KNEE & KNEE PAIN TREATMENT

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Dr. Bernard P. Kemker, III

Director of Hip & Knee Services

Your knee joint is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments, and fluid. Muscles and tendons help your knee joint move. When any of these structures is hurt or diseased, you have knee problems that can cause pain and difficulty walking. Knee problems are very common, and anyone can have them. Mechanical knee problems are caused by a direct blow or sudden movement that strains the knee, or osteoarthritis in the knee, resulting from wear and tear on the parts. Inflammatory knee problems can result from certain rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus). These diseases cause swelling that can damage the knees permanently. 

Some of the knee conditions our orthopedic doctors treat include:

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CHONDROMALACIA PATELLA

Chondromalacia patella (also called patellofemoral syndrome): Irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap (patella), causing knee pain. This is a common cause of knee pain in young people.

 
 

GOUT

A gout is a painful form of inflammatory arthritis that usually affects the big toe but can develop in any joint, including one or both of the knees. It forms when your body has high levels of uric acid. This acid forms sharp crystals that cause sudden bouts of pain, swelling, and tenderness.

When gout affects the knee, it can make everyday movements, such as walking or standing, painful or uncomfortable. While there’s no cure for gout, there are several treatments that can help to prevent flare-ups and control painful symptoms.

There’s no cure for gout, but a combination of medications and home treatments can help to manage knee pain and reduce the number of flare-ups you have.

  • over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil)

  • prescription-strength NSAIDs, such as celecoxib (Celebrex)

  • corticosteroids, which may be taken orally or injected into your knee joint to help ease pain and inflammation

  • prescription-strength NSAIDs, such as celecoxib (Celebrex)

KNEE ARTHRITIS

Osteoarthritis, commonly known as wear-and-tear arthritis, is a condition in which the natural cushioning between joints cartilage wears away. When this happens, the bones of the joints rub more closely against one another with less of the shock-absorbing benefits of cartilage. The rubbing results in pain, swelling, stiffness, decreased ability to move, and, sometimes, the formation of bone spurs.

The most common cause of osteoarthritis of the knee is age. Almost everyone will eventually develop some degree of osteoarthritis. However, several factors increase the risk of developing significant arthritis at an earlier age.

 

KNEE BURSITIS

Knee bursitis is inflammation of a small fluid-filled sac (bursa) situated near your knee joint. Bursae reduce friction and cushion pressure points between your bones and the tendons, muscles and skin near your joints.

Any of the bursa in your knee can become inflamed, but knee bursitis most commonly occurs over the kneecap or on the inner side of your knee below the joint.

Knee bursitis causes pain and can limit your mobility. Treatment for knee bursitis often includes a combination of self-care practices and doctor-administered treatments to alleviate pain and inflammation.

 

KNEE EFFUSION

Swollen joints happen when there's an increase of fluid in the tissues that surround the joints. Joint swelling is common with different types of arthritis, infections, and injuries. A swollen joint is a symptom of the following health conditions: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.

 
 

KNEE FRACTURE

A patellar fracture is a break in the patella, or kneecap, the small bone that sits at the front of your knee. Because the patella acts as a shield for your knee joint, it is vulnerable to fracture if you fall directly onto your knee or hit it against the dashboard in a vehicle collision. A patellar fracture is a serious injury that can make it difficult or even impossible to straighten your knee or walk.

A fractured patella should always be promptly evaluated by a physician. A simple knee fracture may heal on its own, although a cast may be necessary to keep the pieces from moving around. A more complex fracture, on the other hand, might require surgery to secure the bones back into place and restore stability to the knee. An orthopedic physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating knee injuries can provide a tailored treatment recommendation.

If you’ve recently injured your knee and think you may be dealing with a fracture, you can turn to Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine for prompt diagnosis and treatment. We offer comprehensive on-site imaging services, as well as surgical and nonsurgical treatments. From custom braces and physical therapy to medication management and laparoscopic surgery, we offer the latest therapies for common and complex knee injuries. To have your knee evaluated by one of our orthopedic physicians, contact us today.

 

LIGAMENT TEAR (ACL/PCL/MCL)

ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) strain or tear: The ACL is responsible for a large part of the knee’s stability. An ACL tear often leads to the knee “giving out,” and may require surgical repair.

PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) strain or tear: PCL tears can cause pain, swelling, and knee instability. These injuries are less common than ACL tears, and physical therapy (rather than surgery) is usually the best option.

Conservative treatments — such as rest, ice, and physical therapy — sometimes are all that's needed to recover from a rotator cuff injury. If your injury is severe, you might need surgery.

 

MENISCAL TEAR

A meniscus tear occurs in the rubbery knee cartilage that cushions the shinbone from the thighbone. The meniscus can tear with forceful twisting or rotation of the knee.

Treatment includes rest, ice, pain relievers, and physiotherapy. Less commonly, surgery may be required.

 

PATELLAR SUBLUXATION

Patellar subluxation is a partial dislocation of the kneecap (patella). It's also known as patellar instability or kneecap instability. The kneecap is a small protective bone that attaches near the bottom of your thigh bone (femur).

Nonsurgical treatment is recommended for the majority of people with a first-time patellar subluxation or dislocation. This includes RICE, NSAID medications, Physical therapy, crutches or cane, cast or splint, and specialized footwear to decrease knee cap pressure.

 

PATELLAR TENDONITIS

The patellar tendon helps the muscles extend the knee. This injury is most common in athletes who frequently jump, such as when playing basketball and volleyball. Knee pain, swelling, and stiffness are common symptoms. Treatment usually begins with physiotherapy and pain relief.