Do you or anyone around you ever complain of knee pain?
Knee pain is a common disorder which affects the quality of life of many and affects to all ages. Knee pain can be short in duration or sometimes persistent. In most cases, the pain subsides on its own without treatment within a few weeks. If you have knee pain that does not improve after weeks, you should see doctor immediately or you can call us at +65 6471 2691. Delays in diagnosis and treatment can lead to poor healing, reduced range of motion and long-term disability.
The knee joint is the largest joint in the body, consisting of 4 bones and an extensive network of ligaments and muscles. Injuries to the knee joint are amongst the most common in sporting activities and understanding the anatomy of the joint is fundamental in understanding any subsequent pathology.
The knee is made up of:
- Four main Bones- the femur (thigh bone), the tibia (shin bone), fibula (outer shin bone) and patella (kneecap).
- Joint capsule: a thick ligamentous structure that surrounds the entire knee.
- Four Ligaments- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL), Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL) runs along the inside of the knee and prevents the knee from bending out
- Lateral collateral ligament (LCL) runs along the outside of the knee and prevents the knee from bending in
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is in the middle of the knee. It prevents the shin bone from sliding out in front of the thigh bone
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) works with the ACL. It prevents the shin bone from sliding backwards under the femur
- Meniscus: Each knee joint has two crescent-shaped cartilage menisci. These lie on the medial (inner) and lateral (outer) edges of the upper surface of the tibia bone
- The two main Muscle groups of the knee knee joint are the quadriceps and the hamstrings.
Common Knee Pains
- Knee pain due to meniscus injury
The meniscus is a small “c” shaped cartilage that acts as a cushion in the knee join. The meniscus sit between the femur and the tibia bone, one on the outside and one on the inside of the knee. A meniscus tear occurs when the cartilage tear and are injured usually during movement that forcefully rotate the knee while weight bearing.
- Knee pain due to osteoarthritis
Knee pain due to osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that results in a gradual wearing away of joint cartilage. As we grow older, we tends to get this problem.
- Knee pain due to ligament torn
Knee ligaments help to keep your knee stable. Four ligaments that made up of a knee are – Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL), Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
- Baker’s cyst
an accumulation of joint fluid (synovial fluid) that forms behind the knee.
- Patellar Quadriceps Tendonitis
is also known as “Jumper Knee”. Patellar tendonitis is a common overuse injury. It occurs when repeated stress is placed on the patellar tendon. The stress results in tiny in the tendon, which the body attempts to repair. However when the tears in the tendon increase faster than what the body can recover, it cause the inflammation in the tendon to worsen.
- 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. These plica normally diminish in size during the second trimester of fetal development. In adults, they exist as sleeves of tissue called “synovial folds,” or plica. In some individuals, the synovial plica is more prominent and prone to irritation.
- 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.
- Chondromalacia patellae (patellofemoral pain syndrome)
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
an overuse injury that occurs in the knee area of growing adolescents. It is caused by inflammation of the tendon below the kneecap (patellar tendon) where it attaches to the shinbone (tibia).
a disease that involves the build-up of uric acid in the body that can affect joints in your body. About 95 percent of gout patients are men. Most men are over 50 when gout first appears. Women generally don’t develop gout until after menopause. But some people develop gout at a young age.
- Knee Strain - cause by violent stretching of one or more ligaments in the knee. Sprains involving two or more ligaments cause considerably more disability than single-ligament sprains.
Symptoms of knee pain
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 unable to fully extend
Common Treatments for Knee Pain
Treatments will vary, depending upon what exactly is causing your knee pain.
Your doctor may prescribe medications to help relieve pain and to treat underlying conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
- Physical 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.
- Orthotics and bracing. Arch supports, sometimes with wedges on the inner or outer aspect of the heel, can help to shift pressure away from the side of the knee most affected by osteoarthritis. Different types of braces may help protect and support the knee joint.
- 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.
- Hyaluronic acid. This thick fluid is normally found in healthy joints, and injecting it into damaged ones may ease pain and provide lubrication. Experts aren’t quite sure how hyaluronic acid works, but it may reduce inflammation. Relief from a series of shots may last as long as six months to a year.
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 the nature of 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, repair torn or 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.