knee pain, knee joint: What's it, causes, symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, prevention

Knee pain; Pain – knee

Knee pain is a common symptom, that affects people of all ages. It can be caused by various factors, including injuries, overuse or comorbidities. Knee pain can range from mild discomfort to severe pain., that affects daily activities.

What is knee pain?

Knee pain is a symptom, associated with discomfort, soreness or pain in the knee joint. The knee joint is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body., consisting of the femur, tibial, fibula and patella, as well as links, tendons and cartilage. Knee pain can come from within, outside or in front of the knee and may result from injury or underlying medical conditions.

Causes of knee pain

Knee pain can have a variety of causes.. Being overweight increases the risk of knee problems. Overload can cause knee problems, causing pain. If you have arthritis, it can also cause knee pain.

Here are some common causes of knee pain:

Medical causes of knee pain

  • Arthritis – including rheumatoid arthritis , osteoarthritis , lupus and gout
  • Baker's cyst - a fluid-filled swelling behind the knee, which may occur with edema (inflammation) for other reasons, like arthritis.
  • Cancer, which either extends to the bones, either starts in the bones
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease
  • Infection in the bones around the knee
  • Infection in the knee joint

Knee pain from injury and stress

  • Bursitis – inflammation due to repetitive pressure on the knee, eg, from long kneeling, overuse or injury
  • Tendinitis – tendon inflammation with activity change, may be due to overuse or tissue degradation
  • Dislocation of the patella
  • Fracture of the patella or other bones
  • Iliotibial ligament syndrome - damage to the thick ligament, which runs from the thigh to the outside of the knee
  • Patellofemoral syndrome - pain in the front of the knee around the patella.
  • torn ligament – anterior cruciate ligament injury (PKS) or medial collateral ligament (ISS) can cause bleeding into the knee, swelling or instability of the knee
  • cartilage rupture ( meniscus tear ) – pain is felt inside or outside the knee joint
  • Ligament strain or sprain - mild ligament injury, caused by sudden or unnatural twisting

Symptoms of knee pain

Symptoms of knee pain can vary depending on the underlying cause.. Some common symptoms include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the knee joint
  • Swelling or stiffness in the knee
  • Limited range of motion
  • Difficulty standing or walking
  • Grinding or crunching in the knee
  • Weakness or instability in the knee joint
  • Redness or heat around the knee

When to see a doctor

You should contact your healthcare professional, if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain or swelling of the knee
  • Difficulty shifting body weight to the affected leg
  • Fever or chills
  • Signs of infection, such as redness or fever around the knee.
  • Inability to fully extend or flex the knee

If knee pain is severe or does not go away for a long time, it is important to seek medical attention. A healthcare professional can help diagnose the underlying cause of knee pain and develop an appropriate treatment plan..

Questions, that your doctor may ask

When you see a doctor with knee pain, he may ask you some questions, to help diagnose the underlying cause. Some common questions may include:

  • When you got knee pain?
  • Have you ever had a knee injury?
  • What activities increase or relieve knee pain?
  • Have you ever experienced knee pain before??
  • Do you have any other medical conditions or are you taking any medications?

Diagnosis of knee pain

In case of pain in the knee, an orthopedic examination is performed first., areas of hypersensitivity and range of motion in the knee are identified.

To identify the causes of knee pain, the patient is scheduled for specialized examinations:

  • X-ray of the knee. The procedure visualizes the bone well, but it is less effective when examining soft tissues
  • Computed tomography of the knee joint. The procedure can visualize both bony, and soft tissue, but CT provides a much higher radiation dose, than x-ray
  • MRI knee. Using radio waves and a strong magnetic field, MRI creates detailed images of bones and soft tissues, such as knee ligaments and cartilage
  • Articular fluid culture (fluid, taken from the knee and examined under a microscope)

Treatment for knee pain

Treatment for knee pain will depend on the underlying cause of the pain.. Some common treatments for knee pain include:

  • Recreation: resting the affected knee can help reduce pain and inflammation. The importance of avoiding, that aggravate the pain
  • Ice: applying ice to the affected area can help reduce pain and swelling. Wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply to your knee for 15-20 minutes once a day
  • Compression: using an elastic bandage or compression sleeve can help reduce swelling and provide support for the knee
  • Elevated position: elevating the affected leg can help reduce swelling and improve circulation
  • Painkillers. OTC painkillers, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen, can relieve pain and reduce inflammation
  • Physiotherapy: a physical therapist can help develop a personalized exercise program to strengthen the muscles around the knee and improve range of motion
  • Injections: in some cases, corticosteroid injections may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation in the knee
  • Surgery: If other treatments are ineffective, surgery may be required to repair or replace damaged knee tissue

Home treatment for knee pain

In addition to procedures, recommended doctor, there are also some home remedies, which can help relieve knee pain:

  • Weight Management. Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce stress on your knees and prevent knee pain.
  • Exercises. Regular exercise can help strengthen the muscles around the knee and improve flexibility and range of motion.
  • Heat therapy. Applying a heating pad or warm towel to the affected knee can help relieve pain and stiffness.
  • Massage. Gently massaging the affected area can help improve blood circulation and reduce muscle tension.
  • Yoga or stretching. Yoga or stretching exercises can help improve flexibility and reduce knee pain.

Prevention of painful knees

Here are some tips, to help prevent knee pain:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight: extra weight can put strain on your knees, so maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent knee pain
  • Wearing comfortable shoes. Wearing shoes with good support can help reduce stress on your knees.
  • Exercise regularly: regular exercise can help strengthen the muscles around the knee and improve flexibility and range of motion
  • Avoid high stress activities: such actions, like running or jumping, can cause strain on the knees, so it is important to avoid these activities, if you have a history of knee problems
  • Using the Right Technique: When playing sports or other physical activities, using proper technique can help reduce the risk of knee injuries.

Used sources and literature

Cheung EC, McAllister DR, Petrigliano FA. Anterior cruciate ligament injuries. In: Miller MD, Thompson SR, eds. DeLee, The sink, & Miller’s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 98.

Huddleston J.I., Goodman S. Hip and knee pain. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Gabriel SE, Koretzky GA, McInnes IB, O'Dell Jr, eds. Firestein & Kelley’s Textbook of Rheumatology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 51.

McCarthy M, Mcarty EC, Frank RM. Patellofemoral pain. In: Miller MD, Thompson SR, eds. DeLee, The sink, & Miller’s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 106.

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