Knee pain is a common ailment and it affects people of all ages, for various reasons. The knee pain can originate in different areas of the knee such as the kneecap (patella), knee joint (femur, tibia, fibula), or knee cartilage and ligaments (meniscus).
Three main causes of Knee Pain:
- Acute injury includes a broken bone, meniscus tear, or torn ligament
- Overuse of joint or chronic conditions such as bursitis, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, and other conditions
- Medical conditions which may include arthritis
Most types of minor knee pain may respond well to OTC medications, self-care measures such as knee braces, or physical therapy. . These can all be a great help in relieving knee pain. However, in severe cases of knee pain, the need for a surgical procedure may be necessary.
How we diagnose knee pain
Our doctor will usually start by asking general questions related to your health and then, specifically about the nature and symptoms of the knee pain.
Next, they will examine the knee. This will include checking the knee for stability, and range of motion, and evaluating it for any swelling and tenderness. Sometimes your doctor might prescribe further testing such as:
X-rays, MRI scans, Blood Tests, or
Arthrocentesis, or joint aspiration (Removal of joint fluid)
In some cases, a knee pain diagnosis may require the removal of a small amount of fluid from the knee joint. This is a procedure that is performed to obtain synovial fluid from within a joint capsule, both for diagnostic and for therapeutic purposes. It is used in multiple disease processes, including arthritis, gout, and infectious processes such as septic arthritis.
Surgical treatments for knee pain
Knee surgery ranges from arthroscopic knee surgery to total knee replacement.
Arthroscopic knee surgery is a very common surgical procedure used in treating knee pain. It allows your surgeon to look inside your knee through a fiber optic camera and a few small incisions. Arthroscopic knee surgery is a common outpatient procedure.
In a partial knee replacement, the surgeon replaces the damaged portion of the knee with plastic and metallic parts. This procedure has a shorter recovery time that the total knee replacement.
In a total knee replacement, the knee is replaced with an artificial joint. This surgical procedure is reserved for patients with extensive damage to their knees.