If you experience knee pain, you can sometimes find relief at home with heating pads or light stretching exercises. However, more severe situations (such as acute accidents that destroy tendons and ligaments or significant joint degeneration from arthritis, etc.) require medical care and, in some circumstances, knee surgery.
If you’re experiencing knee pain every day or every few days, visit the OSMC OrthoCARE Walk-In Clinic, an orthopedic urgent care center. You may just walk in! No appointment needed.
What is Knee Pain?
Knee pain can be caused by a variety of factors, most typically overuse, trauma, or arthritis. Knee pain can occur at any age, but older people are more prone to acquire knee pain due to joint degradation, often known as osteoarthritis.
Depending on the source of your discomfort; rest, anti-inflammatory medicine, and ice may provide relief. If your damage is more severe, you may require orthopedic treatment or knee surgery.
Knee Pain Treatment
To treat knee injuries such as torn tendons and ligaments, surgeons frequently employ minimally invasive procedures (arthroscopic surgery). Injuries may result in knee instability and discomfort. Your healthcare provider may prescribe knee replacement surgery, possibly using robotic-assisted measures. Your OSMC orthopedic surgeon will do an analysis of your knee and overall health, then inform you of your candidacy for the robotic assisted minimally invasive surgical approach.
The knee is made of:
- Cartilage – protective lining and shock absorber for the bones
- Meniscus – a type of cartilage to cushion deep in the joint
- Tendons- fibers that connect muscles to bones
- Ligaments- tissues that attach bones to other bones
- Bursa- thin protective pads under the skin
What are the Common Causes of Knee Pain?
Repetitive activities can lead to pain. Some examples are:
- Patellofemoral pain (runner’s knee): Pain under or around the kneecap, generally due to kneecap mechanics or form
- Osgood-Schlatter disease: The overuse-related swelling of the shinbone beneath the kneecap in children
- Tendonitis: Affecting the quadriceps or patella tendon. Often caused by sports requiring repeated leaping, such as basketball and volleyball
Sudden trauma can damage parts of your knee joint. Common knee injuries can include:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury or Medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury: Damage to the main stabilizing ligaments of the knee
- Bursitis: Inflammation (swelling) of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the knee joint
- Kneecap dislocation: Movement out of place by your kneecap (the bone that covers your knee)
- Meniscus tear: Tear in the knee’s cartilage, which is the slippery tissue that helps bones move together smoothly in the joint
Arthritis is a condition that can affect several joints throughout the body. The knee swells when affected by knee arthritis. This is a potentially painful condition. Knee arthritis is more prone to occur with increasing age. There are several different types of arthritis that can affect the knees, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This form of arthritis is an autoimmune illness, meaning it assaults the body’s joints, producing inflammation (swelling) and degeneration
- Osteoarthritis: This kind of arthritis is characterized by a gradual loss of cartilage in the affected joints. Weight plays a significant impact in joint health. Being overweight might put additional strain on the knee. This can be painful. Maintaining a healthy weight via regular exercise and a nutritious diet helps lower the chance of developing joint discomfort
How Knee Pain Be Managed?
Treatment for knee pain depends on what’s causing it and how uncomfortable it makes you.
- Mild knee injuries often improve with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications
- Wearing a brace can stabilize your knee while you allow it to recover
- If arthritis is causing knee pain, your treatment may include medication and physical therapy
- Doctors can usually repair tendon and ligament tears with minimally invasive surgery, if necessary
- More serious knee pain may require knee replacement surgery
Regardless of the reason for your knee pain, physical therapy exercises can strengthen the muscles that support your knee to alleviate pain. It’s the most nature treatment there is for pain!
How Can Knee Pain be Eased at Home?
Your healthcare provider or physical therapist may prescribe home care for knee pain relief. Examples include:
- Applying heat or ice packs.
- Modifying activities to avoid causing pain.
- Practicing gentle stretches or exercises.
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Topical treatments such as muscle creams or rubs.
- Wearing a brace to support the knee.
When Should You Call the Doctors at OSMC about Knee Pain?
Consult an Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center physician immediately if you experience significant knee pain following a fall or injury, or if your knee is too painful or unstable to support your weight. Also, consult our physicians if your knee is swollen or you cannot fully extend it. If you experience persistent discomfort for more than a few days, call us for an appointment at (574) 241-0190. Or, visit either of OSMC’s two convenient OrthoCARE walk-in clinic locations.
This blog post is not intended to provide personal medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, or treatment to you or any other individual. It is information for educational purposes only. You should not use this information in place of a consultation or the advice of a healthcare provider.
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