Knee

Knee injury is one of the most common reasons people see their orthopedic surgeons. The knee is complex with many components making it vulnerable to a variety of injuries. It is the largest joint in the body made up of bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.  Three bones meet to form the knee joint: thighbone (femur), shinbone (tibia), and kneecap (patella). Cartilage is the shock absorber between the femur and tibia. Ligaments connect bones to other bones to hold them together and keep the knee stable. Tendons connect muscles to bones from the thigh to the kneecap and from the kneecap to the shinbone.

KNEE

The most common bone broken around the knee is the patella. The ends of the femur and tibia where they meet to form the knee joint can also be fractured. Many fractures around the knee are caused by high-energy trauma, such as falls from significant heights and motor vehicle collisions.

Symptoms

  • Pain with weight bearing
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Tenderness to touch
  • Deformity
  • The leg may appear shorter and crooked

Diagnostic procedures

If symptoms suggest a knee fracture, seek qualified orthopedic medical treatment.  Treatment will encompass a thorough examination, which could include diagnostic procedure(s) such as palpation, nerve function assessment, X-rays and a CT scan in order to determine proper non-operative or operative treatment.
Because the knee joint relies on ligaments and surrounding muscles for stability, it is easily injured. Any direct contact to the knee or hard muscle contraction such as changing direction rapidly while running can injure knee ligaments. Injured ligaments are considered “sprains’ and are graded on a severity scale. A medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear causes pain on the inside of the knee. A lateral collateral ligament (LCL) tear causes pain on the outside of the knee.

Symptoms

  • Pain at the sides of the knee
  • Swelling over the site of the injury
  • Instability

Diagnostic procedures

If symptoms suggest a ligament tear, seek qualified orthopedic medical treatment.  Treatment will encompass a thorough examination, which could include diagnostic procedure(s) such as palpation, X-rays and an MRI in order to determine proper non-operative or operative treatment.
The cartilage between the thighbone and shinbone are called meniscus. They are tough and rubbery to help cushion the knee joint and keep it stable. Sudden meniscal tears often happen during sports activities. Meniscal tears may also occur as a result of arthritis or aging. An awkward twist when getting up from a chair may be enough to cause a tear, if the menisci have weakened with age. Meniscus tears are among the most common knee injuries.

Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Stiffness and swelling
  • Catching or locking of the knee
  • The sensation of the knee “giving way”
  • Limited range of motion

Diagnostic procedures

If symptoms suggest a meniscus tear, seek qualified orthopedic medical treatment.  Treatment will encompass a thorough examination, which could include diagnostic procedure(s) such as range of motion tests, palpation, the McMurray test, X-rays, and an MRI in order to determine proper non-operative or operative treatment.
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of the joints, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. Arthritis is particularly common in the knee joint. Knee arthritis can make it hard to do many everyday activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. It is a major cause of lost work time and a serious disability for many people. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, but there are more than 100 different forms.

Symptoms

  • Stiff knee joint
  • Difficult to bend and straighten the knee
  • Pain and swelling that worsens after sitting or resting
  • Vigorous activity increases pain
  • Knee locks or sticks during movement
  • Grinding noise (crepitus)
  • Weakness or buckling in the knee Increased joint pain in rainy weather

Diagnostic procedures

If symptoms suggest arthritis, seek qualified orthopedic medical treatment.  Treatment will encompass a thorough examination, which could include diagnostic procedure(s) such as range of motion and sensitivity tests, gait analysis, palpation, X-rays, a CT scan, and bone scan in order to determine proper non-operative or operative treatment.

Knee Related Blog Posts:

Signs of an ACL Tear

Tiny Bursa Balloons to Bursitis

ACL Pop and Tear Repair

Exercises to Strengthen Knees

Partial vs. Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Direct Orthopedic Care, Specialist Skills Without the High ER Bill!

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