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Knee Pain Clinic

Are you frustrated with your knee pain that is not getting better? Are you experiencing Knee discomfort after prolong walking, squatting or running? You are in the right place! We certainly able to help with our innovative and non-invasive (non-surgical) form of treatment. Get your knee check today. Call us at (65) 64712744 or SMS to (65) 92357641 to schedule for an appointment

Knee Pain

Knee pain refers to pain that occurs in and around your knee joint. Knee pain can be caused by problems with the knee joint itself, or it can be caused by conditions affecting the soft tissues, ligaments, tendons, or bursae that surround the knee.

The severity of knee pain can vary widely. Some people may feel only a slight twinge, while others may experience debilitating knee pain that interferes with their day-to-day activities. In most cases, self-care measures can help you cope with knee pain.

The knee consists of two long leg-bones held together by muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Many knee problems are a result of the aging process and continual wear and stress on the knee joint. Other knee problems result from injury or a sudden movement that stiffens the knee.

Some common conditions of Knee Problem include:

  • ARTHRITIS – Knee pain is a common problem in Asia, especially in individuals above the age of 40. The most common cause of knee pain is degenerative osteoarthritis. Women are more prone to the disease. It is characterized by mild to debilitating pain.

  • LIGAMENT INJURIES – Ligament injuries in the knee; such as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are dreaded by professional and amateur athletes alike. They can be painful and debilitating. They can even permanently change your lifestyle.

  • MENISCAL TEAR – The meniscus is a small “c” shaped cartilage that acts as a cushion in the knee joint. They sit between the femur and the tibia bone, one on the outside and one on the inside of the knee.

  • PATELLAR TENDONITIS – Patellar tendinitis is a common overuse injury. It occurs when repeated stress is placed on the patellar tendon. The stress results in tiny tears in the tendon, which the body attempts to repair.

  • CHONDROMALACIA PATELLA – Chondromalacia patella is a common cause of kneecap pain or anterior knee pain. Often called “Runner’s Knee,” this condition often affects young, otherwise healthy athletes.

  • DISLOCATING KNEECAPS – Kneecap dislocation occurs when the triangle-shaped bone covering the knee (patella) moves or slides out of place. The problem usually occurs toward the outside of the leg.

  • BAKER’S CYST – A Baker cyst is swelling caused by fluid from the knee joint protruding to the back of the knee. The back of the knee is also referred to as the popliteal area of the knee

  • BURSITIS – A bursa is a closed fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body.

  • PLICA SYNDROME – Often called “synovial plica syndrome,” this is a condition that is the result of a remnant of fetal tissue in the knee. The synovial plica are membranes that separate the knee into compartments during fetal development.

  • OSGOOD-SCHALLATER DISEASE – Osgood-Schlatter disease is a disorder of the lower front of the knee where the large tendon under the kneecap (patellar tendon) attaches to the bone of the leg below.

  • OSTEOCHONDRITIS DISSECANS – Osteochondritis dissecans is a joint condition in which a piece of cartilage, along with a thin layer of the bone beneath it, comes loose from the end of a bone.

  • GOUT – Gout is a rheumatoid form of arthritis that causes the inflammation, joint pain and swelling especially in the toe, knee and ankle, also reducing their mobility.

  • SHIN SPLINT – Shin splints are a member of a group of injuries called “overuse injuries.” Shin splints occur most commonly in runners or aggressive walkers

When do you need to call us about your knee pain?

If you are unsure of the cause of your symptoms, or if you do not know the specific treatment recommendations for your condition, you should seek medical attention. Treatment of knee pain must be directed at the specific cause of your problem. Some signs that you should be seen by a doctor include:

  • Inability to walk comfortably on the affected side

  • Injury that causes deformity around the joint

  • Knee pain that occurs at night or while resting

  • Knee pain that persists beyond a few days

  • Locking (inability to bend) the knee

  • Swelling of the joint or the calf area

  • Signs of an infection, including fever, redness, warmth

  • Any other unusual symptoms

Treatments for Knee Pain

Treatment of knee pain depends entirely on the cause of the problem. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you understand the cause of your symptoms before embarking on a treatment program. If you are unsure of your diagnosis, or the severity of your condition, you should seek medical advice before beginning any treatment plan.

Read more about patient guide to knee pain

Read more about knee pain while running

Read more about knee pain causing by heavy weight

Read more about 9 tips to avoid knee pain and injuries

Read more about Meniscus Cartilage Tear

Who is Knee Specialist?

Knee specialist is an orthopaedic surgeon specialise in disorders of the knee. They deal with conditions such as knee arthritis, and damage to the knee ligaments. The operations and treatments that knee specialists offer include total and partial knee replacement, arthroscopic knee surgery, and knee ligament reconstruction (including anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction).

CURE YOUR KNEE PAIN TODAY. GET A KNEE SPECIALIST TO RULE OUT THE CAUSES AND CURE OF YOUR KNEE PAIN. CALL US +65 64712744 OR EMAIL INFO@BONECLINIC.COM.SG TO SCHEDULE FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Patient Guide to Knee Pain

Knee pain is a common complaint that affects people of all ages. Knee pain may be the result of an injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage. Medical conditions — including arthritis, gout and infections — also can cause knee pain.

Many types of minor knee pain respond well to self-care measures. Physical therapy and knee braces also can help relieve knee pain. In some cases, however, your knee may require surgical repair.

Symptoms

The location and severity of knee pain may vary, depending on the cause of the problem. Signs and symptoms that sometimes accompany knee pain include:

  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Redness and warmth to the touch
  • Weakness or instability
  • Popping or crunching noises
  • Inability to fully straighten the knee

When to see a doctor
Call your doctor if you:

  • Can’t bear weight on your knee
  • Have marked knee swelling
  • Are unable to fully extend or flex your knee
  • See an obvious deformity in your leg or knee
  • Have a fever, in addition to redness, pain and swelling in your knee
  • Feel as if your knee is unstable or your knee “gives out”

Causes

Knee pain can be caused by injuries, mechanical problems, types of arthritis and other problems.

Injuries
A knee injury can affect any of the ligaments, tendons or fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that surround your knee joint as well as the bones, cartilage and ligaments that form the joint itself. Some of the more common knee injuries include:

  • ACL injury. An ACL injury is the tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) — one of four ligaments that connect your shinbone to your thighbone. An ACL injury is particularly common in people who play basketball, soccer or other sports that require sudden changes in direction.
  • Torn meniscus. The meniscus is formed of tough, rubbery cartilage and acts as a shock absorber between your shinbone and thighbone. It can be torn if you suddenly twist your knee while bearing weight on it.
  • Knee bursitis. Some knee injuries cause inflammation in the bursae, the small sacs of fluid that cushion the outside of your knee joint so that tendons and ligaments glide smoothly over the joint.
  • Patellar tendinitis. Tendinitis is irritation and inflammation of one or more tendons — the thick, fibrous tissues that attach muscles to bones. Runners, skiers, cyclists, and those involved in jumping sports and activities are prone to develop inflammation in the patellar tendon, which connects the quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh to the shinbone.

Mechanical problems
Some examples of mechanical problems that can cause knee pain include:

  • Loose body. Sometimes injury or degeneration of bone or cartilage can cause a piece of bone or cartilage to break off and float in the joint space. This may not create any problems unless the loose body interferes with knee joint movement, in which case the effect is something like a pencil caught in a door hinge.
  • Iliotibial band syndrome. This occurs when the ligament that extends from the outside of your pelvic bone to the outside of your tibia (iliotibial band) becomes so tight that it rubs against the outer portion of your femur. Distance runners are especially susceptible to iliotibial band syndrome.
  • Dislocated kneecap. This occurs when the triangular bone (patella) that covers the front of your knee slips out of place, usually to the outside of your knee. In some cases, the kneecap may stay displaced and you’ll be able to see the dislocation.
  • Hip or foot pain. If you have hip or foot pain, you may change the way you walk to spare these painful joints. But this altered gait can place more stress on your knee joint. In some cases, problems in the hip or foot can refer pain to the knee.

Types of arthritis
More than 100 different types of arthritis exist. The varieties most likely to affect the knee include:

  • Osteoarthritis. Sometimes called degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It’s a wear-and-tear condition that occurs when the cartilage in your knee deteriorates with use and age.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. The most debilitating form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that can affect almost any joint in your body, including your knees. Although rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease, it tends to vary in severity and may even come and go.
  • Gout. This type of arthritis occurs when uric acid crystals build up in the joint. While gout most commonly affects the big toe, it can also occur in the knee.
  • Pseudogout. Often mistaken for gout, pseudogout is caused by calcium-containing crystals that develop in the joint fluid. Knees are the most common joint affected by pseudogout.
  • Septic arthritis. Sometimes your knee joint can become infected, leading to swelling, pain and redness. There’s usually no trauma before the onset of pain. Septic arthritis often occurs with a fever.

Other problems
Chondromalacia patellae (patellofemoral pain syndrome) is a general term that refers to pain arising between your patella and the underlying thighbone (femur). It’s common in athletes; in young adults, especially those who have a slight misalignment of the kneecap; and in older adults, who usually develop the condition as a result of arthritis of the kneecap.

Risk factors

A number of factors can increase your risk of having knee problems, including:

  • Excess weight. Being overweight or obese increases stress on your knee joints, even during ordinary activities such as walking or going up and down stairs. It also puts you at increased risk of osteoarthritis by accelerating the breakdown of joint cartilage.
  • Biomechanical problems. Certain structural abnormalities — such as having one leg shorter than the other, misaligned knees and even flat feet — can make you more prone to knee problems.
  • Lack of muscle flexibility or strength. A lack of strength and flexibility are among the leading causes of knee injuries. Tight or weak muscles offer less support for your knee because they don’t absorb enough of the stress exerted on the joint.
  • Certain sports. Some sports put greater stress on your knees than do others. Alpine skiing with its rigid ski boots and potential for falls, basketball’s jumps and pivots, and the repeated pounding your knees take when you run or jog all increase your risk of knee injury.
  • Previous injury. Having a previous knee injury makes it more likely that you’ll injure your knee again.

Complications

Not all knee pain is serious. But some knee injuries and medical conditions, such as osteoarthritis, can lead to increasing pain, joint damage and disability if left untreated. And having a knee injury — even a minor one — makes it more likely that you’ll have similar injuries in the future.

Preparing for your appointment

You’re likely to start by seeing your family doctor. Depending upon the cause of your problem, he or she may refer you to a doctor specializing in joint diseases (rheumatologist), joint surgery (orthopedic surgeon) or sports medicine.

What you can do
Before your appointment, you may want to write a list of answers to the following questions:

  • When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Did a specific injury make your knee start to hurt?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
  • What medications and supplements do you take regularly?

What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor may ask some of the following questions:

  • Do you exercise or play sports?
  • Do you experience any swelling, instability or locking of the knee?
  • Are you experiencing symptoms in other areas, or just in your knee?
  • Have you ever had knee pain before? If so, do you know what the cause was?

Tests and diagnosis

During the physical exam, your doctor is likely to:

  • Inspect your knee for swelling, pain, tenderness, warmth and visible bruising
  • Check to see how far you can move your lower leg in different directions
  • Push on or pull the joint to evaluate the integrity of the structures in your knee

Imaging tests
In some cases, your doctor might suggest tests such as:

  • X-ray. Your doctor may first recommend having an X-ray, which can help detect bone fractures and degenerative joint disease.
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan. CT scanners combine X-rays taken from many different angles, to create cross-sectional images of the inside of your body. CT scans can help diagnose bone problems and detect loose bodies.
  • Ultrasound. This technology uses sound waves to produce real-time images of the soft tissue structures within and around your knee, and how they are working. Your doctor may want to maneuver your knee into different positions during the ultrasound, to check for specific problems.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging. MRI uses radio waves and a powerful magnet to create 3-D images of the inside of your knee. This test is particularly useful in revealing injuries to soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons, cartilage and muscles.

Lab tests
If your doctor suspects an infection, gout or pseudogout, you’re likely to have blood tests and sometimes arthrocentesis, a procedure in which a small amount of fluid is removed from within your knee joint with a needle and sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Treatments and drugs

Treatments will vary, depending upon what exactly is causing your knee pain.

Medications
Your doctor may prescribe medications to help relieve pain and to treat underlying conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

Therapy
Strengthening the muscles around your knee will make it more stable. Training is likely to focus on the muscles on the front of your thigh (quadriceps) and the muscles in the back of your thigh (hamstrings). Exercises to improve your balance are also important.

Arch supports, sometimes with wedges on one side of the heel, can help to shift pressure away from the side of the knee most affected by osteoarthritis. In certain conditions, different types of braces may be used to help protect and support the knee joint.

Injections
In some cases, your doctor may suggest injecting medications directly into your joint. Examples include:

  • Corticosteroids. Injections of a corticosteroid drug into your knee joint may help reduce the symptoms of an arthritis flare and provide pain relief that lasts a few months. The injections aren’t effective in all cases. There is a small risk of infection.
  • Supplemental lubrication. A thick fluid, similar to the fluid that naturally lubricates joints, can be injected into your knee to improve mobility and ease pain. Relief from one or a series of shots may last as long as six months to a year.

Surgery
If you have an injury that may require surgery, it’s usually not necessary to have the operation immediately. Before making any decision, consider the pros and cons of both nonsurgical rehabilitation and surgical reconstruction in relation to what’s most important to you. If you choose to have surgery, your options may include:

  • Arthroscopic surgery. Depending on your injury, your doctor may be able to examine and repair your joint damage using a fiber-optic camera and long, narrow tools inserted through just a few small incisions around your knee. Arthroscopy may be used to remove loose bodies from your knee joint, remove or repair damaged cartilage, and reconstruct torn ligaments.
  • Partial knee replacement surgery. In this procedure (unicompartmental arthroplasty), your surgeon replaces only the most damaged portion of your knee with parts made of metal and plastic. The surgery can usually be performed with a small incision, and your hospital stay is typically just one night. You’re also likely to heal more quickly than you are with surgery to replace your entire knee.
  • Total knee replacement. In this procedure, your surgeon cuts away damaged bone and cartilage from your thighbone, shinbone and kneecap, and replaces it with an artificial joint made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics and polymers.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Over-the-counter medications — such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve, others) — may help ease knee pain. Some people find relief by rubbing their knees with creams containing a numbing agent, such as lidocaine or capsaicin, the substance that makes chili peppers hot.

Self-care measures for an injured knee include:

  • Rest. Take a break from your normal activities to reduce repetitive strain on your knee, give the injury time to heal and help prevent further damage. A day or two of rest may be all you need for a minor injury. More severe damage is likely to need a longer recovery time.
  • Ice. Ice reduces both pain and inflammation. A bag of frozen peas works well because it covers your whole knee. You can also use an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel to protect your skin. Although ice therapy is generally safe and effective, don’t use ice for longer than 20 minutes at a time because of the risk of damage to your nerves and skin.
  • Compression. This helps prevent fluid buildup in damaged tissues and maintains knee alignment and stability. Look for a compression bandage that’s lightweight, breathable and self-adhesive. It should be tight enough to support your knee without interfering with circulation.
  • Elevation. To help reduce swelling, try propping your injured leg on pillows or sitting in a recliner.

Alternative medicine

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin. Study results have been mixed about the effectiveness of these supplements for relieving osteoarthritis pain. People who have moderate to severe arthritis pain appear to get the most benefit from these supplements.
  • Acupuncture. Research suggests that acupuncture may help relieve knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. Acupuncture involves the placement of hair-thin needles into your skin at specific places on your body.

Prevention

Although it’s not always possible to prevent knee pain, the following suggestions may help forestall injuries and joint deterioration:

  • Keep extra pounds off. Maintain a healthy weight; it’s one of the best things you can do for your knees. Every extra pound puts additional strain on your joints, increasing the risk of injuries and osteoarthritis.
  • Be in shape to play your sport. To prepare your muscles for the demands of sports participation, take time for conditioning. Work with a coach or trainer to ensure that your technique and movement are the best they can be.
  • Get strong, stay limber. Because weak muscles are a leading cause of knee injuries, you’ll benefit from building up your quadriceps and hamstrings, which support your knees. Balance and stability training helps the muscles around your knees work together more effectively. And because tight muscles also can contribute to injury, stretching is important. Try to include flexibility exercises in your workouts.
  • Be smart about exercise. If you have osteoarthritis, chronic knee pain or recurring injuries, you may need to change the way you exercise. Consider switching to swimming, water aerobics or other low-impact activities — at least for a few days a week. Sometimes simply limiting high-impact activities will provide relief.

STOP YOUR KNEE PAIN TODAY. CALL +65 6471 2744 OR SMS TO +65 92357641 FOR APPOINTMENT

Knee Pain in Sports Injury

One of the top sports injuries today is a knee injury. Athletes commonly suffer from knee injuries because their knees are unfortunately not protected and therefore more susceptible to injury. Sadly, for some athletes, knee injuries are not only painful they are also career ending. Therefore, protecting the knees becomes a priority. Those that suffer from knee problems understand the frustration of this and they sympathize with anyone that has knee pain. And athletes are actually not the only ones that suffer from knee related injuries. This type of knee pain affects many individuals. Therefore, read the following information for a guide on the basic knee problems that could affect those around you.

Where It Starts And What It Feels Like

Any pain in or around the knee can be very difficult to deal with. Stabbing pains are hard to ignore when trying to walk or move around, and dull, achy pains can wear a person down quickly. Whether a person is young or old, heavy or thin, an athlete, knee pain can strike. And when it does, it is a pain that no one wants to suffer from. It is aggravating, irritating, and often hard to treat.

Sometimes people get just pains from a ‘catch’ in a muscle or a nerve momentarily misfiring. Most of the time, though, the pain comes from something that is already a problem or could develop into one. That being said, it may not be a serious problem and a little bit of extra care could easily take care of it.

List Of Common Causes And Conditions of Knee Pain

The most common causes of knee pain are listed here, so anyone who’s suffering with this kind of problem can get some insight into what might be causing their discomfort. Hopefully this will aid individuals as they seek to understand why they are suffering from knee trouble. They are definitely not alone in their pain. There are a wide variety of knee problems that affect many.

Cartilage injuries – when a person damages the cartilage in his knee, it can sometimes cause the bones to actually grind together rather than rest on the cartilage cushion that was originally there. Obviously, that can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, and it’s not something that can be easily adjusted or corrected. However, because of sports, exercise, and an active lifestyle, it’s becoming more common today.
Arthritis – because arthritis can strike in any joint, one of the main areas that people often notice it in is the knee. It can cause both pain and stiffness, and it can also keep a person from doing all the activities that he wants to do, simply because it’s just so very uncomfortable. It can also get worse and cause serious debilitation.
A sprain or strain – it’s possible to injure the knee in such a way that it will heal and doesn’t do damage to the cartilage. In other words, there isn’t any permanent damage done but the pain and discomfort from it is very real. It can also take a long time to heal up, especially because the knee is such an integral part of the body
Patellar Tendonitis – this is tendonitis around the knee joint. It happens to the patellar tendon, which is the large tendon over the front of the knee
Chondromalacia patella – this condition causes knee pain under the kneecap. It usually occurs because the cartilage begins to soften. Most of the people who suffer from this condition are between the ages of 15 and 35.
Dislocating Kneecap – when the kneecap has been dislocated the individual can experience acute symptoms of pain during the dislocation. However, this condition can lead to chronic knee pain.
Baker’s Cyst – this usually occurs because of the result of a meniscus tear. It causes swelling in the back of the knee joint, resulting in knee pain.
Bursitis – this condition affects people that kneel for work (i.e. gardeners or carpetlayers), and it affects the joint above the kneecap.
Plica Syndrome – this is an uncommon cause of knee pain and it is difficult to diagnose, however it can happen and cause knee pain.
Osgood Schlatter Disease – this knee problem occurs in many adolescents and happens because of the irritation of the growth plate in the front of the knee joint.
Osteochondritis Dissecans – this is another growth related problem that causes problems in the knees of adolescents.
Gout – although not usually a cause of knee pain, the symptoms of gout can spread to the knees.

List Of Common Treatment Options for Knee Pain

Treating knee pain can be difficult, largely because a lot of people just try to live with it. They aren’t sure what’s causing it, and they worry that it might be something serious. Because they worry, they avoid going to their doctor and trying to get it corrected, when it could actually be something simple. Here are some of the most common treatment options for knee pain.

• Surgery – while not something a lot of people want to think about, surgery for knee injuries is quite common. Because of doctors’ ability to go in laproscopically through small incisions, knee surgery is much easier than it’s been in the past. The recovery is faster and there is a lot less pain while the knee heals.
• Medications – arthritis can be treated with medications more easily now than it could in the past. That’s great news for anyone who’s dealing with knee pain as a result of arthritis and who doesn’t really know what else to do in order to feel better.
• Knee braces and over-the-counter pain relievers are also good choices for knee pain.
• Rest is a common treatment for knee pain. One of the only ways that knee pain will heal is if the individual decides to stay off their knees. This might mean that they have to take it easy for a while.
• Physical Therapy is extremely important for many knee injuries because it will build back the strength in the knee area. There are a variety of different techniques that physical therapists use, however most of them are useful at allowing the sufferer to overcome knee pain and be able to walk again without pain.
• Ice and heat are also recommended to reduce inflammation in the knee area. Often, this is the best treatment for knee pain and many patients forget this simple procedure.
• Injections are a powerful medication that will help reduce and even treat inflammation. They are used commonly with people that suffer from knee problems. It is important to talk to the doctor concerning this option before proceding.

Holistic Approach

There are also alternative forms of treatment that may prove beneficial with specific knee pain. Many people choose to go this route, especially because knee pain is a constant problem that often does not disappear overnight. Here are some suggestions.

• Glucosamine and chondrotitin and two substances that aid in knee pain problems. They occur naturally in cartilage and can be purchased over the counter as supplements. They help relieve pain for a wide variety of conditions and can even reduce inflammation. Both are an effective natural remedy.
• Acupuncture is also a top holistic approach for knee pain. Research suggests acupuncture is one of the leading methods to treat knee pain. The needles actually help several people that are suffering with this issue. Most people believe that the pain relief comes from the release of endorphins. It’s always a good idea to ask the doctor about acupuncture possibilities. It is a good option for many cases of knee pain.

When To See A Doctor for Knee Pain

At certain times a doctor’s help may be required to treat knee pain. This is important to recognize. While some knee injuries are basic sprains or bruises that require rest or ice, others may need to be evaluated by the proper medical expert. The sooner it is evaluated the sooner healing will begin. Here are some guidelines to help individuals assess whether or not a doctor is necessary.

• Visit the doctor when it becomes difficult to walk comfortably on the leg that has knee pain.
• See the doctor if the knee pain is combined with a deformity around the joint. This is not normal and should be addressed quickly.
• Go to the doctor for knee pain that happens during the knee or during rest.
• Visit the doctor if the knee locks or becomes difficult or impossible to bend.
• See the doctor if the joint or calf area begins to swell.
• Let the doctor check out the knee if there are signs of infection such as fever, redness, and warmth.
• Go to the doctor if anything unusual occurs with knee pain or if it persists for a long time.

Managing Knee Pain

Since knee pain is difficult to treat unless the injury requires surgery, pain management must be kept up individually. This means that each person should listen to the advice of his or her doctor. What activities do they knee to avoid? What stretches and activities should they incorporate to promote healing? These types of questions will guide them as they seek to overcome the pain they experience from knee issues.

Lastly, pain management can be hard and overlooked. Do not overdo it. Try to avoid activities that place too much pressure on the knees to promote healing and avoid further pain.

Stop your Knee Pain Today. Call us at +65 6471 2744 / Email to: info@boneclinic.com.sg

Patient Guide to Knee Pain

Knee pain is a common complaint that affects people of all ages. Knee pain may be the result of an injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage. Medical conditions  including arthritis, gout and infections also can cause knee pain.

Many types of minor knee pain respond well to self-care measures. Physical therapy and knee braces also can help relieve knee pain. In some cases, however, your knee may require surgical repair.

The location and severity of knee pain may vary, depending on the cause of the problem. Signs and symptoms that sometimes accompany knee pain include:

  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Redness and warmth to the touch
  • Weakness or instability
  • Popping or crunching noises
  • “Locking,” or inability to fully straighten the knee

When to see a doctor
Call your doctor if you:

  • Can’t bear weight on your knee
  • Have marked knee swelling
  • Are unable to fully extend or flex your knee
  • See an obvious deformity in your leg or knee
  • Have a fever, in addition to redness, pain and swelling in your knee
  • Fall because your knee “gives out”

Knee pain can be caused by injuries, mechanical problems, types of arthritis and other problems.

Injuries
A knee injury can affect any of the ligaments, tendons or fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that surround your knee joint as well as the bones, cartilage and ligaments that form the joint itself. Some of the more common knee injuries include:

  • ACL injury. An ACL injury is the tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) — one of four ligaments that connect your shinbone to your thighbone. An ACL injury is particularly common in people who play basketball or go downhill skiing, because it’s linked to sudden changes in direction.
  • Torn meniscus. The meniscus is formed of tough, rubbery cartilage and acts as a shock absorber between your shinbone and thighbone. It can be torn if you suddenly twist your knee while bearing weight on it.
  • Knee bursitis. Some knee injuries cause inflammation in the bursae, the small sacs of fluid that cushion the outside of your knee joint so that tendons and ligaments glide smoothly over the joint.
  • Patellar tendinitis. Tendinitis is irritation and inflammation of one or more tendons — the thick, fibrous cords that attach muscles to bones. Runners, skiers and cyclists are prone to develop inflammation in the patellar tendon, which connects the quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh to the shinbone.

Mechanical problems

  • Loose body. Sometimes injury or degeneration of bone or cartilage can cause a piece of bone or cartilage to break off and float in the joint space. This may not create any problems unless the loose body interferes with knee joint movement — the effect is something like a pencil caught in a door hinge.
  • Knee ‘locking.’ This can occur from a cartilage tear. When a portion of cartilage from the tear flips inside the knee joint, you may not be able to fully straighten your knee.
  • Dislocated kneecap. This occurs when the triangular bone (patella) that covers the front of your knee slips out of place, usually to the outside of your knee. You’ll be able to see the dislocation, and your kneecap is likely to move excessively from side to side.
  • Hip or foot pain. If you have hip or foot pain, you may change the way you walk to spare these painful joints. But this altered gait can interfere with the alignment of your kneecap and place more stress on your knee joint. In some cases, problems in the hip or foot can refer pain to the knee.

Types of arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis. Sometimes called degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It’s a wear-and-tear condition that occurs when the cartilage in your knee deteriorates with use and age.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. The most debilitating form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that can affect almost any joint in your body, including your knees. Although rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease, it tends to vary in severity and may even come and go.
  • Gout. This type of arthritis occurs when uric acid crystals build up in the joint. While gout most commonly affects the big toe, it can also occur in the knee.
  • Pseudogout. Often mistaken for gout, pseudogout is caused by calcium pyrophosphate crystals that develop in the joint fluid. Knees are the most common joint affected by pseudogout.
  • Septic arthritis. Sometimes your knee joint can become infected, leading to swelling, pain and redness. There’s usually no trauma before the onset of pain. Septic arthritis often occurs with a fever.

Other problems

  • Iliotibial band syndrome. This occurs when the ligament that extends from the outside of your pelvic bone to the outside of your tibia (iliotibial band) becomes so tight that it rubs against the outer portion of your femur. Distance runners are especially susceptible to iliotibial band syndrome.
  • Chondromalacia patellae (patellofemoral pain syndrome). This is a general term that refers to pain arising between your patella and the underlying thighbone (femur). It’s common in young adults, especially those who have a slight misalignment of the kneecap; in athletes; and in older adults, who usually develop the condition as a result of arthritis of the kneecap.
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease. This condition affects the softer area of bone near the top of the shinbone, where bone growth occurs. It’s most common in boys who play games or sports that involve running or jumping. The discomfort can last a few months and may continue to recur until the child’s bones stop growing.
  • Osteochondritis dissecans. Caused by reduced blood flow to the end of a bone, osteochondritis dissecans is a joint condition in which a piece of cartilage, along with a thin layer of the bone beneath it, comes loose from the end of a bone. It occurs most often in young men, particularly after an injury to the knee.

A number of factors can increase your risk of having knee problems, including:

  • Age. Certain types of knee problems are more common in young people — Osgood-Schlatter disease and patellar tendinitis, for example. Others, such as osteoarthritis, gout and pseudogout, tend to affect older adults.
  • Sex. Teenage girls are more likely than are boys to experience an ACL tear or a dislocated kneecap. Boys, on the other hand, are at greater risk of Osgood-Schlatter disease and patellar tendinitis than girls are.
  • Excess weight. Being overweight or obese increases stress on your knee joints, even during ordinary activities such as walking or going up and down stairs. It also puts you at increased risk of osteoarthritis by accelerating the breakdown of joint cartilage.
  • Mechanical problems. Certain structural abnormalities, such as having one leg shorter than the other, misaligned knees and even flat feet, can make you more prone to knee problems.
  • Lack of muscle flexibility or strength. A lack of strength and flexibility are among the leading causes of knee injuries. Tight or weak muscles offer less support for your knee because they don’t absorb enough of the stress exerted on the joint.
  • Certain sports. Some sports put greater stress on your knees than do others. Alpine skiing with its sharp twists and turns and potential for falls, basketball’s jumps and pivots, and the repeated pounding your knees take when you run or jog all increase your risk of knee injury.
  • Previous injury. Having a previous knee injury makes it more likely that you’ll injure your knee again.

Not all knee pain is serious. But some knee injuries and medical conditions, such as osteoarthritis, can lead to increasing pain, joint damage and even disability if left untreated. And having a knee injury even a minor one makes it more likely that you’ll have similar injuries in the future.

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