The knee is one of the strongest and most important joints in your body, so when there’s an issue, it can have a very large impact on your ability to function normally. At Urgently Ortho, orthopedic knee specialists, like Ephraim Dickinson, MD and Breiana Brady, PA-C, can diagnose the cause of your knee pain and recommend a treatment plan that will get you back to pain-free movement as soon as possible. If you’re experiencing knee pain, call the office in San Francisco or book an appointment online to get started.
What causes knee pain?
If you consider all that your knees are responsible for, from movement to support, it’s no wonder that knee injuries or knee joint pain are fairly common. A sports injury can cause knee pain, especially sports that involve jumping, pivoting, or twisting. High impact sports like football, soccer, rugby, hockey, and skiing have a particularly high risk for knee injuries.
Outside of acute injury, knee pain can also be caused by overuse or by an underlying chronic condition, like arthritis.
What are some common knee injuries?
The most common knee injuries include fractures, dislocations, and sprains or tears of ligaments and cartilage. In many instances, knee injuries involve more than one structure in the knee.
Some common causes of knee pain frequently treated by the team at Urgently Ortho include:
Your knee contains four main ligaments that work together to provide stability. There are two cruciate ligaments inside your knee joint and two collateral ligaments on the sides.
Common ligament injuries include an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear and a medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear.
Cartilage in your knee absorbs shock and allows for smooth movement. Common cartilage injuries include damage to the articular cartilage, which covers the ends of your leg bones, or a tear in the wedge-shaped cartilage between your leg bones called the meniscus.
The patellar and quadriceps tendons in your knees are susceptible to inflammation (tendonitis) and tears. Patellar tendonitis is also called runner’s knee.
Other common problems treated by the team at Urgently Ortho include kneecap (patellar) dislocations and instability, pain caused by loose pieces of bone or cartilage in the kneecap, and patellofemoral syndrome, which is a broad term that refers to pain around the kneecap.
They also treat iliotibial (IT) band syndrome, which happens when the band of tissue that connects the outside of your hip to your knee becomes so tight it causes pain.
What is the meniscus?
The meniscus is a piece of cartilage in your knee that stabilizes the joint and helps cushion it from impact and twisting motions. The meniscus is one of the most commonly affected tissues in the knee and is susceptible to tearing if the knee joint gets twisted during physical activities. A torn meniscus causes swelling, stiffness, and pain in the affected knee.
What are some non-surgical knee treatments?
Your orthopedic knee specialist may determine that non-surgical treatments for your injury or disorder are the best option.
Non-surgical treatments for knee injuries include:
What is knee arthroscopy?
Knee arthroscopy is a form of minimally invasive surgery that uses a small incision in the knee to pass a miniaturized camera into the joint. Your surgeon can use this technique to diagnose the cause of your knee pain, and can also perform corrective procedures at the same time using minimally invasive instruments.
Arthroscopy is used to diagnose and fix knee problems such as meniscus tears, damaged cartilage, or ligament tears such as an ACL.
When is knee replacement surgery recommended?
At Urgently Ortho, Dr. Dickinson may recommend knee replacement surgery when more conservative approaches, like physical therapy, medication, bracing, and injections, have failed to provide you with adequate relief.
Your specialist only turns to surgery to repair joints that have been damaged by degenerative conditions, like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or as a result of a traumatic injury. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of degenerative changes where surgery may be the best option. Knee replacement surgery replaces the ends of worn bones with artificial components designed to improve range of motion and eliminate pain.
If you’ve had an injury on the ski slopes or when playing sports, or have been experiencing pain, weakness, numbness, stiffness, swelling, or instability in your knee, contact Urgently Ortho to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic knee specialist or use the online booking tool.
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