Three Common Causes of Knee Pain

Knee pain can be debilitating, hinder your movement, and make even regular activities that you used to enjoy a chore. In this article, we’ll explore three of the most common causes of knee pain so you can better understand what is happening in your knee.

1.Knee Ligament Injuries

Knee joint ligaments are the structures that provide stability to the knee joint. In the knee joint, the ligaments attach the thigh bone to the lower leg bones. Ligaments allow the knee to bend and straighten but keep the alignment of the knee joint intact. Injuries to the ligaments of the knee will disrupt the stability of the knee and impair our ability to function normally. A person tearing the ACL in their knee has torn the anterior cruciate ligament of their knee joint. While the ACL is the most commonly torn ligament of the knee joint, other ligaments within the knee can be torn as well. Depending on the severity of the injury, knee ligament injuries may heal with medical treatment. Many knee ligament injuries do require surgical treatment for optimal recovery of function.

2. Meniscal Tears

Meniscal tear within the knee are one the most common injuries in orthopaedics. The Meniscus is one of the padding structures within the knee. The meniscus is part of the padding that protects your bones that are part of the knee joint from rubbing and bumping against each other. There are two menisci within the knee and they provide padding on both the inside and outside portions of your knee joint. The medial meniscus is on the inside of your knee and the lateral meniscus is on the outside. Meniscus tears can sometimes be treated non-operatively, but many require surgery to achieve full recovery.

3. Arthritis of the Knee

Another common type of knee pain is arthritis. Arthritis is a chronic degenerative condition where the padding of the knee joint wears out over time. Knee arthritis can commonly be treated effectively with medical treatment, at least initially. Oral medications, braces and injections can be useful in the medical treatment of arthritis. Many different injections are available now, including steroids, lubricant-gel injections, platelet-rich plasma injections and stem cell injections. Each of these options can be helpful for an extended period to improve comfort and function despite arthritis within the knee.

Here’s a breakdown of the different types of arthritis pain:

The three most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (the wear and tear arthritis), post-traumatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Most people experience arthritis as a combination of stiffness and swelling. People dealing with arthritis often have trouble bending and straightening their knee or going about their normal daily activities.

Osteoarthritis of the knee
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage within the knee is progressively worn down. While osteoarthritis can happen to anyone, you see it more frequently as we all get older. Severe arthritis causes increasing pain, limited motion, stiffness, swelling, tenderness, and weakness. Factors such as increased weight, previous injuries, age and family history have an impact on the severity of the arthritis.

Post-Traumatic Arthritis
Post-traumatic Arthritis is the second most common cause of arthritic pain. This condition arises after there has been an injury in the knee such as fractures, articular cartilage injury, meniscal injury or a ligament tear. Appropriate care of the original injury can help to minimize the likelihood of dealing with this type of arthritis in the future.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the knee
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the tissues around the joint become inflamed and causes increased pain within the joint. While this only includes about 10-15 percent of all arthritis cases, it often is one of the most severe types of arthritis as essentially the body is attacking itself on a consistent basis. Medical treatment has advanced significantly in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Surgery when necessary can be tremendously helpful in reducing pain, swelling and stiffness.

This article was brought to you by Dr. Brandown Downs. Dr. Downs can help you
understand your knee pain and if surgery is right for you. Find Dr.Downs at:

Hughston Clinic Orthopaedics, Centennial Medical Center in the Physician’s Park Building 2400 Patterson Street Suite 300, Nashville, Tn 37203 (615) 342-6300
Orthopaedic Specialists , 415 Henslee Drive in the Creekside Center, Dickson, Tn 37055
(615) 375-8287,

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