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Knee joint pain

Knee joint pain is a common complaint that affects any of part the bony structures that form a knee joint, the kneecap or the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage of the knee. It may be the result of an injury or medical conditions and can get aggravated by physical activity, as well as obesity.

Possible Causes: 

The knee is the largest joint in the body and is a complex system of bone, cartilage and ligaments. Its main function is to bend, straighten, and bear the weight of the body, along with the ankles and hips. Pain in the knee joint makes walking and many other activities painful. 

Knee pain may be caused by injury or many different conditions such as: 

  • Osteoarthritis: when the cartilage, the protective tissue around the bones, breaks down, causing the bones within the joint to rub together. This can cause pain and stiffness.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: an auto-immune disease where the body’s immune system starts attacking the body’s own tissue.
  • Bursitis: an inflammation of the bursa, which is a sac filled with lubricating fluid, located between tissues such as bone, muscle, tendons and skin.
  • Tendonitis: is an inflammation or irritation of a tendon, a thick cord that attaches bone to muscle.
  • Baker’s cyst or patellofemoral pain syndrome (PPS): a prominent swelling at the back of the knee. It is usually caused by an underlying injury or condition in the knee joint.

Risk Factors: 

Factors that increase the risk of knee joint pain include trauma or injury, being overweight or obese, ageing and could be due to a family history of rheumatoid arthritis.

Signs & Symptoms: 

Knee pain symptoms include stiffness, a limited range of motion, a grating sensation while bending, and locking of the knee. Unbearable pain that does not improve with rest and swelling if you are taking blood thinners or you have a bleeding disorder.

Symptoms of some common knee conditions are:

  • In bursitis you feel pain and tenderness on the inside of your knee below the joint, which increases if you climb stairs. This happens due to an inflammation of the bursa, which is a sac filled with lubricating fluid, located between the tissues.
  • In osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the knee joint gradually wears away and the protective space between the bones decreases, resulting in bone rubbing on bone, and producing painful bone spurs.
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome describes pain in the front of the knee and around the patella, or kneecap. The pain and stiffness make it difficult to climb stairs or kneel down.
  • A meniscus tear is often caused by a sudden twist or quick turn during sports activity. The meniscus is a C-shaped disk that acts as a "shock absorber" between the thighbone and shinbone. Symptoms are pain, swelling and locking of the knee.

Diagnosis: 

To diagnose the cause of your knee joint problems, the orthopaedic specialist at Medcare will check what kind of discomfort you are having, the location and triggers of pain and whether there has been an injury. 

Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI scans or CT scans may be recommended in order to check the joint. Meet a specialist and get all the necessary diagnostics done at Medcare.

Treatment Options: 

An orthopaedic specialist at Medcare will recommend the best knee pain treatment based on your diagnosis. The orthopaedic specialist may start by advising rest, ice packs, knee pain medicines or knee braces. 

If you are overweight or obese, then weight loss will be recommended, as this reduces the pressure on the knee joint. Once the cause of the knee pain is known, physiotherapy may be recommended. 

The physiotherapist will teach you stretching and exercises aimed at strengthening muscles, improve stability and flexibility and reduce pressure on the joint. Steroid injections may be given in order to provide knee pain relief and reduce inflammation. 

If surgery is necessary, then the orthopaedic specialist will explain it to you and recommend it. Types of surgery are arthroscopy, focal knee resurfacing, and partial or total knee replacement.

FAQs: الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • What is focal knee resurfacing?

    A: Focal knee resurfacing is an alternative to complete knee replacement. A specific area of the knee cartilage surface is replaced. Broken down cartilage is remove and replaced with a metal implant. This is suitable for patients with cartilage problems and early to mid-stage osteoarthritis.

  • How is partial knee replacement better than a full knee replacement?

    A: The partial knee replacement surgery has a shorter recovery time, less post-operative pain, possibly less blood loss during surgery, and a smaller surgical wound than a full knee replacement. Your healthy bone and soft tissues are retained, so the range of motion and function are also better.

  • When is a full knee replacement required?

    A: An orthopaedic specialist will recommend a full knee replacement to patients with severe deformity, or severe degeneration of the joint, or very advanced arthritis.

  • Which activities will I be able to do after a full knee replacement, and which will I not?

    A: After a full knee replacement, physical therapy is very important to restore motion to the joint. In a few months, you will be able to walk and conduct all your activities as before, but you won’t be able to do high impact activities such as jumping or running.

  • What can cause knee pain without injury?

    A: Many people believe that only injury can result in knee pain. However, while injuries, such as sprains, strains and fractures do lead to knee pain; these are not the only cause for it. Arthritis, which is caused due to the weakening of bones, is another cause of knee pain. 

    Additionally, other health conditions, such as the patellofemoral pain syndrome, which affects the patella in the knee, can result in immense pain. It is best to get examined by a doctor to ascertain the actual cause of your knee pain, especially if you have not had any injuries. 

    Need an accurate diagnosis and treatment for your knee pain? Book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today

  • What are the symptoms of arthritis in the knee?

    A: A significant number of older adults experience knee pain due to some form of arthritis. An age-related and hereditary condition, arthritis can affect mobility and compromise your daily activities. While there are different types of arthritis, certain symptoms can help you realise if you have arthritis in the knee or not. 

    These symptoms include stiffness of the knee, swelling, a clicking or popping sound when moving the knee, weakness that makes the knees buckle or fold inwards and persistent pain that worsens in certain climatic conditions like extreme cold weather and increased humidity. While these are just a few symptoms of arthritis, it is best to get an expert's opinion for an accurate diagnosis.

    Need to treat your arthritis? Book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today.

  • When should I see doctor for knee pain?

    A: Knee pain is one of the most common issues faced today, and a lot of people ignore it until it significantly affects their daily lives. However, delaying medical help can worsen the pain, especially if it’s an indication of an underlying cause. 

    Some warning signs to look for if you’re experiencing knee pain include - a visible deformity, hearing a popping or clicking sound when you move the knee, a sudden swelling, inability to put weight on the affected leg and if the pain is unbearable. If you notice one or a combination of these symptoms, visit a doctor immediately.

    Need treatment for your knee pain? Book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today.

  • How do I know if my knee pain is serious?

    A: Injuries, strains and even arthritis can often lead to knee pain that hinders your mobility. However, with appropriate rest and self-care, it goes away in a few weeks. Keep in mind though, that there are times when knee pain is severe and warrants a visit to the doctor.

  • The warning signs of severe knee pain

    A: If you can’t put weight on your knee, notice any swelling, deformity or bruising, you must visit a doctor. It could also be severe if you are unable to fully extend or contract your knee, which could indicate internal injuries. Lastly, if you also have a fever in addition to the knee pain, visit a doctor immediately.

    Want to know if your knee pain is severe? Book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today.

  • Can I delay Knee replacement surgery?

    A: If your doctor has recommended you undergo total knee surgery, then it is best to not delay it. Delaying a knee replacement surgery can lead to deformities of the knee joint, loss of function in the muscles surrounding the knee and complications during the operation later. 

    However, that being said, certain patients do consider delaying the replacement surgery. This is because they want to achieve better results by either quitting smoking or controlling their blood sugar levels, which can affect both, the surgery and the recovery period. However, consult your doctor before making a final decision.

    Need to get a knee replacement surgery done? Book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today.

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