Knee Pain Conditions Treatment by Dr. Vivek Loomba
Knee pain is a common problem, affecting people of all ages. There are many different conditions that can cause knee pain, some of the most common include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and septic arthritis. It may also happen due to an injury, damaged ligament, or torn cartilage.
Causes of Knee Pain
Knee pain can be caused by injuries, arthritis, or other mechanical conditions.
A knee injury can affect mostly ligaments, tendons, and fluid-filled sacs. It mostly causes damage to your bones and cartilage. Some of the most common knee injuries include –
- ACL injury – It is one of the four ligaments that connect your shinbone to the thighbone.
- Fractures – The knee bones can get broken due to falling or an accident.
- Torn meniscus – It is a shock absorber between your shinbone and thighbone. If twisted in an accident it can damage your knee.
- Knee bursitis – it causes inflammation in the bursae. A small sac of fluid outside the knee joint helps in the smooth gliding of tendons and ligaments in the knee area.
- Patellar tendinitis – It causes irritation and inflammation of one or more tendons. The bones extend from the kneecap to the shinbone which helps to run, jump, and walk. Athletes such as runners, skiers, and cyclists are more prone to patellar tendinitis.
Problems that can cause interference in the mechanical functioning of the knee are –
- Loose body – A degeneration of bone or cartilage can cause the knee or cartilage to break off. It causes knee joint movement interference.
- Dislocated kneecap – It happens when the front portion of the knee slips out of place.
- Hip or foot pain – It can affect your knee as the hip or foot pain can affect your usual walking rhythm.
Types of arthritis
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. The most common among them are –
- Osteoarthritis – It is a condition in which cartilage deteriorates in the knee. It is most common in people with older age. Inflammation and injury to the joint can also cause deterioration of tendons and ligaments.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – It is an autoimmune condition that can affect any joints in your body including your knee.
- Gout – It happens when uric acid crystals build up in joints. It affects one joint at a time often the big toe joint.
- Septic arthritis – Septic arthritis usually occurs with a fever, and there’s usually no trauma before the onset of pain. It can also affect your knee causing pain, swelling, and redness.
A number of factors can increase the risk of developing knee pain that includes –
- Overweight – Obesity or an increase in weight can increase stress on the knees especially while carrying out physical activities such as walking, running, or jumping.
- Muscle flexibility – Strong muscles help in the stabilization of joints and flexible muscles provides a full range of motion.
- Sports or occupation – Sports activities require repetitive movement of joints and muscles leading to overuse and joint damage.
- Previous injury – A severe knee injury in the past can cause knee pain again if additional stress is applied during an activity
Knee pain that results from an accident or fall usually lasts for 3 to 5 days. However, if the pain lasts longer and is often triggered due to some physical activity or stress then certain tests are necessary to be performed for effective diagnosis of the medical condition that includes –
- X-ray – It uses electromagnetic rays to capture images of bones, tissues, and organs.
- MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) – It uses large magnets to acquire detailed images of organs and structures in the body that helps in determining the damage in the ligaments or muscles.
- CT or CAT scan – It uses computer technology to scan horizontal or axial images. It shows detailed images of bones, muscles, and organs.
- Radionuclide bone scan – It injects small radioactive material into the bloodstream. The damage or disease in the bone is detected through a scanner. It helps in determining blood flow to the bone and the activity of cells in the bone.
Knee pain is often treated with over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, or prescription medications, such as opioids or steroids. If these methods are not effective in providing relief then your doctor may recommend Treatment options such as physical therapy, braces, or surgery on the basis of your condition.
We hope that this information has been helpful in understanding the causes of your knee pain and that now you are better equipped to manage your condition. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.