Knee Pain, Injuries, & Conditions
Knee pain is a common complaint that can have a variety of causes. Many people will experience knee pain at some point, ranging from a mild ache to a crippling condition. There are many different types of knee injuries and conditions that can cause pain and discomfort, and it is crucial if you are experiencing knee pain to determine the root cause and get proper treatment.
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Most Common Causes of Knee Pain
- Meniscus Tears – The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage that provides shock absorption between the shinbone and the thighbone. A tear can occur when you twist, turn your knee, squat, or kneel. Frequent symptoms of a meniscus tear include pain, swelling, and stiffness.
- ACL and PCL Tear or Sprain – The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is located behind the knee, connecting the femur to the lower leg bone. It keeps the bones in place and helps the knee move smoothly, while the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) stabilizes the knee joint, connecting the femur to the shinbone (tibia). A tear or sprain in the ACL or PCL can occur due to an accident, injury, or general overuse.
- Torn cartilage – Cartilage covers your bones and helps with smooth movement. When the cartilage surrounding your knee is damaged or worn, it can no longer protect the bones effectively, leading to pain.
- Tendonitis – Tendonitis is the swelling of a tendon, which is the thick cord of tissue that attaches muscle to bone. Repeated stress on the tendons can lead to small tears, causing inflammation and pain.
- Arthritis – Arthritis is a condition that causes the deterioration of the cartilage that protects the bones. When this cartilage deteriorates, it causes the bones to rub against each other, which can be extremely painful.
- Shin Splints – Medial tibial stress syndrome, more commonly known as shin splints, is a condition that usually effects athletes who have just recently increased the intensity of or changed their training routines. Sudden, increased activity levels can overwork muscles, tendons, and bone tissue.
Available Treatments for Knee Pain Include:
- Exercise and PT – Gentle exercises that target the muscles that support your knees can improve flexibility and range of motion, ease pain, and reduce the risk of future injuries.
- Medication – Medication can be a straightforward and effective treatment for knee pain, depending on the cause. Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications are the most frequently used medications for reducing knee pain.
- Injections and Infusions – Doctors may suggest injections or infusions, such as corticosteroids, when other treatments have failed to reduce knee pain. These often reduce inflammation and can encourage the healing process of damaged tissue.
- Arthroscopic surgery – Arthroscopic surgery is a procedure that allows doctors to diagnose and treat problems within a joint. It can help relieve pain, improve range of motion, and restore normal joint movement.
- Knee replacement surgery – Also known as knee arthroplasty, this surgery involves removing damaged bone and cartilage from the thighbone, kneecap, and shinbone and replacing it with a prosthesis constructed of metal, medical-grade plastics and polymers. This procedure can relieve pain and restore knee function.
Why Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers?
Nothing beats having the experts in your corner, and Lonseth Interventional Pain Center is one of New Orleans’ Top-Rated Pain Management Specialists. Our board-certified doctors offer a variety of customized, non-surgical, rehab-oriented treatment options that aim to relieve your discomfort and help you get back to your daily activities.
Knee Pain FAQ
If your knee pain is accompanied by swelling, redness, or joint warmth, it may indicate a more serious problem. If the pain is severe, constant, or worsens over time, it is also a cause for concern.
The pain of arthritis in the knee can vary depending on the severity of the condition, but it is typically a dull ache that worsens with activity. The pain may also accompany stiffness, swelling, and warmth in the affected joint.
It may go away if the pain is due to minor inflammation or overuse. However, if the pain is caused by a more severe condition, such as arthritis, it may require medical treatment.
Some people may find that painkillers provide relief from knee pain, while others with more serious issues may not. It is always recommended that you speak with your doctor or healthcare professional to determine what is best for you.