Knee pain is quite common and can be debilitating. It can limit your routine activities due to impaired knee mobility. It requires prompt management to prevent any permanent disability.
Venice physical medicine & rehabilitation Center comprises a team of experts who specialize in advanced diagnosis and effective treatments for your knee pain.
The knee is the largest joint in your body composed of the:
- Bones (thighbone, shin bone, knee cap)
- Ligaments (cruciate, and collateral)
- Cartilage (articular and meniscal)
The knees act as a hinge joint that facilitates movements, like flexion and extension. They help support your legs during activities like walking, running, jumping, and so on.
Underlying elements for knee pain
Knee pain can be a common manifestation of an underlying cause. Any damage to the structures within the knee joint can cause pain.
Some common causes include:
Falls, automobile accidents, and collisions can lead to bone fractures, which cause severe knee pain.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) runs diagonally to the knee joint, which provides stability. ACL injuries are common among athletes involved in contact sports due to overstretching of the ligament. Sudden stops and twisting of your knee can damage the ligament, causing knee pain.
The menisci are fragments of rubbery cartilage present between the thigh bone and the shin bone that acts as a cushion. Forceful pivoting and rotating of the knee cause excruciating knee pain.
Other possible causes include:
- Baker’s cyst
- Iliotibial band syndrome
Clinical presentation of knee pain
Knee pain can be associated with the following clinical manifestations:
- Swelling of the knee
- Warmth and tenderness
- Skin discoloration
- Inability to bend (flex) or straighten (extend) your knee
- Difficulty standing and walking
Diagnostic criteria and guidelines for knee pain
A thorough evaluation is necessary for an accurate determination. The following information is crucial to reach a diagnosis:
- Patient characteristics like obesity
- Patient complaints about mobility restriction
- Medical history to rule out other medical conditions and past injuries or surgeries
- Results of a physical examination to check for signs of knee damage
- Results of imaging tests such as X-rays and MRIs to identify structural damage. There could be additional tests required, like electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS).
Therapeutic approach to knee pain
Treatment options depend on the severity of knee pain.
- Leg elevation
- Ice packs
- Medications like NSAIDs
- Physical therapy
- A splint or knee brace.
- Steroid injections
- Regenerative medicine like PRP therapy
Minimally invasive procedures
Recommended when other treatments fail, especially for severe injuries. These include:
Knee pain is common, but it shouldn’t be ignored. Early detection and treatment is crucial to prevent any permanent disability.