Symptoms of Knee Injuries You Should Know About
Whether you are a competitive athlete or simply love to run, it’s important to be informed on common knee injuries so you can take preventive measures. There are some common knee injuries you may have heard of, but there are also a number of lesser-known injuries that you should know about.
Symptoms of a meniscal injury include pain and swelling in the knee. Pain may be localized or generalized. In addition, there may be popping or clicking in the knee. Other symptoms may include limited range of motion (ROM), catching, and locking.
A meniscal tear can occur at any age, but the most common are in people aged 10 to 45. In addition, a torn meniscus increases the risk of osteoarthritis. A doctor can diagnose a meniscal injury through physical examination and imaging tests.
A physical examination should include palpation of the knee joint line, inspection for edema, and standing and supine range of motion. In addition, a doctor may recommend an MRI test to confirm the diagnosis.
A physical therapist can provide additional care. He or she will provide a treatment plan, including specific rehabilitation exercises. The exercises will gradually strengthen the knee muscles.
A physical therapy program can also help alleviate pain and stiffness, increase mobility, and improve knee stability. A physical therapist may also use massage techniques to reduce stiffness and pain.
The recovery from a meniscal injury can take a long time. Depending on the type of tear and how severe the injury is, a patient may be able to return to normal activities after a few weeks. However, a person may need to wear a brace to avoid weight-bearing on the knee for four to six weeks.
Articular cartilage damage
Symptoms of articular cartilage damage include swelling, stiffness, and pain. This type of damage often occurs after a traumatic injury, but can also be caused by a long-term wear and tear process. It can also be a result of injuries to the meniscus or knee ligaments.
There are two types of treatment for articular cartilage damage: surgical and non-surgical. Surgery may be necessary for patients with severe cartilage damage, but nonsurgical treatments may be effective in patients with mild cartilage damage.
The surgical treatment for articular cartilage damage can include arthroscopic surgery, osteochondral autograft/mosaicplasty, or osteochondral allograft. The surgery depends on the size and location of the lesion and may involve removing cartilage from the knee joint, repairing it, or replanting it. The surgery also may increase blood flow to the underlying bone.
Articular cartilage damage may occur after a traumatic injury, such as a sports accident or car accident. Patients may experience a clicking noise, constant swelling, or knee pain. They may also have catching sensations or knee locking. Some patients also experience pain when squatting or climbing stairs.
Osteochondral autograft/mosaicplasty is a surgical procedure that involves removing a small plug of healthy articular cartilage and placing it in the affected area. This procedure is particularly effective for large articular cartilage injuries.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome
Usually, the diagnosis of patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is clinical, but imaging tests are sometimes needed to rule out other causes of pain. Usually, the X-ray or ultrasound is not done until symptoms are not relieved after one to two months of conservative management.
The main symptom of patellofemoral pain syndrome is a pain in the kneecap. This pain often is aggravated by sitting, climbing stairs, and running. However, the pain can also be caused by trauma or overuse.
If patellofemoral pain syndrome is not diagnosed and treated, the pain may worsen. Pain may be relieved by NSAIDs, and anti-inflammatory drugs. However, NSAIDs may also have side effects, including gastrointestinal problems.
Other types of treatment for patellofemoral pain syndrome include stretching and strengthening exercises. These exercises help to strengthen the muscles of the hip and thigh. This will reduce the risk of muscular imbalance, which can cause pain in the kneecap.
In some cases, a surgical procedure may be necessary. In this case, surgeons may perform a procedure known as a tibial tubercle transfer, which realigns the shinbone and patellar tendon.
This procedure can be successful. In addition to reducing pain, it can improve the function of the knee.
Those who experience pain, swelling, and tenderness behind their knee may have Baker’s cysts. Baker’s cysts are usually caused by injury or inflammation in the knee. However, they can also be caused by more serious problems.
Baker’s cysts often return after they are treated. This can happen because the walls of the cyst resemble the tissue in the knee joint. They may also be filled with fibrotic tissue. If the cyst does not go away on its own, your doctor may prescribe medications.
Your doctor may also suggest physical therapy to help relieve pain and swelling. Physical therapy can also help you prevent Baker’s cysts from forming. Physical therapy can also help strengthen the muscles in your knee to reduce swelling and pressure on the joint.
Your doctor may also recommend surgery to remove the cyst. Surgery will require a significant amount of downtime and recovery time. Those with Baker’s cysts may also need to take medications to reduce inflammation. If you do not want to undergo surgery, you can try using steroid injections or over-the-counter pain medications.
In addition to pain and swelling, a Baker’s cyst can also interfere with your ability to perform normal activities. It may also lead to complications, such as numbness and warmth in the affected area.
Iliotibial band syndrome
Runners are at high risk for iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS). The syndrome is caused by overuse and biomechanical factors. It may occur in women as well as men.
Symptoms of ITBS are pain on the outside of the knee, which is most commonly felt in the lateral region. Pain can be severe and occurs more often during activities like running or walking. It also may occur when the knee is at rest.
Pain is usually sharp and aching. It is worse when the knee is moving and when bending or straightening. Patients describe the pain as burning and sharper during exercise. Symptoms can be relieved with physical therapy and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen.
The best way to treat ITBS is to avoid overuse. Overuse can lead to inflammation and friction of the iliotibial band. Physical therapy can reduce tension and increase the length of the iliotibial tendon. A physical therapist can also help identify the cause of the injury. If the condition is not responsive to conservative treatment, surgery may be required.
Most cases of ITBS heal without surgery. Surgery is rare but may be needed in more serious cases.
Conservative treatment of ITBS involves stretching and relative rest. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are also used. Physical therapy can also help stretch the IT band and increase its length.
Symptoms of knee bursitis include redness, warmth, and pain. These symptoms are caused by inflammation in the bursa, a small fluid-filled sac. Bursae help to cushion joints and decrease friction. Bursae can become inflamed from injuries or repetitive movement.
If you have knee bursitis, you can treat the condition by resting your knee and using ice packs. You should also avoid activities that aggravate the condition. This includes repetitive deep knee bending, kneeling on hard surfaces, and sports that cause direct blows. If the condition does not improve, you may need to see an orthopedic surgeon.
In addition to rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory pain relievers, you may need to undergo surgery to remove the bursa. If you have infectious bursitis, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Septic bursitis can occur when bacteria enter the bursa through a scrape or cut. These bacteria spread to other areas of the leg.
In some cases, a physical therapist may also help you with knee bursitis treatment. Your therapist may use electrothermal modalities, such as heat, to reduce pain and swelling. They may also work with you to modify your activities so that you do not aggravate your injury.
Medications and anti-inflammatory drugs are also used to treat knee bursitis. You may also need to use a knee pad.
Anterior cruciate leg injury
During contact sports, knee injuries are common. They may occur as a result of valgus stress, hyperextension or twisting, or from contact with another athlete. The most common injury is to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL is the main stabilizing ligament of the knee and most often it is injured in a low-velocity, noncontact deceleration injury. The injury may result in damage to the tendons, ligaments, and cartilage of the knee.
For most patients, knee replacement is not needed. Instead, conservative treatment methods include anti-inflammatory medications, rest, and ice treatment. Surgical reconstruction may be required when the knee fails to stabilize after rehabilitation. X-rays can be used to examine the bones of the knee and arthroscopy can be performed to insert surgical tools into small cuts in the knee.
Patients who did not undergo surgery for non-acute anterior cruciate ligament injury had better outcomes at 18 months. They also showed better patient satisfaction than the patients who had surgery. They reported lower pain levels, greater physical function, and less knee instability than the patients who had surgery.
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