The knee pain is a very common ailment afflicted by people of various age. It may result from an acute injury of ligament or meniscus, overload, as well as chronic diseases taking a form of the degeneration.
Knee pain – acute injury
It is most frequently afflicted as a result of twisting a knee. As a rule the anterior cruciate ligament is damaged, that is one of the major knee stabilizers. It often happens when doing sport, particularly with regard to team games (e.g. basketball, football) but also in case of ski accidents. The problem often entails meniscus damage – an absorber responsible for transferring loads in the knee. It happens when twisting a knee – not only when doing sports but also when taking everyday activities. In turn joint cartilage damage accompanies two previous cases. It frequently requires specialist treatment, otherwise may lead to development of degenerative changes.
This group also involves fractures – it applies to bones which form the knee joint. This injury usually requires surgical treatment because it guarantees proper functions of the knee.
Knee pain – overloads
These are chronic injuries. They occur when micro-injuries overlap in a long period of time. In effect we deal with considerable damage which causes pain. The most frequent case is a runner’s knee – this problem applies to active young people who resumed or increased their physical activities. This treatment is aimed at a suitable rehabilitation and possibly requires knee injections. In turn the jumper’s knee is an abnormality applying to the kneecap ligament area, that is a ligament which connects the kneecap with a tibia. The treatment requires a proper rehabilitation, in rare cases surgical treatment.
Prepatellar bursitis is concerned with the area located at the front of the kneecap, directly under the skin. Chronic irritation of this area, for instance when kneeling for a long time (person who works on his/her knees), results in inflammation, growth of prepatellar bursa and development of pain.
Knee pain – degenerative changes
There are many types of such changes but most frequent is a primary degenerative disease of unknown source. It afflicts primarily older people and causes irreversible damage to the joint surfaces (joint cartilage). At the early stage the treatment must focus on well-selected exercises, oral medicaments as well as injections. Biological methods (platelet-rich plasma – PRP, mother cells) play an increasingly important role. With regard to advanced cases, it is necessary to adopt a surgical treatment taking a form of a replacement surgery. A systemic and chronic disease is rheumatoid arthritis. In this case auto-immune reaction of the organism leads to development of degenerative changes in the joint. Another type of degenerative changes is a post-inflammatory degeneration. It grows as a result of bacterial infection in the joint.
Knee pain – other problems
It is the fourth group of problems related to knee injuries. Patients often visit our clinic to treat lateral floating kneecap. It bothers young people who experience lateral dislocation of the kneecap and acute pain. It is a multi-factorial disease which requires a suitable rehabilitation, and often surgical treatment.
Knee pain from the front, back, internal and external side
If the pain occurs in the internal or external side of the knee and is accompanied by a feeling of giving away or blocking, that is inability to straighten or bend one’s knee, it may be related to meniscus damage. It is a serious injury and should be consulted with a doctor early enough.
The pain identified at the front of the knee which intensifies after a physical workout or during a workout may also radiate outside. It is often associated with knee overloads, that is abnormalities called runner’s knee or jumper’s knee.
The pain in the back of the knee most frequently applies to the Baker’s cyst. In most cases it is associated with a damage in the center of the knee, and this requires a doctor to make a precise knee diagnostics and treat this abnormality.
Knee pain – when to visit a doctor?
It is the most important question. You should do this in the following cases:
- Knee pain prevents walking or standing
- The spot is warmer, enlarged, sore when touching
- You cannot move your knee fully, the knee is blocked
- When walking or doing sport, you can feel loose knee as if it is about to give away.
When you have an appointment with a specialist, the orthopedist examines you and sometimes requires you to do additional tests, such as X-ray scan, ultrasound scanning or magnetic resonance (MR). Once a relevant diagnosis has been made, the doctor will propose the method of treatment.
Injury nature, causes, symptoms and methods of treatment discussed by:|
MD Paweł Bąkowski, Rehasport Clinic orthopaedic