If chronic knee pain is an unwelcome visitor that affects your daily life, then learning the causes and treatments can help you achieve less pain. Knee pain can be caused by an acute injury or by underlying health issues, so pinpointing the cause is crucial to finding a solution that works.
Being active is the best way to keep feeling younger – but as the body ages, it becomes more susceptible to injury. We also become more likely to re-injure the same body part.
How do you know whether your knee pain is caused by an acute injury or an underlying condition? Let’s find out.
Anatomy of the Knee
The knee is the largest joint in the body, and it is also one of the most easily injured joints. There are four main components of a knee: bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Three bones are present in the knee: the tibia (shinbone), the femur (thighbone), and the patella (kneecap).
Cartilage is the cushioning between the bones, and this prevents them from rubbing against each other. A large section of cartilage called the meniscus cushions the femur and the tibia.
There are several ligaments that connect the bones in the knee, including the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The muscles are connected to the knee bones by tendons.
All of these specialized tissues must support the body’s weight during walking, jumping, and running. That is why our knees can suffer injuries somewhat easily.
Common Knee Injuries
The knee is particularly susceptible to pain due to the following injuries:
- Torn ligament (e.g., torn ACL)
- Ruptured tendon
- Fractured patella
If the injury is accompanied by a “pop” at the time the knee gives out, or if you have severe pain and cannot bend your knee, medical intervention will be necessary to treat the injury. Other injuries happen over time, such as arthritis pain in the knee.
Treating a Knee Injury
People who have knee pain often simply stay off the injured knee to help it heal. The most common way to self-treat a knee injury is the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
However, many people simply ignore their knee pain and resume a fully active lifestyle without having a doctor examine their knee. If nothing is done to help the knee heal, the injury is more likely to come back and could become much worse.
If the knee is swollen, cannot bear weight, or continues to have severe pain, some type of surgical intervention may be necessary to repair any damage. Arthroscopic surgery is commonly done to repair tears in ligaments or tendons.
The good news is that even full knee replacements can now be done via minimally invasive surgery on an outpatient basis.
Orthopedic Surgeons in Michigan
Any injury to a knee can be debilitating. If a persistent knee injury is plaguing you or you have just injured your knee, visit the board-certified orthopedic physicians at Movement Orthopedics and find out what can be done to get your knee back into shape.
Call us today at (586) 436-3785 or fill out our online appointment request form now. We look forward to helping you live a more pain-free, active lifestyle again.