Fractures, dislocations, sprains, strains, and tears are the most commonly reported knee injuries. The patella is the most likely knee structure to be broken or dislocated. Tears affect the ligaments that connect bones and muscles and cartilage that cushions joint bones.
When acute knee pain occurs, use RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) to attempt to resolve the issue. Ibuprofen and other over-the-counter medications reduce inflammation and pain. If symptoms do not improve within 24 hours, schedule an appointment with a physician. Redness, tenderness, and extreme warmth that does resolve with RICE are also valid reasons to visit a doctor.
Seek medical attention immediately if there is an extensive swelling, significant pain, or symptoms present with a fever. Injuries that cause an audible popping sound or make it impossible for the limb to bear weight merit a visit to emergency services.
After gathering a thorough medical history, doctors discuss the symptoms patients are experiencing. Then, the doctor visually examines the affected joint. Gentle palpitations of the bones, muscles, and ligaments help medical professionals assess joint stability and pinpoint possible areas of damage. Range of motion exercises may also be used as an evaluation tool.
Imaging technology, like x-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs are essential tools that help physicians confirm a diagnosis or aid in developing a treatment plan. Blood tests maybe prescribed to uncover possible underlying conditions, such as gout or certain arthritic conditions.
Acute knee pain is most commonly caused by overuse and improper load-bearing technique. Impact injuries suffered during sports or accidents are other sources of sudden and intense pain around the knee.
A variety of musculoskeletal conditions can cause chronic knee pain. Arthritis, bursitis, poor posture while standing or walking and issues with the iliotibial (IT) band weaken muscles and cause misaligned bone structures. Malalignment causes friction and irritation which, over time, contributes to an increased inflammatory response and chronic pain.
Doctors use a variety of techniques to resolve knee pain. Prescription pain medications alleviate pain symptoms and allow the patient to rest comfortably while the body heals from injury. For chronic conditions, injections of cortisone, hyaluronic acid, or platelet-rich plasmas (PRP) may be prescribed for longer-term relief.
Physical therapy sessions strengthen the muscles that support the limb to increase physical ability and correct alignment issues. Assistive devices like arch supports, braces, walkers, and canes reduce joint pressure from everyday activities caused by arthritic conditions.
In some cases, surgery is necessary to repair damaged joint structures. Torn cartilage, cysts, and fractures often need surgical intervention to facilitate healing. Doctors may suggest surgery when physical and prescription drug therapies fail to grant relief from chronic issues.
Arthroscopic surgery allows physicians to enter the joint cavity through a small incision to remove loose bodies, remove damaged tissues, and reconstruct ligaments. Using a small camera and microscopic tools, doctors can navigate the joint without the need for a prolonged hospital stay. Meniscus repairs, transplants, ligament repair, and cartilage repair are common arthroscopic procedures.
Meniscus surgery is one of the most common orthopedic surgeries performed. Meniscus tears are very common, although not all meniscus tears need surgery. Some meniscus tears require removing the damaged tissue (meniscectomy), although new technology and surgical allow many meniscus tears being able to be surgically repaired. In some cases, a meniscal transplant can be performed to replace a meniscus that is damaged beyond repair.
ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction is frequently need to fully restore function after an ACL tear. The ACL is crucial to maintain adequate knee stability. The ACL has very limited healing potential, and most ACL tears require “reconstruction,” using a new ligament or tendon to replace the injured ACL. In a small subset of patients, the patient’s own ACL can be repaired. Restoring knee stability with ACL surgery protects the knee from further cartilage and meniscus damage and allows patients to return to unrestricted activities.
Extensive damage may require a partial or total replacement of the knee joint called arthroplasty. The goal of knee replacement surgery is to remove damaged tissues and replace them with synthetic structures. Metal and plastic parts are used to cap boney joints and provide stability during motion. Partial replacements concentrate only on compromised tissues. In a full replacement, all parts of the knee joint are substituted for synthetic structures.
A partial or total knee replacement may be needed when less invasive therapy options are not effective. Severe loss of mobility, chronic and uncontrolled
The use of assistive devices like knee braces and walking canes mitigates knee pain and make it possible to perform many daily activities without the need for surgical intervention. A regular exercise routine increases blood flow to affected areas and encourages the body’s natural healing processes. Using a combination of physical therapy and pain medications or opting for less invasive arthroscopic procedures can delay the need for a knee replacement.
An alternative to knee replacement that is becoming more popular with patients is the cartilage regeneration procedure. This treatment for the knee utilizes your body’s stem cells to regrow lost cartilage by combining a surgical approach with in-office injections.
There are three letters embedded in the mind of all doctors - ACL. Injuries of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee are common, particularly among athletes. Learn more about the ACL, the type of injuries it may sustain, who is most at risk, and more in this comprehensive patient kit.
In this kit, we will provide you with the following resources :
Fact Sheet (includes statistics regarding ACL injuries and patients)
Knee pain is no fun which is why we want to get you back to moving more and hurting less. As leaders in assessing, diagnosing and treating knee injuries, our team of knee experts will provide a treatment plan centered around you. Take the first step towards living without knee pain by scheduling an appointment today.
Stay updated on the latest advancements in diagnosing and treating the knee with the Bone and Joint Clinic of Baton Rouge.
It may be called total knee replacement (TKR) or total knee arthroplasty (TKA), but no matter which name you use, the ultimate goal of knee replacement surgery is the same: Bring relief to those suffering debilitating knee pain. Most often, this pain is the direct result of osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis.Read More
Participation in sports is linked to many health benefits. Of course, athletes reap the benefits of physical fitness, but they are also more likely to make healthier choices, have higher self-esteem, work better in groups and perform higher academically. Still, there is also a certain amount of risk associated with athletics, including injuries such as tears of the ACL.Read More
The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is one of 4 major ligaments within the knee joint. Whereas collateral ligaments are located on the sides of the knee, the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments are found in the middle, behind the kneecap. The specific function of the ACL is to connect the shin & thigh bones, maintaining their proper placement & promoting knee stability. Read more on ACL injury treatment here.Read More
Biologic augmented microdrilling (BAM) is an outpatient procedure that infuses damaged knee cartilage with stem cells derived from bone marrow to promote regeneration and improve symptomatic pain and stiffness. It is an alternative to total knee replacement surgery and is helpful for those whose age or condition may not yet warrant TKR.Read More