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Common Knee Pain Conditions

Feb 17, 2023
Revitalize your knees with regenerative solutions. We lead the way in knee pain relief, restoring mobility, and improving quality of life.

Why is knee pain so problematic?

Knee pain can be debilitating because the knee joint is a weight-bearing joint and is essential for many daily activities such as standing, walking, running, and climbing stairs. Knee pain can significantly impact a person's mobility, which can lead to a decrease in physical activity and overall quality of life.

Knee pain can be caused by various conditions, including injuries, inflammation, arthritis, and mechanical problems. An injury to the knee, such as a ligament tear, meniscus tear, or fracture, can cause severe pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the knee. Inflammation of the knee, such as in conditions like tendinitis, bursitis, or arthritis, can cause chronic pain and stiffness. Mechanical problems, such as misalignment or degeneration of the knee joint, can also cause knee pain.

It is essential to treat knee pain promptly to prevent further damage to the knee joint and to improve the overall quality of life. Left untreated, knee pain can lead to chronic pain, joint degeneration, and mobility issues. In some cases, it may even require surgery, such as in cases of severe osteoarthritis or a torn ligament that does not heal properly.

Treatment for knee pain will depend on the underlying cause of the pain. Some common treatment options include rest, ice, compression, elevation, physical therapy, medications (such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs), and in some cases, surgical intervention. However, there are many new and exciting minimally invasive techniques in regenerative medicine that can help with many knee conditions if treated early.  In addition to these treatments, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding activities that exacerbate knee pain can also help prevent future knee injuries.

In summary, knee pain can be debilitating and can significantly impact a person's quality of life. Prompt treatment is essential to prevent further damage to the knee joint, improve mobility, and prevent long-term complications.

Common knee conditions

Ligament sprain/tear or laxity:

These conditions usually occur due to an abrupt change of direction or direct blow to the knee, which can cause injuries such as ACL, PCL, LCL, MCL tears, or laxity. If not corrected, the resulting instability of the joint leads to meniscus and patella cartilage damage with time. Symptoms include swelling, tingling, pain, clicking/popping, frequent dislocation, and hyperextension of the knee with an increased range of motion.

Meniscus injury:

This condition is caused by a forceful twisting motion with the foot planted in place or landing hard on the foot, which can cause the meniscus (cartilage cushioning the femur from the tibia) to tear. Symptoms of meniscus injury include pain while walking on flat ground or hills/stairs or even when changing position while lying down, swelling, a “buckling sensation,” “locking up,” “catching,” or feeling like the knee is about to give out. Meniscus injury could be chronic as well from wearing and tearing of the soft cushion due to weight or cumulative trauma.

Patella cartilage wear and tear:

Depending on how tight the surrounding tendons and ligaments around the knee joint have become, the knee cap might “track” and be pulled in one direction closer to the trochlear groove of the femur and cause friction to the cartilage lining the knee cap. The symptoms frequently reported are “stiffness” or “aching” and pain with hinging up from a sitting position.

Patella dislocation:

The patella could dislocate from falling or changing direction suddenly, leading to the knee cap slipping out of the trochlear groove usually in the horizontal direction. The degree of dislocation is contingent on the severity of the medial restraining structures tearing. Symptoms could involve swelling, tenderness around the border of the knee cap, clicking, and pain with going downstairs/downhill, similar to osteoarthritis.

Osteochondral defect of the patella:

Patella cartilage wearing off, if severe enough, may result in an osteochondral defect, which signifies the wearing off of the knee-cap cartilage and parts of the bone as well. This disorder produces the same effects as patella dislocation but is more severe, including swelling, tenderness around the border of the knee cap, clicking, pain with going downstairs/downhill, and pain with hinging up to standing from a sitting position.

Popliteal cysts:

These are usually caused by an overflow of effusion within the knee that shifts to the back of the knee. These could be caused by any structural damage within the knee such as cartilage injury or ligament injury. Patients usually report pain in the back of the knee and limitation in flexing/bending the knee

We are here to help!

Knee conditions can cause significant pain and disability, and proper treatment is necessary to prevent further damage and improve mobility. As leaders in the space of solutions for knee pain, it is important to understand the unique symptoms of each condition and provide personalized treatment options for each patient. Diagnosing these conditions in person through a combination of diagnostic imaging, fluid aspiration, and a physical examination is usually the best means of determining the appropriate course of treatment.