Most people experience knee pain at some point in their lives. Sports, exercise and other activities can cause muscle strains, tendinitis, and more serious injuries to ligaments and cartilage. For some, knee pain can be so severe that it limits daily activities. For others, mild knee pain may be a chronic hindrance to the active lifestyle they desire. In either case, chances are that you’re dealing with a knee problem that shouldn’t be ignored.
Common types of knee Pain.
Patella tendinitis occurs after overuse or repetitive trauma. This injury is often associated with basketball and volleyball. With this injury, patients present with pain in the front aspect of the knee, directly over the patella tendon.
The bursae are synovial-lined cavities that lie over the knee. Overuse and chronic irritation can lead to local inflammation and fluid collection in the bursa.
Pain in the front aspect of the knee is called chondromalacia. This can be caused by patella malalignment, osteoarthritis, bursitis, osteochondral fractures, synovial plica, and patella instability.
The meniscus can be torn from a twisting injury. The medial meniscus is not very mobile, and it has a greater chance of being torn than the lateral meniscus.
The patella is the most common knee bone broken. Another common fracture occurs at the area where the ends of the tibia and femur meet to form the joint. Many knee fractures are the result of high-energy trauma, such as a fall from height or car collision.
A dislocation occurs when one or more of the bones of the knee joint are out of place. The dislocation can be partial or complete. When the tibia and femur are forced out of alignment, the patella can slip out of position. Dislocations are often caused by an abnormality in the knee structure, and they result from high-energy trauma, such as a sports injury.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is often injured playing soccer, football, and basketball. The tear occurs from rapid changes of direction or from landing from a jump incorrectly. This ligament is often torn along with articular cartilage, a meniscus, and/or other ligaments (combined structure injury). Severe tears require surgical repair.
The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is often damaged from a direct blow to the front of the knee when the knee is in a bent position. PCL injuries are often related to sports contact. Partial tears will heal with conservative care, whereas complete tears often require surgery.
Collateral Ligament Injuries
Collateral ligament injuries are often caused by a force that pushes the knee to one side. An injury to the medial collateral ligament (MCL) is often caused by a blow to the outside of the knee joint, and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) can be injured from a blow to the inside of the knee pushing the knee outwards.
Arthritis of the knee
Arthritis is a common cause of severe knee pain and disability. Unfortunately, arthritis is a chronic degenerative condition that can eventually require surgery. The three most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis. In the case of any of these three, you may experience stiffness and swelling, and it may be hard to bend your knee.
Rheumatoid Arthritis of the knee
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the tissue around the joint to become inflamed and thickened. Chronic inflammation often leads to damage and loss of cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis represents only about 10 percent to 15 percent of all arthritis cases.
Post-traumatic arthritis can result after a serious knee injury, including bone fractures and ligament tears. These injuries can damage the cartilage in your knee over time and lead to pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Osteoarthritis of the knee
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is a progressive wearing of the cartilage in the knee joint. It occurs more frequently in individuals 50 and older. After 50, the impact of osteoarthritis can worsen due to accumulated use and the wearing down of cartilage that occurs with age. Osteoarthritis of the knee causes pain, limited range of motion, stiffness of the knee, swelling of the joint, tenderness, deformity and weakness.