Knee pain is one of the most common orthopedic conditions, affecting millions of Americans every year. But while knee pain may be consistent, the reasons behind it can vary. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of knee pain.
Arthritis causes pain, stiffness, weakness, and swelling in the joints of the body. One of the most affected joints is the knee. Arthritis can take many forms; osteoarthritis occurs over time as the wear and tear of every day life and activities take their toll on our joints; rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints. Your doctor will be able to determine which of the many forms of arthritis may be causing your knee pain, or if it is a similar condition affecting your joints such as fibromyalgia, gout, or even Lyme disease.
The bursae are small sacs filled with fluid that are responsible for cushioning the joints. When the bursae become inflamed, expect pain, stiffness, and swelling at the joint. While bursitis requires medical diagnosis, the treatment is not that complex; usually rest, ice, anti-inflammatories and physical therapy. However, if the bursae become infected, you will require medical treatment. The same is true if your bursitis becomes chronic, then stronger medical intervention is advised.
Working in tandem at the central portion of your knee, your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) work together to ensure your knee maintains full range of motion and stability. ACL tears occur when you attempt to rotate or pivot your but the foot remains secured on the floor. ACL tears also are common when you collide into something or your heel slips forward unintentionally. A torn ACL can be excruciatingly painful and likely will require orthopedic treatment for repair.
The medical term for a dislocated kneecap is “patellar dislocation.” This occurs when your kneecap slides out of position; the result is pain and swelling. For many, dislocated kneecaps are a frequent occurrence and may be little more than an inconvenience. However, left untreated, dislocated kneecaps can result in a permanently damaged knee, so seeking treatment early is highly advised.
The medial and lateral meniscus are the cartilage that provide cushioning within the knee joint. Like the ACL, they are soft and supple, and are extremely vulnerable to injury from misplaced twists and turns. A severely torn meniscus may require surgery of the damaged cartilage.
Patellar Tendon Tear
The patellar tendon is located below the kneecap, attaching it to the shinbone. Patellar tendon tears most usually occur from a fall or repetitive jumping, or from other frequent impact, causing significant pain. Patellar tendon tears can happen quickly, or over time as a repetitive strain injury. Either way, you will require orthopedic attention to repair the injury.
Osteosarcoma is the second most common form of bone cancer in adults and the most common in children and is most commonly found in the knee. Osteosarcoma usually presents as pain or swelling in the knee, and may be accompanied by a tumor or large mass. A weakened bone can also lead to fractures. Your doctor will be able to diagnose osteosarcoma and work with you to provide treatment.
If knee pain is interfering with simple everyday activities or the things you love to do, then it’s time to call Little Rock knee surgeon Dr. William Hefley. Dr. Hefley a renowned orthopedic expert who can restore your mobility through any number of means – from pain management to surgery and physical therapy – so you can reclaim your active lifestyle. Call (800) 336-2412 to schedule an appointment or use our online form today.