What are the causes of knee pain?
Acute knee pain is likely due to an injury resulting from a slip or fall, auto accident, or sports injury. Without proper treatment, these injuries can develop into chronic pain conditions. Examples include:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprains
- Meniscus cartilage tears
- Tendon strains
- Patellofemoral pain syndrome
- Iliotibial band syndrome
You could also have chronic knee pain from an overuse injury like tendinitis or bursitis. Tendons can suffer from a build-up of tiny tears in the tissues after repeated use, leading to chronic knee pain and weakness. Bursitis is inflammation of the protective fluid sacs (bursae) in your joints.
Another common cause of chronic knee pain is arthritis. There are multiple varieties of this disease, but the most widespread is osteoarthritis, which arises from joint wear-and-tear. Years of joint use cause the smooth coating of cartilage on the ends of your bones to erode, resulting in joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness.
How is knee pain treated?
Treating your knee pain effectively requires an accurate diagnosis. You need to undergo a comprehensive consultation and physical exam and might require X-rays or other diagnostic imaging tests. Having reached a diagnosis, the Vital Orthopedic & Spine Institute team can prepare a suitable treatment plan for you that might include:
- Heat and ice
- Pain-relieving medication
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Splinting or bracing
- Activity modification
- Physical therapy
- Corticosteroid injections
- Platelet-rich plasma therapy
- Stem cell injections
- Nerve blocks
- Genicular radiofrequency ablation
Knee pain often benefits from the use of treatments like these. However, if your problem persists or these approaches are unsuitable, you might need to consider surgery.
What does surgery for knee pain involve?
If possible, the Vital Orthopedic & Spine Institute team uses the least invasive forms of surgery to address the cause of your knee pain. They often employ arthroscopic techniques to carry out repairs of the knee joint, which involves inserting a tiny camera on a slim tube (an arthroscope) into your knee through a small incision.
In many cases, they can repair injuries like ACL and MCL tears and tendon or meniscus damage using arthroscopic techniques. These operations might involve reattaching the tissues, possibly using grafted material to bridge the gap.
If your knee joint isn’t repairable, you might benefit from partial or complete knee replacement surgery. Your surgeon removes the damaged portions of bone and implants new components that mimic how your natural joint works.
If you’re finding it difficult to get about because of your knee pain, call Vital Orthopedic & Spine Institute for expert diagnosis and therapy, or book an appointment online today.