Are You Experiencing Knee Pain as a Result of a Sudden Injury or Overuse?
The orthopedic doctors and sports medicine experts at Westchester Sport and Spine are here to help you with your knee pain. With 40 years of combined experience diagnosing knee pain and treating knee injuries, the fellowship trained specialists at Westchester Sport and Spine provide you with the highest level of care for surgical and non-surgical knee procedures.
About Your Knees
Your knees are the largest joints in your body. Your knee joint is made up of bones, cartilage, discs, ligaments, tendons and muscles, which all work together to ensure proper joint function (extension, flexion).
The knee joint is formed by your upper leg bone (femur) and your lower leg bones (tibia, fibia) which are separated by two discs (minisci) and connected by ligaments, tendons, and muscles that give it strength and support. The ends of your leg bones are covered in cartilage that act as a shock absorber and provides a smooth surface for joint movement. This allows you to walk, jog, run and maneuver comfortably throughout your day.
Due to the size and complexity of your knee joint, it’s easy to injure and susceptible to chronic pain from overuse.
Common Causes of Knee Pain
There are three main causes of knee pain; an injury, a medical condition or chronic overuse.
A knee injury can affect the ligaments, cartilage, menisci and leg bones. Common injuries of the knee, such as an ACL tear or a meniscus tear, result in severe pain, followed by swelling and the inability to move the joint properly.
Fractures and chips of the leg bones can also occur in cases of severe trauma. Aside from acute injuries, conditions such as arthritis or osteoarthritis and everyday wear on the joint are also causes of knee pain.
To be certain of the reason for your knee pain, contact the orthopedic surgeons at Westchester Sport and Spine for specific diagnosis of your knee pain.
Commonly Treated Knee Conditions
Knee pain can be caused by overuse, trauma, or by underlying conditions such as arthritis. Knee pain can affect people of all ages, ranging from mild discomfort to debilitating pain. Additionally, knee pain can have different causes, ranging from obesity to sports-related injuries. The treatments for knee pain or trauma will vary depending on the diagnosis.
- ACL Injury: this injury involves a tear or sprain of the anterior cruciate, a major ligament in the knee. This injury is common during sports which involve sudden stops or changes in direction.
- ACL Tear: this injury involves a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament. It is common in sports with sudden stops but it can also happen as a result of falls from tall heights.
- Arthritis: inflammation of the joints, which can cause pain and stiffness that can be degenerative with age.
- Baker’s Cyst: swelling in the space behind the knee. This condition most commonly affects women over the age of 40. Symptoms often include joint locking, knee, and calf pain.
- Bursitis: inflammation of the bursae situated near the near joint. Bursae are designed to reduce friction the pressure points between the bones and tendons, cushioning them. When they are inflamed, they can cause pain, swelling, and discomfort.
- Chronic Knee Instability: this condition involves a sensation of twisting or movement in the knee while doing basic activities. It is most often the result of a ligament injury.
- Collateral Ligament Injury: the medial collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament are two strong ligaments running down either side of the knee. Injury to the medial collateral ligament causes pain, swelling, discomfort, or difficulty walking.
- Dislocated Knee: an uncommon but serious injury involving the femur and tibia losing contact with each other. In order for a knee dislocation to occur, the ligaments supporting the knee must also tear, resulting in severe pain and inflammation.
- Growth Plate Fractures: the growth plates around the knee are sensitive to injury. Injury to these plates can cause the leg to become uneven with the other leg (either shorter or longer) or crooked, which has the potential to cause lasting or permanent damage.
- Hyperextended Knee: hyperextension of the knee can cause damage to the anterior cruciate ligament or the posterior cruciate ligament, damaging the cartilage in the knee. This may require surgery.
- Osgood-Schlatter Disease: a common cause of knee pain in adolescents, involving inflammation of the patellar tendon where it attaches to the tibia.
- Osteoarthritis: a form of arthritis that causes pain and inflammation when the cartilage of the bones begins to erode.
- Patellar Tendinitis: injury to the tendon connecting the patella to the tibia. The patellar tendon can become inflamed with injuries of this nature, which leads to pain and discomfort.
- PCL Injury: a sprain, stretch, or tear of the ligament to the posterior cruciate ligament. This injury often occurs in automotive accidents when the front of the knee comes into contact with the dashboard.
- PCL Tear: a tear to the posterior cruciate ligament of the knee, commonly caused by automotive accidents or any incident involving acute trauma to the front of the knee.
- Quadriceps Tendon Tear: an uncommon injury often occurring in middle-aged people who engage in running or jumping sports. A quadriceps tendon tear is a tear of the tendon running from the quadriceps to the top of the knee cap.
- Runner’s Knee: a common term used to describe any one of several conditions causing pain in and around the kneecap or the patella. These conditions may include knee pain syndrome, patellofemoral malalignment, and more.
- Tendinitis: inflammation or irritation of a tendon in the knee. This is typically an injury of overuse or strain rather than of acute trauma.
- Torn Meniscus: one of the most common knee injuries. This injury is caused by any activity causing the knee to forcefully rotate or twist out of place, causing the tissue in the knee to tear.
- Unstable Kneecap: also called patellar subluxation, is when the knee cap, or patella, has become completely dislocated. This can sometimes be treated with reduction though it may have to be treated by surgery.
Knee Pain Treatment Options
The majority of knee conditions and injuries are effectively treated with medication, splinting, bracing, injections and physical therapy. More often than not, knee surgery is not necessary to treat your current pain.
If surgery is needed, the orthopedic surgeons at Westchester Sport and Spine are experts in the latest minimally invasive procedures.
The main treatment options for your knee pain include:
- Avoiding activities that make your symptoms worse
- Using ice packs
- Physical therapy
- Surgery (in some cases)
Call Us Immediately
If your knee pain is caused by an injury and is accompanied by any of the symptoms below, please call Westchester Sport and Spine immediately and then ask someone to drive you to our clinic.
- Your knee appears deformed
- Inability to use your knee or extend your leg
- Intense pain
- Sudden swelling