Knee pain is a common complaint that sends many patients to the doctor’s office each year. Comprised of bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage, this joint’s inherent complexity makes it vulnerable to a wide range of injuries. While a professional opinion is always warranted any time discomfort persists, the following explanations may shed light on the cause behind your knee issue.
6 Common Types of Knee Injuries
1. Meniscus Tears
The menisci are two C-shaped pieces of fibrocartilage located in the knee joint between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone). They help to distribute forces and absorb shocks in the knee. The menisci can tear as a result of injury or degeneration. The injury can cause knee pain, buckling, or locking and usually requires arthroscopy, a minimally invasive surgical procedure.
2. ACL Injury
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) aids in stabilization. Impact from contact sports, improper landings, and quick changes in direction can tear the ACL, which may require bracing or surgical reconstruction. Sprains, however, can usually be treated through the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Characterized by persistent knee pain and pressure, bursitis occurs when fluid-filled sacs build up around the knee joints. This condition is usually caused by overuse or repeated kneeling. Sometimes bursitis can clear up with lifestyle adjustments. In other cases, antibiotics or aspiration may be needed.
The pain and swelling of arthritis can affect any of your joints—not just your hands. The causes are different depending on the type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis is the most common form and occurs naturally in most older adults due to years of wear and tear. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is caused by an autoimmune disease, so it’s a bit more common to see younger people affected with it. Lastly, post-traumatic arthritis occurs after a knee injury. There are a few different treatment possibilities, which include lifestyle changes, such as switching to low-impact exercises; medication to reduce inflammation around the knee joint; and physical therapy to increase range of motion.
Both patellar and quadricep tendinitis are common injuries among athletes—especially volleyball and basketball players who put a lot of stress on their knees as they jump and run. Both result from overuse and repetitive motion, causing inflammation in the tendons. Patellar affects the tendon that connects your kneecap to your shinbone, while quadricep muscles sit just above the kneecap. Rest, anti-inflammatories, and physical therapy are all viable options to help reduce symptoms. Surgery is typically reserved as a last resort.
Kneecaps can become fractured as a result of trauma. This type of injury is especially common for people with osteoporosis. If the knee bones have not shifted out of place, the injury may be heal over time with immobilization. In other cases, the bones may need to be surgically repositioned and fixed with hardware.
No matter the root cause behind your knee pain, the doctors from Advanced Orthopaedic Associates in Wayne, NJ, can help you find relief. Serving Passaic, Bergen, and Morris counties, these specialists provide individualized treatments based on their patients’ lifestyle, ensuring each solution is well-suited to each person’s unique needs. They’re committed to preventing re-injury and minimizing discomfort for any chronic injuries, helping to improve your quality of life both now and into the future. Learn about the knee conditions they treat by visiting their website or call (973) 839-5700 to schedule an appointment.