4 Common Knee Problems You Should Know

The knee holds the bones of the upper and lower leg through a network of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The joint is susceptible to strain from activities like walking and jogging. Aging can deteriorate the muscle and tendons, affecting your quality of life. Here are common knee problems and non-invasive therapies from Stephen Fisher, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon.

What are the common knee problems?

Despite being the largest joint in the body, the knee is susceptible to different injuries. They include dislocations, fractures, and ligament tears.

  • Meniscal tears and injuries

The meniscus is a c-shaped cartilage that cushions the knee between the thighbone and shinbone. A meniscal tear can occur when you aggressively twist the joint. The cartilage may also get torn when lifting heavy objects or squatting.

People with a meniscus tear injury may find it challenging to extend the affected foot. It takes about a day to notice swelling and pain. Another common symptom is a popping sensation, especially when moving your limb.

A meniscus tear is one of the most prevalent injuries to the knee joint. Since aging weakens the cartilage, the injury is common among older patients. You can manage pain well with a cold pack and adequate rest.

  • ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is one of the ligaments inside the knee that connects the shinbone and thighbone. The ACL prevents the shinbone from sliding in front of the thigh bone and keeps the knee joint stable. ACL injuries are common in athletes who engage in contact sports that involve jumping or sudden stops.

ACL injuries cause swelling around the knee within six hours. The pain is usually excruciating enough to force you to stop any activity. The joint feels unstable, and you may notice popping sensations.

  • Knee dislocations

A knee dislocation occurs when the femur moves out of place with the shinbone around the knee joint. It differs from a kneecap dislocation, which typically affects the patella. A dislocation can occur after a blunt force to the joint, a car accident, or a fall.

Although it is not as prevalent as other knee injuries, its symptoms can be severe. Dislocations cause severe pain and swelling. The deformity is sometimes visible through the joint.

Knee dislocations can compromise the integrity of the knee joint. The resulting deformity damages nerves, blood vessels, and tendons. If untreated, knee dislocations can lead to long-term mobility problems.

  • Knee osteoarthritis

Knee osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that affects the cartilage in the joint. It breaks down cartilage tissue causing friction and limiting the knee’s range of motion. It is prevalent in patients over 40.

One of the symptoms is grinding noises when moving the knee. The joint may also become puffy due to inflammation. It also affects the knee’s stability, making the joint feel like it will give out.

While you cannot fix cartilage deterioration, rest and self-care can reduce symptoms. Talk to your orthopedic if the knee is sore and shows no signs of improvement.

To learn more about non-invasive knee injury treatments, contact Stephen Fisher, MD, or schedule your consultation online today.

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