a large force to dislocate the joint, such as a car accident, but it can also partially dislocate usually due to a fall when the foot is plantar-flexed , which often also damages the tibiofibular ligament.
Symptoms usually include outer knee pain, instability especially during deep squats, and sometimes an obvious deformity at the side of the knee. There may also be associated with damage to the peroneal nerve leading to pins and needles or numbness around the outer knee.
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All You Need To Know About Inner Knee Pain
Inner knee pain is accompanied by various symptoms that distinguish it from other knee pains. You will find all of these and even ways to prevent and treat medial knee pain in this article.
Any pain in different parts of your body disrupts your daily activities. Inner knee pain is a common problem that affects approximately 19% of the population. The knee is one of the most complex and important joints in your body, so being prone to injuries is normal. When it comes to inner knee pain or medial knee pain, it means pain in the inner knee area closest to your opposite knee. Many reasons can trigger this problem at any age, regardless of gender. This pain is accompanied by various symptoms that distinguish it from other knee pains. Do you want to know what these symptoms are and what causes them? You will find all of these and even ways to prevent and treat medial knee pain in this article.
Causes Of Medial Knee Pain
Various factors cause Medial knee pain that varies from person to person. But sports injuries, falls, and sudden increase in knee activity are common causes of pain. In children, the causes of medial knee pain may be different from those in adults. For example, patellar tendonitis, patellar subluxation, and Osgood-Schlatter disease are the most common causes of this pain in children. Besides, the leading causes of medial inside knee pain are related to anatomical damage to the inside of the knee, some of which are described below.
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What Is The Treatment For Knee Pain
Treatments for knee pain are as varied as the conditions that can cause the pain.
Medications might be prescribed to treat an underlying medical condition or for pain relief.
If you are taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medications regularly for your knee pain, you should see your doctor to be evaluated.
Sometimes physical therapy sessions to strengthen the muscles around the knee will make it more stable and help guarantee the best mechanical movements. Working with a physical therapist can help avoid injuries or further worsening of an injury.
Injecting medications directly into your knee might help in certain situations. The two most common injections are corticosteroids and lubricants. Corticosteroid injections can help arthritis and other inflammations of the knee. They usually need to be repeated every few months. Lubricants that are similar to the fluid already in your knee joint can help with movement and pain.
What Medical Conditions Cause Knee Pain
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that can affect any joint in the body. It can cause severe pain and disability, as well as swelling.
Gout is a form of arthritis that is most commonly found in the big toe, though it can also affect the knee. Gout tends to flare up and is extremely painful during the acute episodes. When there is no flare-up, the knee can be pain free.
With , the knee joint can become infected this leads to pain, swelling, and fever. This condition requires antibiotics and drainage treatments as soon as possible.
Chronic use/overuse conditions
Patellar tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendons connecting the kneecap to the shinbone . Patellar tendinitis is a chronic condition often found in individuals repeating the same motion during exercise .
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is caused by degeneration or stress under the kneecap where it meets the thighbone . Patellofemoral pain syndrome occurs in runners and cyclists.
Osteoarthritis: a wearing down of cartilage of the joint due to use and age
Prepatellar bursitis: Inflammation to the bursa in front of the kneecap may cause anterior knee pain.
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What Painkiller Is Best For Knee Pain
Seeking interventional orthopedics treatments to address the source of your knee pain and injury should be the specific goal. If a painkiller is needed in the meantime, ditch the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain and swelling and all of their dangerous side effects and opt for supplements that have been shown to be effective for knee pain and swelling in the joint, including curcumin,glucosamine, and chondroitin .
What about steroid injections for knee pain and swelling? Just dont do it! There is a long list of toxic side effects associated with these drugs, including spinal fracture risk, vaginal bleeding, adrenal problems, joint cartilage loss , diminishing relief with each injection, and so much more .
The upshot? You can likely diagnose your own cause of side of knee pain. Just realize that almost everything Ive discussed above doesnt require a big surgery to fix. Instead, highly precise injections of our own platelets or stem cells can usually heal these problems with minimal downtime.
However, be cautious out there as youll find lots of clinics that know very little about treating these issues and that want to charge big bucks to inject magic amniotic or umbilical cord stem cells in this area and then often IV. This is not legit treatment as these are dead tissues being hawked as live stem cells. So buyer beware!
Ann Intern MedChris Centeno, MD
Diagnosing Inside Knee Pain
In order to treat pain on the inside of knee, it is very important to get an accurate diagnosis from your physician. If you had trauma or other injury to the knee, it is important to let your doctor know. Your age and activities may also play a factor in helping determine the cause of inside knee pain, so be sure to let your doctor know about your occupation or hobbies that may be affecting your knee.
Your physician will likely have an imaging test such as an MRI or X-ray to be able to see the structures in the knee and determine if there has been damage to the cartilage or ligaments which may be causing pain inside the knee. He or she can then determine if the MCL or meniscus has been stretched or torn.
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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.
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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