Knee Pain - Health Center
By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST
Knee Pain : Overview
Though often associated with people older in age, knee pain has come out to be a disease which today, is affecting people from all age groups. Knee pain can arise from any injury or from the rupturing of the ligament or cartilage of an affected person. However, it could also be arising from any medical condition, such as arthritis, gout or even infections! Knee pains are known to respond very effectively towards the self care measures.
Also, physical therapies and knee braces are known to be some of the best ways to relieve the pain caused by the knee pain. In some of the rare cases, surgery comes out to be the best option to deal with the malady.
Causes for Knee Pain
Knee Pain normally occurs due to the injuries, problems as well as some kinds of arthritis.
However, some of the major reasons for the occurrence of Knee Pain are as follows:
- Injuries: Sometimes, injuries are known to affect the ligaments, tendons as well as the bursae surrounding the knees and the bones. The ligaments and the cartilage are known to form the joints themselves. Some of the most common knee injuries are as follows:
- ACL Injuries: These are the ones which result in the tearing of the anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL). This is one of the ligaments which connect the shinbone to the thighbone of the person. ACL injury is very commonly observed in people who indulge in sports such as basketball, soccer etc.
- Torn Meniscus: Meniscus is formed of a very tough as well as rubbery cartilage which works as a shock absorber between the shinbone as well as the thighbone. It happens to tear off, in case the person is indulged in a twisting motion while bearing a weight on it as well.
- Knee Bursitis: some of the injuries tend to cause inflammation to the bursae, which are the small sacs of fluids that work to cushion the outside surface of the knee joints and therefore hold the tendons and ligaments together, causing them to slide over very smoothly.
- Mechanical problems
- Loose Body: This injury is caused due to the breaking or degeneration of the bone or cartilage of the body. The broken off part floats around and causes a problem when it interferes with the movement of the body. Therefore, it tends to cause knee problems.
- Illiotibial Band Syndrome: In this, the ligament of the affected person tends to extend from the outside of the pelvic bone to the outside of the tibia and therefore rubs against the outward part of the femur.
- Dislocation of the Kneecap: In this, the patella of a person slips out of the place and therefore, goes out to the outside part of the knee. Sometimes, the dislocation can even be viewed by a person with the naked eye.
- Arthritis: There are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis. Some of the major ones which are known to affect knee pain are as follows:
- Osteoarthritis: This is also known as degenerative arthritis and therefore is one of the most common kinds. In this, there is a wear and tear condition which is caused due to the deterioration of the cartilage with age and use.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is an autoimmune condition in which any part of the joints can be affected, including the knees. However, this is a chronic disease and is known to vary in the severity as well as time duration.
- Gout: In this, uric crystals tend to crystallize and build up in the joints. Also, it is known to affect the knees of the people to a great extent.
- Septic Arthritis: In this the knee joint can become infected and therefore swelling, pain and redness are very common. Also, there is no trauma before the real pain starts to onset. Fever is often accompanied with this kind of arthritis.
Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis
The pain and the location of the knee pain can vary from one person to the other.
Some of the major signs and symptoms of the disease are as follows:
- Swelling, inflammation and stiffness
- Redness and warmth in the affected area
- Instability of the joints
- Crunching noises from the joints
- Inability to stretch the knees
- Deformity of the legs or knees
Tests and Diagnosis of Knee Pain
There are different tests and diagnostic measures in order to determine knee pain. During the initial exam, the doctor will be inspecting your knee for signs of swelling, pain and tenderness.
Also, they will be checking the extent to which you are able to move your leg. Some of the later tests are as follows:
- Imaging Test: In this, the X rays are used in order to look for the bone fractures as well as other joint diseases.
- CT Scans: These are done in order to look at the knee from different angles and then to create CS images of these in order to diagnose bone problems.
- Ultrasound: This uses the sound waves in order to recreate the images for the tissue structures of the body around the knee and to look for the specific problems.
- MRI Scans: In this, the MRI radio waves are used to create the 3D Images of the knee. Also, they are very helpful in order to look for the signs of injuries such as that to the ligaments, tendons, cartilages as well as the muscles.
Some lab tests too can be conducted in order to look for the infections. Blood tests and arthrocentesis are done in which a small amount of fluid is removed from the knee joint and is sent to the lab for the analysis.
Treatment and Drugs for Knee Pain
Treatments for Knee Pain can differ from one person to the other, depending on the cause of the problem.
- Medications: They can be prescribed in order to help the patient to relieve the pain which arises from conditions such as gout or arthritis.
- Therapy: This helps the patients in order to strengthen the muscles all around their knees and give them more stability. In this, the main focus is laid on the thigh muscles as on the ones which are on the back of the thighs. Exercises are used in order to help the patients to improve and gain back their balance.
- Injections: These include giving the patient the injections for corticosteroids. This is done in order to reduce the symptoms for arthritis and therefore help the person to get a relief from the pain. Also, sometimes supplemental lubrication is provided to the knees in order to provide the much needed lubrication and relief the pain being suffered from the patient.
- Surgery: This is the option which is recommended to the patients who are not being benefited from the above mentioned treatment options. Anthroscopic surgery is one of the options in which the surgery is done with the help of a fibre optic camera which removes the loose bodies from the knee joint and repairs the damaged cartilage. Partial Knee replacement surgery is another option in which the most damaged area of the knee is replaced with plastic or metal. In case of total knee replacement surgery, the damaged bone and cartilage is removed from the affected person’s body and it can be replaced with the help of an alloyed mixture or a polymer.