Knee Pain

Knee injuries are one of the most common cases around the world. Adults, kids, old people, all can get affected by it. Knee joint is a very vital joint that joins thing bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). The specialized cells that make up the joint helps in bending and extending of the joint and its flexibility. In this article, we’ll discuss the anatomy of knee, what causes knee pain and its prevention and treatment.

Anatomy of knee

The knee joint is known to be the largest joint in the body. It is also reported to be vulnerable and most easily injured. Knee is primarily constituted of four things. Those are: bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.

Three bones come together to form our knee joint, namely, thighbone or femur, shinbone or tibia, and kneecap (patella).

Ligaments connect knee bone with other bones. There are two main type of ligament are collateral ligament and cruciate ligament. Collateral ligament is further divided into medical collateral ligament which are present on the inside of the knee and lateral collateral ligament which are present on the outside. Simiarly, cruciate ligament is divided into two types: anterior and posterior. These are found in the inner part of the knee joint and control the back and forth motion of our knee. These work together to provide stability to the knee joint and help us perform everyday work activity.

Tendons connect muscles to bones. Quadriceps tendon connects the front muscles of our thigh to our patella.

The connective tissue that cover this joint is articular cartilage. It covers the back of the kneecap and end of femur and tibia. Inside the knee there are two peices of cartilage known as menisci who serve as a shock absorber for the knee joint. Without this cartiliage covering, there will be friction in between the bones which will cause inflammation

Causes of Knee Pain

Knee pain most of the time occurs due to strains or sprains.

Similar to shoulder pain, there can be many causes of knee pain too. Direct blow due to any trauma to the knee often times result in knee injury and pain. The knee is also susceptible to injuries due to twisting and over-stretching of the knee.

Theoretically, if the knee joint is stressed in a specific uncomfortable direction, then the ligament holding it in its meant-to-be place gets stretched too much and this results in injuries known as sprains. Sprains are divided into first, second, and third degree depending upon the intensity of the damage suffered by the joint, first being light to mild, third degree being severe.

In grade-one sprains, there is stretch of ligament but no tear of fiber. In grade-two there is a partial tear of fibers, and in grade-three there is completely disruption of the ligament with heavy damage.

One of the most common injuries to the knee is the meniscus tear which is very common among sportspersons. Twisted knee results in putting excessive stress on cartilage which often results in tear of meniscus.

Hyperflexion and hyperextension of the knee joint causes muscular injuries to muscles and tendons. These injuries are called strains. These are graded similarly to sprains with one, two, and three grade strains.

Anatomically, because the structures supporting the knee are interconnected, injury to one structure may or can affect other structures and parts. The most common knee disease is osteoarthritis where the cartilage of the knee wears away resulting in swelling of the knee and acute pain.

MCL, LCL, and ACL Injuries

While discussing knee injury, ligament injuries ought to be discussed as well because they are most common form of injuries and also easily understood by normal people.

Turing to the abbreviated words, MCL and LCL stand for posterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament respectively. When the foot is planted and force is applied on them from the sideways, this results in stretching and tearing of the MCL and LCL and causes significant pain. The inside of the knee gets inflammated and it hinders walking and activities related to motion of knee.

If the planted foot suffers blow from the front or back of the knee, then cruciate ligaments get damaged and are much more painful than MCL or LCL tearing. Its diagnosis is a bit ardous as the pain and swelling pose challenges in testing the knee stability.

Other causes also include fracture, dislocation, bursa inflammation and other type of injuries.

Treatment of Knee Pain

Knee pains are treated with both surgical and non-surgical methods depending upon the condition of the knee after trauma. Non-surgical treatment include RICE which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation where mobility of the knee is completely eliminated for it to heal, ice is regularly applied followed by some physical therapies. Non-surgical orthopedic means are also used if the pain is not severe or to recover from a surgery quickly.

If the injury is intense as is often in case of atheletes, then surgery is the preferred way to treat it followed by non-surgical therapies. However, in some cases, physicians tend to pre-hab and strengthen the quadriceps and hamstring muscles before proceeding forward with surgery.

Medication and steriod injections are also prescribed to patients as and when they need it. Glucosamine Chondroitin, Omega 3 Fish Oil and MSN are the most common prescribed drugs.

Specialized knee care at SMWIO

Knee treatment at South Miami Walk-in Orthopedics always starts with a proper evaluation of the knee injury and determining the best option to treat it. Our experienced physicians provide a one-to-one treatment session to every patient and guide them through the recovery process. Our goal at SMWIO is to provide the best quality minimally invasive orthopedic care to people suffering from body pain and make their lives better. Contact us to book a same-day appointment with us.