What Is Knee Pain
The knee is a joint that permits the leg to bend and straighten. Knee pain is common due to injury, age-related degeneration, inflammation, and infection.
What Are Symptoms of Knee Pain?
Symptoms of knee pain include:
- Sudden, intense pain at the knee
- Inability to bend or fully straighten the knee
- Clicking, crunching, or catching sound in the knee joint when walking
Signs knee pain may be serious include:
- Extreme pain
Knee injuries are relatively common and come in many different varieties. Whether its a tear to a ligament or tendon, damage to a bone or its cartilage, or subluxation of the joint itself, a wide array of structures can be involved. Because of this, an equally high number of treatments exist to address the subsequent symptoms of your knee injury.
From conservative and at-home options to more invasive procedures, each intervention has the potential to improve your condition in the right circumstances. To find out more, read about the details of each treatment in the sections below.
Torn Acl Symptoms And Signs
With an acute injury, the patient often describes that they heard a loud pop and then developed intense pain in the knee. The pain makes walking or weight-bearing very difficult. The knee joint will begin to swell within a few hours because of bleeding within the joint, making it difficult to straighten the knee.
If left untreated, the knee will feel unstable and the patient may complain of recurrent pain and swelling and giving way, especially when walking on uneven ground or climbing up or down steps.
The knee is one of the most commonly injured parts of the body. Sports falls, and motor vehicle accidents account for the vast majority of knee pain and injuries to the knee.
The different types of common knee injuries to the knee are defined by the affected anatomy of the knee and the mechanism by which it’s injured.
Knee sprains are injuries to the ligaments that hold the knee together. Multiple ligaments stabilize the knee and keep it in alignment. The anterior cruciate ligament and the posterior cruciate ligament stabilize the knee in movement from front to back and cross each other in the middle of the knee joint. The medial collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament stabilize the knee so that the bones do not slide from side to side.
Ligament sprains are graded by the amount of stretching or tearing of the ligament fibers and how much instability it causes as follows:
Rest Ice Compression And Elevation
Doctors recommend a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevationcalled the RICE regimenfor one or two weeks after diagnosis.
Resting the affected ligaments, tendons, and muscles, gives the knee time to heal. Your doctor may provide a cane or crutches to help you keep weight off the affected knee for about a week. After the swelling starts to subside, most people can walk while wearing a knee brace.
During the first several days after the injury, your doctor may recommend applying ice to your knee 3 times a day for 15 minutes at a time to reduce swelling. Elevating the knee may also help reduce swelling.
Until the inflammation fully subsides, doctors recommend avoiding the activity that caused the injury, as well as other activities that put stress on the knee. Returning to work or sports too soon greatly increases the risk that a knee injury may heal slowly or worsen or that another injury may occur.
Your doctor determines when your knee has healed based on relief of your symptoms and improved function.
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What Are The Types And Causes Of Knee Injuries
While direct blows to the knee will occur, the knee is more susceptible to twisting or stretching injuries , taking the joint through a greater range of motion than it was meant to tolerate.
If the knee is stressed from a specific direction, then the ligament trying to hold it in place against that force can stretch or tear. These injuries are called sprains. Sprains are graded as a first, second, or third degree based upon how much damage has occurred. Grade-one sprains stretch the ligament but don’t tear the fibers grade-two sprains partially tear the fibers, but the ligament remains intact, and grade-three tears completely disrupt the ligament.
Twisting injuries to the knee put stress on the cartilage or meniscus and can pinch them between the tibial surface and the edges of the femoral condyle, potentially causing tears.
Injuries to the muscles and tendons surrounding the knee are caused by acute hyperflexion or hyperextension of the knee or by overuse. These injuries are called strains. Strains are graded similarly to sprains, with first-degree strains stretching muscle or tendon fibers but not tearing them, second-degree strains partially tearing the muscle-tendon unit, and third-degree strains completely tearing it.
There can be inflammation of the bursas of the knee that can occur because of direct blows or chronic use and abuse.
What Are The Causes Of A Quadriceps Tendon Tear
Tears can be caused by:
- Injuries such as a fall or cut to the knee, or by jumping
- Patella tendinopathy which can weaken the tendon
- Long-term diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes or infection
- Immobilisation the muscles and tendons supporting the knee weaken when they have not been used for a long time
- Previous surgery such as a total knee replacement although this is rare
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When To See A Doctor
If knee pain becomes chronic, is severe, or lasts for more than a week, a person should consult a doctor. It is important to see a doctor if there is a reduced range of motion in the joint or if bending the knee becomes difficult.
In cases of blunt force or trauma, a doctor should be seen immediately after an injury has occurred.
Treatment will vary based on the cause of the knee pain and the specifics of the injury. In cases of strain or overuse injuries, rest and ice will typically allow the knee to heal over time.
Treatment may also involve managing pain and inflammation with medication. In most cases, a person will need to rest for a period of time.
Tears or other trauma-induced injuries may require bracing, popping the knee back into place, or surgery. In the case of surgery, a person will likely not be able to use the knee after the procedure and may need either crutches or a wheelchair while recovering.
In some cases, physical therapy may be needed to help a person regain movement and strength in their knee and leg.
What Is The Medical Treatment For A Knee Injury
More serious knee injuries require medical care.
- Knee immobilization or splinting keeps the knee from moving and decreases the chance of further injury. Immobilizing the knee can help stabilize an injured knee that may not be stable due to torn ligaments. It also keeps the knee from moving to assist in resting the knee.
- Chronic knee injuries involving inflammation and bursitis may be treated with anti-inflammatories. Injections of cortisone may be helpful in these situations.
- More extensive injuries involving torn ligaments, instability of the knee joint, swelling, decreased range of motion, or fractures will require an orthopedic surgeon consultation. In the initial stages of these more extensive injuries,
- RICE therapy can still be used.
- Staying off the leg by using crutches or a wheelchair may be advised.
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Is Exercise Helpful Or Should I Rest My Knee
If you experience knee pain at night, that means you probably experience knee pain with exercises as well. It might feel counterintuitive, but exercising with pain may help actually reduce pain.
Overall, exercise reduces swelling and stiffness in joints which can improve pain. Additionally, strengthening the muscles around the knee helps stabilize and support the knee so there is less inflammation and pain as well. Another bonus is that exercise can help maintain your knee range of motion which can help with positional tolerance at night and during the day.
Keeping up with swelling, pain, range of motion, and strength also plays into being able to walk without a limp and perform activities without impairments. The better we move, the less pressure we have on our knees or other joints and the better we feel overall.
General exercise guidelines are to aim for 30 minutes of activity five days a week. If 30 minutes seems like too much right now, the recommendations also support breaking that 30 minutes into three ten minute segments.
If you experience significant pain when walking or notice pain increase significantly after exercising it may be time to reach out to your primary care physician to see about treatment options.
Buy A Topical Pain Reliever In The Store:
There are a lot of over-the-counter products that will help you ease pain. For example, prescription creams, sprays and patches are effective and available. They can work for the arthritis pain because they contain ingredients, including menthol, capsaicin, salicylates. However, you should ask the doctor if the medicines are right for you and if they have any downside effects.
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Things To Know About Knee Injury
- The knee is one of the most common body parts to be injured.
- Types of common knee injuries include sprains, strains, bursitis, dislocations, fractures, meniscus tears, osteochondritis dissecans, Osgood-Schlatter disease, and overuse injuries.
- Knee injuries are generally caused by twisting or bending force applied to the knee, or a direct blow, such as from sports, falls, or accidents.
- Risk factors for knee injury include overuse, improper training, osteoporosis, and playing high-impact sports that involve sudden changes in direction.
- The main signs and symptoms of knee injury are knee pain and swelling.
- Knee injuries are diagnosed by a history and physical examination. Sometimes an X-ray or MRI may be done.
- Treatment of knee injuries depends on the type and severity of the injury and can involve RICE therapy , physical therapy, immobilization, or surgery.
- The prognosis for a knee injury depends on the type and severity of the injury and the need for physical therapy or surgery.
- Prevention of knee pain and injuries involves proper training, proper equipment, and maintaining a safe playing field or home environment to avoid falls.
Where To Find Massage Therapy And Acupuncture
Massage therapy and Acupuncture are supplementary treatments and incredibly beneficial. But you should pay attention to other symptoms and consult your condition with your healthcare provider. After getting an evaluation from your healthcare practitioner, you can go to massage therapy. Finding a good massage therapy place that offers Acupuncture and customized massage can lift half of your pain. West End Wellness provides all the treatments from registered massage therapists and registered Acupuncturists. For further queries and to discuss your knee pain and knee condition, you are welcome to contact westendwellness.ca.
For any further doubts or questions regarding this subject or another treatment, get in contact with one of our experienced Acupuncturistsor Registered Massage Therapist here at West End Wellness Clinic.
Trying Medical Interventions At Your Doctor’s Office
What Treatment Options Are Available For Knee Injuries
Treatment for knee injuries may include:
- Wearing a brace. Knee injuries may require a brace to stabilize the joint, and crutches to avoid putting weight on your injured leg while it heals.
- Medication. Medication may be needed to treat pain and inflammation. The physician may recommend injecting corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid or platelet-rich plasma directly into your knee joint.Physical therapy. Physical therapy is an effective treatment option for many knee injuries, including ACL and MCL injuries and torn meniscus. A physical therapist will teach you how to perform specific exercises and movements.
- Strength training. Strength training helps to make the muscles around your joint more stable. You may need to change your exercise routine from high-impact or pivoting exercises like running or basketball to low-impact exercise like swimming. Losing weight can also help reduce strain on your knees.
- Surgery. Mild knee injuries will heal with treatment, while more severe injuries may require surgery. If your injury requires surgery, we can schedule your procedure with one of our surgeons or an affiliated surgeon at any one of a number of area hospitals convenient for you. Learn more about the partnership between Go To Ortho and the Oregon Surgical Institute.
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Muscle Tendon Injuries Mcl And Lcl Injuries Acl Injuries And Meniscus Tears
Muscle Tendon Injuries
Almost all of these strains are treated with ice, elevation, and rest. Sometimes compression with an Ace wrap or knee sleeve is recommended, and crutches may be used for a short time to assist with walking. Ibuprofen or naproxen can be used as an anti-inflammatory medication.
The mechanism of injury is either hyperextension, in which the hamstring muscles can be stretched or torn, or hyperflexion, in which the quadriceps muscle is injured. Uncommonly, with a hyperflexion injury, the patellar or quadriceps tendon can be damaged and ruptured. This injury is characterized by the inability to extend or straighten the knee and a defect that can be felt either above or below the patella . Surgery is usually required to repair this injury.
Except for elite athletes, tears of the hamstring muscle are treated conservatively without any operation, allowing time, exercise, and perhaps physical therapy to return the muscle to normal function.
MCL and LCL Injuries
They Will Administer And Recommend The Appropriate Medication
Once your doctor has determined your type of knee injury, they will administer the proper medication to help heal your injury and provide pain relief. Here are a couple of treatments you may get.
Physical therapy plays a critical role in the healing of knee injuries. For starters, it helps strengthen the affected muscles, therefore making them more stable. During therapy, you may be required to perform specific exercises that will help your affected knee to resume back to its normal functioning gradually.
In the instance that you have osteoarthritis, your doctor may also recommend using aknee brace to reduce pain and speed up recovery.
You may also need a couple of injections mainly to reduce pain. Some of the injections your doctor may suggest include:
- Hyaluronic acid: This injection is similar to the fluid that lubricates your knee tendons, ligaments, and joints. It reduces pain and improves your knee’s mobility. Its effectiveness can last up to six months.
- Corticosteroids: This injection also provides pain relief, and it can be effective for months, helping you go through the healing process with ease.
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Common Signs And Symptoms Of A Knee Injury
Now that weve looked at the various types of knee injuries, lets take a closer look at the common signs and symptoms of these and other injuries.
- Inability to straighten your knee completely
- Redness in a particular section of your knee
- A part of the knee feels warm to the touch
- Swelling and stiffness
- A popping sensation in the knee
You may be asking yourself, how do I know if my knee injury is serious? Here are a couple of symptoms that may indicate that your injury is quite severe.
- When you are unable to bear the weight of your knee, or it feels unstable
- When you cant extend or flex your knee fully
- If you are experiencing other body symptoms such as a fever
- If you have intense knee pain that wont subside even after several remedies
- When you notice an obvious deformity in your leg or knee
Why Might I Need A Knee Ligament Repair
The anterior cruciate ligament is located toward the front of theknee. It is the most common ligament to be injured. The ACL is oftenstretched and/or torn during a sudden twisting motion . Skiing, basketball, andfootball are sports that have a higher risk of ACL injuries.
The posterior cruciate ligament is located toward the back of theknee. It is also a common knee ligament to be injured. However, the PCLinjury usually happens with sudden, direct impact, such as in a caraccident or during a football tackle.
The medial collateral ligament is located on the inner side of theknee. It is injured more often than the lateral collateral ligament ,which is on the outer side of the knee. Stretch and tear injuries to thecollateral ligaments are usually caused by a blow to the outer side of theknee, such as when playing hockey or football.
Early medical treatment for knee ligament injury may include:
A knee ligament tear may be treated with the following:
Protective knee brace
Knee ligament repair is a treatment for a complete tear of a knee ligamentthat results in instability in the knee. People with a torn knee ligamentmay be unable to do normal activities that involve twisting or turning atthe knee. The knee may buckle or give-way. If medical treatments are notsatisfactory, ligament repair surgery may be an effective treatment.
There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to recommend a kneeligament repair.
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