The knee is a major joint in the body, as it provides the junction between the thigh and the leg. The knee joint, the pivot of the body, allows a good distribution of the weight of the body and plays a major role in the flexion of the leg. The knee joint represents the assembly made up of the lower end of the femur, the upper end of the tibia, and the kneecap located in front.
When it comes to knee pain, the problem can be hard to pin down! Is your pain of inflammatory origin (as for fasciitis, periostitis, or autoimmune diseases which are much rarer), of traumatic origin (a torn ligament, a damaged meniscus, a stress fracture, etc.), or simply the result of the impact of gravity?
A consultation with a professional will allow you to understand the origin of your pain and to suggest the most suitable solution to relieve it.
What Are the Causes of Knee Pain?
Knee pain is common and can affect people of any age. The pain can come from an injury, such as a damaged meniscus. It can also be caused by a disease such as arthritis.
The causes of this pain are also multiple.
- A cut meniscus
- Of osteoarthritis (wear of cartilage)
- A sprain (damage to a ligament such as the anterior cruciate ligament of footballers or skiers)
- A pain patella through a patellofemoral pain syndrome
- Tendinopathy (tendon damage, e.g., tendinitis), a muscle injury as a breakdown, etc.
How are they diagnosed?
• X-ray of the knees
An X-ray of the knees is often sufficient: it should be performed standing face-on and in profile and with an axial view of the kneecaps at 30 ° flexion. A so-called Schuss X-ray corresponding to a posteroanterior image at 30 ° of flexion is always required.
• MRI and scanner
An MRI or a CT scan can be requested but should not be too systematic; these examinations are often unnecessary. In fact, after 40 years, most of the knees show some degenerative signs without any pathological character that could lead to unnecessary arthroscopic procedures.
• Sampling of synovial fluid
In the event of persistent swelling, the sample followed by an analysis of the synovial fluid makes it possible to orient the diagnosis between a mechanical, inflammatory, or infectious cause.
Treatments for knee pain
Treatments available to relieve pain in your knees include:
Hyaluronic acid injections into the joints
Hyaluronic acid is a substance found in the synovium or joint fluid. The synovium acts as a cushion, preventing the ends of the bones from rubbing against each other. Hyaluronic acid injections into the knee help replace the synovium, which has lost its shock-absorbing properties. A series of three to five hyaluronic acid injections can relieve knee pain associated with osteoarthritis for up to six months. Side effects and drug interactions associated with this treatment are rare.
Corticosteroid joint injections
Corticosteroids work by reducing pain and inflammation in the joint. The advantages of these injections mostly last about 6 to 8 weeks. Because repeated doses can damage cartilage, therefore one must have no more than three injections per joint per year.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair
Anterior cruciate ligament is one of the primary ligaments that supports and stabilizes the knee. During ACL repair procedure, the doctor removes the damaged ligament and replaces it with a graft made from other soft tissues.
During arthroscopy, the doctor makes a small incision above the joint and inserts a small camera. Then the camera displays high-resolution images on a monitor, and the doctor can use the video images to guide tools into the joint. Arthroscopy can be used to repair or remove damaged cartilage, repair ligaments, debride cartilage, remove inflamed tissues and remove loose fragments.
Do not wait to begin the conversation for your mobility issues or knee pain relief. Dr. Munish Lal will assist you in solving your frequent concerns and help you master how to enhance the health of your knee for optimal wellness. Right at the heart of Torrance, CA, pain care is just a call away.