Knee pain affects people of all ages. It may be the result of an injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage. Certain medical conditions can also cause knee pain. Many types of minor knee pain respond well to self-care measures. Physical therapy and knee braces also can help relieve pain. In some cases, however, your knee may require surgical repair. For the treatment of knee pain, you must visit a reputed orthopedic hospital in Hyderabad.
Symptoms of Knee Pain
The location and severity of knee pain may vary. It depends on the causes of the problem. Signs and symptoms that sometimes accompany knee pain include:-
- Swelling and stiffness
- Redness and warmth to the touch
- Weakness or instability
- Popping or crunching noises
- Inability to fully straighten the knee
Causes of Knee Pain
There are various causes of knee pain. Knee pain can be caused by injuries, mechanical problems, types of arthritis and other problems. A knee injury can affect any of the ligaments, tendons or fluid-filled sacs that surround your knee joint as well as the bones, cartilage and ligaments that form the joint itself.
Some of the More Common Knee Injuries Include:-
ACL injury – An ACL injury is a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) that connects your shinbone to your thighbone. It is particularly common in people who play basketball, soccer or other sports that require sudden changes in direction.
Fractures – The bones of the knee, including the kneecap can be broken during falls or auto accidents. Also, people whose bones have been weakened by osteoporosis can sometimes sustain a knee fracture simply by stepping wrong.
Torn meniscus – The meniscus is the tough, rubbery cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between your shinbone and thighbone. It can be torn if you suddenly twist your knee while bearing weight on it.
Knee bursitis – Some knee injuries cause inflammation in the bursae, the small sacs of fluid that cushion the outside of your knee joint so that tendons and ligaments glide smoothly over the joint.
Patellar tendinitis – Tendinitis causes irritation and inflammation of one or more tendons. This inflammation can happen when there’s an injury to the patellar tendon, which runs from the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone and allows you to kick, run and jump.
Some Mechanical Knee Pain Reasons
Dislocated kneecap – This occurs when the triangular bone that covers the front of your knee (patella) slips out of place, usually to the outside of your knee.
Loose body – Sometimes injury or degeneration of bone or cartilage can cause a piece of bone or cartilage to break off and float in the joint space.
Iliotibial band syndrome – This occurs when the tough band of tissue that extends from the outside of your hip to the outside of your knee becomes so tight that it rubs against the outer portion of your thighbone.
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis exist. The varieties most likely to affect the knee include:-
Osteoarthritis – Sometimes called degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It’s a wear-and-tear condition that occurs when the cartilage in your knee deteriorates with use and age.
Rheumatoid arthritis -The most debilitating form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that can affect almost any joint in your body, including your knees. Although rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease, it tends to vary in severity and may even come and go.
Septic arthritis – Sometimes your knee joint can become infected, leading to swelling, pain and redness. Septic arthritis often occurs with a fever, and there’s usually no trauma before the onset of pain.
Diagnosis of Knee Pain
During the physical exam for knee pain, your doctor is likely to inspect your knee for swelling, pain, tenderness, warmth and visible bruising and check to see how far you can move your lower leg in different directions. Also, push on or pull the joint to evaluate the integrity of the structures in your knee.
In Some Cases, Your Doctor Might Suggest Tests Such As:
X-ray – Your doctor may first recommend having an X-ray, which can help detect bone fractures and degenerative joint disease.
Computerized tomography (CT) scan – CT scans can help diagnose bone problems and subtle fractures. A special kind of CT scan can accurately identify gout even when the joint is not inflamed.
Ultrasound – This technology uses sound waves to produce real-time images of the soft tissue structures within and around your knee. Your doctor may want to move your knee into different positions during the ultrasound to check for specific problems.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – An MRI uses radio waves and a powerful magnet to create 3D images of the inside of your knee. This test is particularly useful in revealing injuries to soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons, cartilage and muscles.
Additionally, if your doctor suspects an infection or inflammation, you are likely to have blood tests and sometimes a procedure called arthrocentesis. This is a procedure in which a small amount of fluid is removed from within your knee joint with a needle and sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Knee Pain Treatment
Treatment for throbbing knee pain will vary, depending upon what exactly is causing your knee pain. For example, your doctor may prescribe medications to help relieve pain and to treat the conditions causing your knee pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
If you have an injury that may require surgery, it’s usually not necessary to have the operation immediately. Depending on your injury, your doctor may be able to examine and repair your joint damage using a fiber-optic camera and long, narrow tools inserted through just a few small incisions around your knee..
Partial knee replacement surgery can usually be performed through small incisions, so you are likely to heal more quickly than you are with surgery to replace your entire knee. In Total knee replacement, your surgeon cuts away damaged bone and cartilage from your thighbone, shinbone and kneecap, and replaces it with an artificial joint made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics and polymers.
Osteotomy involves removing bone from the thighbone or shinbone to better align the knee and relieve arthritis pain. This surgery may help you delay or avoid total knee replacement surgery.
When to See a Doctor?
You need to call your orthopedics if you:-
- Can’t bear weight on your knee or feel
- Have marked knee swelling
- Are unable to fully extend or flex your knee
- Notice an obvious deformity in your leg or knee
- Have a fever, in addition to redness, pain and swelling in your knee
- Have severe knee pain that is associated with an injury
Prevention of Knee Pain
It is not always possible to prevent knee pain. However, the following suggestions may help ward off injuries and joint deterioration.
- Maintain a healthy weight – It is one of the best things you can do for your knees. Every extra pound puts additional strain on your joints, increasing the risk of injuries and osteoarthritis.
- Be smart about exercise – If you have chronic knee pain or recurring injuries, you may need to change the way you exercise. Consider switching to swimming, water aerobics or other low-impact activities at least for a few days a week.
If you are suffering from knee pain, you must book an appointment with the best orthopedic doctor in Hyderabad for diagnosis and treatment.