There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness. – Mother Teresa

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.