Knee pain may be caused by an injury, a mechanical problem, an illness or a number of other potential causes. Injuries that cause knee pain can include: injuries to the ligaments, bursae, tendons, bones and cartilage. Some examples of injuries include: patellar tendinitis, knee bursitis, torn meniscus and ACL injury. Examples of mechanical problems that can lead to knee pain include: injury to or degeneration of the bone or the cartilage, knee locking, dislocation of the kneecap and pain in the foot or hip. Arthritis issues that can cause knee pain include septic arthritis, pseudogout, gout, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Other problems that can cause knee pain include: iliotibial band syndrome, chondromalacia patellae, osgood-schlatter disease and osteochondritis dissecans.
Complications associated with knee pain are possible. While not all knee pain is serious, there are many injuries and medical conditions that should be taken seriously. Osteoarthritis, for example, will lead to an increase in pain, damage to the joints and even disability if it is not treated promptly. Knee injuries, even those which are minor, can spell disaster if a medical professional is not consulted.
The location and the severity of the knee pain will vary depending on the actual cause or problem at hand. There are sometimes specific signs and symptoms of knee pain such as stiffness and swelling, redness or warmth to the touch, locking of the knee or an inability to straighten the knee and crunching or popping noises. Some serious symptoms of knee pain include: the inability to bear weight on the knee, marked swelling, an inability to flex or extend the knee fully, an obvious deformity in the knee or leg, a fever or a fall due to the knee giving out.
The physician will want to run tests in order to determine the underlying cause for the knee pain. The first recommendation is typically an x-ray, which will detect degeneration of the bone and bone fractures. The next course of action may include: computerized tomography or CT scan, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imagining or MRI in order to determine if there are any soft tissue injuries, damage to the knee and loose bodies or bone problems.
Treatment for a knee pain issue will depend on the underlying cause. Treatment options may include: medications to relieve pain or treat an underlying condition, physical therapy, orthotics or braces, corticosteroid injections, hyaluronic acid injections or surgery. Surgical options may include: arthroscopic surgery, partial knee replacement or total knee replacement depending on the severity of the knee damage. To prevent future damage or complications, always seek medical attention for an ongoing knee problem.