Deep Knee Pain Heres What You Need To Know About Causes Symptoms And Potential Treatment Options For Pain Inside The Knee Joint
It can be exhausting trying to figure out where our aches and pains come from. Pain inside the knee joint is no different! Whether the pain is fleeting or persistent, mild or excruciating, there are various mechanisms at play that are important to understand in order to determine how to move towards diagnosis and treatment.
When your knees are functioning at their best, you don’t even think about them. But when they start to ache it becomes difficult to ignore. It may take weeks, months, or even years in some situations before they hurt enough to start thinking about treatment. Remember, the human body can handle a lot, but the longer we ignore the pain, the worse it can become.
In order to avoid the pain, your body may begin compensating in ways that can lead to increased pressure in other parts of the knee, accelerating the natural degenerative process in the joint. It’s important to see a doctor or medical professional as soon as possible to explore treatment options, take preventive measures, and plan ahead. This post is specific to internal knee pain: pain that feels like it is coming from deep inside the knee joint. If you’re looking for information on pain on the inner side of your knee, the part that faces the opposite leg, check out our blog post about medial knee pain.
What Exercises Are Recommended And What Exercises Should Be Avoided During Rehabilitation For A Knee Injury
During physical therapy for rehabilitation of a knee injury, the patient will be given specific exercises by the physical therapist in order to strengthen and stabilize the knee joint. These exercises include strengthening the front of the thigh , back of the thigh , calf, and hip. Consult your doctor and your physical therapist before starting any exercise program. Your physical therapist should insure you perform the exercises properly before doing them on your own.
If you have any pain or discomfort while doing prescribed exercises, see your doctor or physical therapist.
Some exercises your physical therapist may recommend include the following:
- Quad sets
- Straight-leg raise to the front
- Straight-leg raise to the back
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has an exercise guide that includes directions and pictures. Consult your doctor or physical therapist before trying any of these exercises on your own.
Some exercises to avoid following knee injury include the following:
- Full-arc knee extensions
These exercises can further stress already damaged knee joints.
Muscle Tendon Injuries Mcl And Lcl Injuries Acl Injuries And Meniscus Tears
Muscle Tendon Injuries
Almost all of these strains are treated with ice, elevation, and rest. Sometimes compression with an Ace wrap or knee sleeve is recommended, and crutches may be used for a short time to assist with walking. Ibuprofen or naproxen can be used as an anti-inflammatory medication.
The mechanism of injury is either hyperextension, in which the hamstring muscles can be stretched or torn, or hyperflexion, in which the quadriceps muscle is injured. Uncommonly, with a hyperflexion injury, the patellar or quadriceps tendon can be damaged and rupture. This injury is characterized by the inability to extend or straighten the knee and a defect that can be felt either above or below the patella . Surgery is usually required to repair this injury.
Except for elite athletes, tears of the hamstring muscle are treated conservatively without an operation, allowing time, exercise, and perhaps physical therapy to return the muscle to normal function.
MCL and LCL Injuries
Restored Knee Function Transforms A Life Inspires Family To Give Back
The Reibels have relied on Mayo Clinic for their care for 25 years. That experience has inspired them to donate to Mayo Clinic’s Center for Regenerative Medicine.
Even in retirement, Dr. and Mrs. Reibel — or Jay and Barbara as their friends at Mayo Clinic have come to know them — are always on the go. They travel the world and have been actively engaged in a host of civic and community organizations.
But chronic pain in both knees threatened Jay’s ability to continue his active lifestyle. Over time, it became almost debilitating. He had trouble climbing stairs or even sitting for long periods. He couldn’t make it through an opera — a favorite activity — without rubbing his knees in pain. It was a constant distraction and presented a serious challenge.
Doctors in New York City, close to the Reibels’ home in Greenwich, Connecticut, were unable to find an answer or relieve the pain. Jay knew he needed to go to Mayo Clinic.
How Is Knee Pain Diagnosed Knee Problem Diagnosis Tests
As several physical conditions or diseases cause knee problems so there is a wide range of diagnostic tests for detecting and tracing back the underlying cause of knee problem in each individual. Some of the most commonly occurring physical conditions which become the cause of knee problem include gout, osteoarthritis, joint dislocation, baker’s cyst, rheumatoid arthritis , tendinitis, meniscus tear, and bursitis. Moreover, for each different cause of knee problem, there is need of a different diagnostic test for that specific cause. The detailed diagnosis gives the doctor a specific and accurate cause of the knee problem in a patient. Some of the common in practice diagnostic tests for knee problem includes blood testing, CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging , ultrasound, X-rays and other scanning tests.
After doing an initial checkup, the doctor further goes for the more suitable imaging test for a specific patient.
- Examine your knee for pain, swelling, warmth, tenderness and visible bruising
- To monitor or evaluate the integrity of the muscles and the structures which are present in your knee by pulling or pushing the joint
- And doctors also observe that how far a patient can move his/her lower leg in various directions
How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose A Knee Injury
Depending on the how the knee was injured and whether or not there are accompanying medical issues, the doctor will perform specific tests involving bending or twisting the knee to test the stability of the ligaments and check for damage to the cartilage. Knee-bending tests done by your doctor are designed to isolate specifically which ligament or part of the cartilage has been damaged.
Further testing with X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs may be necessary to evaluate the extent of the injury and help determine treatment and prognosis. X-rays and CT scans are used to asses for bony injuries , and MRIs are used to evaluate soft-tissue damage .
Treatment for a knee injury depends on the part of the knee that is damaged and the extent of the damage.
Some injuries such as simple strains or sprains are treated with home remedies such as RICE therapy . Taking time off from sports and exercise may be enough for minor injuries and knee pain to heal. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or naproxen may help treat the pain and inflammation from these minor injuries. Chronic knee injuries may respond to heat therapy.
See a doctor for knee pain and injury if you experience the following:
- Severe pain
How Can I Find Relief From My Knee Pain In Atlanta Ga
If you are interested in getting to the root of your knee pain, finding relief, and enjoying your life to the fullest again, the first step is to be evaluated by a qualified, experienced, and skilled professional. Call Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Christopher Williams today, and discover how the solution for living a more comfortable life may be closer than your think!
Exercises To Strengthen Your Knee & Prevent Knee Pain
Patients who experience pain often do not want to move a muscle in the fear that it will worsen the discomfort. However, medical experts emphasise that being mobile is an integral part of relieving and preventing pain.
If you’re looking for simple exercises that help to strengthen your knees, consider the following:
What Other Symptoms May Be Associated With Knee Pain
If you have knee pain, you may get other symptoms such as:
- swelling, redness or heat in the knee
- bruising around the knee
- locking or clicking
- inability to straighten your knee
See a doctor if the pain doesn’t improve in a few weeks, if you can’t move your knee or put any weight on it, or if your knee locks or gives way.
Go to an emergency department if your knee is very painful, is badly swollen or has changed shape, or if you have a fever and a red and hot knee.
Fractures Bursa Inflammation And Patellar Injuries
Fractures of the bones of knee are relatively common. The patella, or kneecap, may fracture due to a fall directly onto it or in car accidents, when the knee is driven into the dashboard. If the bone is displaced , surgery may be required for repair, but if the bone is in good position, a knee immobilizer and watchful waiting may be all that is required.
The head of the fibula on the lateral side of the knee joint can be fractured either by a direct blow or as part of an injury to the shin or ankle. This bone usually heals with little intervention, but fractures of this bone can have a major complication. The peroneal nerve wraps around the bone and can be damaged by the fracture. This will cause a foot drop, so do not be surprised if the physician examines your foot when you complain of knee problems.
With jumping injuries, the surface of the tibia can be damaged, resulting in a fracture to the tibial plateau. The mechanism of injury is jumping and landing on a fully extended, straightened knee. Since the femoral condyle sits on the tibial plateau to make the knee joint, it is important that it heals with the most even joint surface as possible to prevent future arthritis and chronic pain. For that reason, after plain X-rays reveal this fracture, a CT scan may be done to make certain that there is no displacement of the bones. This type of fracture may require surgery for repair.
Bone Marrow Lesions And Osteoarthritis Progression
Coronal STIR MRI showing subchondral bone oedema and synovitis
Until recently there has been much focus on articular cartilage in assessing OA severity. There is conflicting data about whether cartilage damage correlates with pain. And recent studies have tied to shift the emphasis to other pathological events such as BML and synovial effusion/synovitis in understanding the cause of OA pain. The clinical implication of BML is not clear. It is present in 78% of patients with knee OA with pain and in 30% of patients in knee OA without pain . BML is not pathognomonic of knee OA but its association is intriguing and not fully understood. This only highlights the need for more research into the matter. It is becoming more evident that pain from OA is multifactorial and that research into such new fields will help predict disease progression and alter improve treatments.
Our Unique Approach To Articular Cartilage Repair
Early identification and treatment of articular cartilage damage can have a significant effect on outcomes for patients. We address cartilage damage as part of our biologic joint replacement procedure. By repairing or replacing the damaged cartilage before it completely wears out, the arthritic damage can be reversed and the joints preserved.
If this step is not taken, eventually the cartilage wear will progress so much that the bones will touch on each side of the joint, called bone on bone wear. At this stage, artificial joint replacement becomes necessary.
What Does Knee Pain Caused By Arthritis Feel Like
With the immense amount of pressure and strain put on our knees day after day and year after year, it is not surprising that knee pain is such a widespread complaint in men and women of all ages in Atlanta, GA. While there are certainly some more serious causes of knee pain, in a large number of people, knee pain is temporary and, relatively, harmless. However, if you think the pain in your knees may be caused by arthritis, here are a few telltale signs and symptoms to watch for:
When Should You Call The Doctor For A Knee Injury
Emergent medical care should be sought if, due to injury,
- there is almost immediate swelling in the knee,
- if the bones appear deformed,
- if there is inability to bear weight,
- if the pain is intolerable,
- if there is loss of sensation below the injury site,
- if the foot and ankle turn cold and no pulses can be felt.
Medical care should be considered if a knee injury does not resolve with routine home care, including rest, ice, compression, and elevation . Other symptoms that may suggest the need for medical care include recurrent pain and swelling.
A swollen joint is never normal, and if it is red and warm or if there is an associated fever, more urgent medical attention should be accessed because of the worry of infection being present. This is particularly a warning sign in infants and children, people who have had knee joint replacements, intravenous drug abusers, and those who have compromised immune systems.
What Are The Treatments For Arthritic Knee Pain
After determining that your knee pain is, in fact, caused by arthritis, Dr. Williams and the caring staff at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta will recommend an appropriate treatment plan to help you as quickly and reliably as possible. Some of the most widely known and used treatments for arthritis and arthritic knee pain include:
- Knee injections
- Fluid drainage
- Weight loss
- Physical therapy
In addition to these methods, Dr. Williams is proud to offer the breakthrough Regenexx family of nonsurgical treatments, which are designed to use a patient’s own stem cells to treat common and degenerative conditions without the need for going under the knife. While there are certainly some cases in which surgery may be unavoidable, Regenexx treatment has proven to be highly beneficial for chronic pain relief caused by a large number of conditions.
What Is The Medical Treatment For A Knee Injury
More serious knee injuries require medical care.
Knee immobilization or splinting keeps the knee from moving and decreases the chance of further injury. Immobilizing the knee can help stabilize an injured knee that may not be stable due to torn ligaments. It also keeps the knee from moving to assist in resting the knee.
Chronic knee injuries involving inflammation and bursitis may be treated with anti-inflammatories. Injections of cortisone may be helpful in these situations.
More extensive injuries involving torn ligaments, instability of the knee joint, swelling, decreased range of motion, or fractures will require an orthopedic surgeon consultation. In the initial stages of these more extensive injuries, RICE therapy can still be used. Staying off the leg by using crutches or a wheelchair may be advised.
Surgery may be indicated for tears of the ligaments or extensive meniscal tears. Surgery may also be needed for fractures or dislocations of the knee. Some acute injuries such as those with high-force impact, or multiple parts of the knee damaged, may require emergency surgery.
Most knee surgery can be done by arthroscopy, a procedure in which a camera is used and small punctures are made in the knee to insert instruments. Repairs can be done inside the knee without having the open the knee with a large incision. Most arthroscopic surgeries do not need to be done immediately after an acute injury. Some are delayed to allow for decreased inflammation.
How To Tell If You Have Arthritis In Your Knee
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic or acute knee pain each year, and it can be difficult to get appropriate treatment and much-needed relief without knowing the actual cause of the pain. Since many conditions can have symptoms that mimic one another, it is important to seek the advice of a professional when seeking a diagnosis, treatment, or therapy for your knee pain. Dr. Christopher Williams and the knowledgeable team at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta are highly experienced in assessing a vast array of bone, joint, and muscle symptoms and are dedicated to helping patients determine the cause of their pain and realize quick, effective, and long-lasting relief.
What Are The Types And Causes Of Knee Injuries
While direct blows to the knee will occur, the knee is more susceptible to twisting or stretching injuries , taking the joint through a greater range of motion than it was meant to tolerate.
If the knee is stressed from a specific direction, then the ligament trying to hold it in place against that force can stretch or tear. These injuries are called sprains. Sprains are graded as first, second, or third degree based upon how much damage has occurred. Grade-one sprains stretch the ligament but don’t tear the fibers; grade-two sprains partially tear the fibers, but the ligament remains intact; and grade-three tears completely disrupt the ligament.
Twisting injuries to the knee put stress on the cartilage or meniscus and can pinch them between the tibial surface and the edges of the femoral condyle, potentially causing tears.
Injuries of the muscles and tendons surrounding the knee are caused by acute hyperflexion or hyperextension of the knee or by overuse. These injuries are called strains. Strains are graded similarly to sprains, with first-degree strains stretching muscle or tendon fibers but not tearing them, second-degree strains partially tearing the muscle tendon unit, and third-degree strains completely tearing it.
There can be inflammation of the bursas of the knee that can occur because of direct blows or chronic use and abuse.
When Should I See A Pain Management Specialist
You should consult with a pain management specialist if your acute knee pain seems to be transitioning into chronic pain. Generally, this is when the pain lasts longer than 90 days, but it could be sooner. Pain that lasts longer than expected for the condition you have is a warning sign that the pain is becoming chronic.
Pain management specialists can provide diagnosis and treatment on their own or in consultation with other health care providers. These may include your primary care physician, orthopedist, rheumatologist, or physical therapist.
Orthopedists treat problems related to bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Rheumatologists specialize in the nonsurgical treatment of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. Physical therapists use exercises and stretches, movement training, medical massage, and other hands-on techniques to help patients increase mobility, ease pain, and protect against further injury.
What Kinds Of Arthritis Can Occur In The Knee
In the case of knee pain, one of the most common culprits is arthritis. There are three types of arthritis that can occur in the knee, and it is not unheard for patients to have multiple arthritic conditions present at the same time. The three kinds of arthritis that often develop in the knees include:
- Osteoarthritis : A slow-acting, progressive “wear-and-tear” process that deteriorates joint cartilage. Middle-aged and older patients are the most likely group to develop OA.
- Rheumatoid arthritis : RA can occur at any age. This inflammatory process can be marked by painful swelling in the joints.
- Post-traumatic arthritis: Patients who have a significant knee injury, such as a fracture, torn ligament, or torn meniscus, may develop post-traumatic arthritis. This can occur many years after the injury itself.
Possible Causes Of Pain Deep Inside Your Knee
There are many conditions that can cause pain deep inside the knee: soft tissue damage , damage to the fibrocartilage from sports or aging ,
damage to the joint cartilage due to cumulative excessive force over time, a history of intra-articular fractures, or bone fractures above or below the knee that created increased force inside the joint. A problem in one part of the joint often impacts other parts, especially when left untreated.
Other issues can be caused by a buildup of inflammatory fluid in response to the injury or degenerative change in the joint, which can cause it to feel stiff or sore. Swelling in the joint or the air pockets within the joint can also lead to problems. In rare cases, there can be something physically blocking the joint, like a torn meniscus or loose bone fragment inside the joint. This can impede movement, and in extreme instances, cause the knee to lock.
Why Should I See A Pain Management Specialist
Pain management is an important part of any treatment plan, both for lessening discomfort and aiding in recovery. Pain management specialists understand the full range of pain relief options and how to use these options in combination. Treatments done as part of a comprehensive, multimodal plan may help even if each treatment does not seem to make a difference when used in isolation.
Pain management specialists work with patients to help diagnose pain and treat it safely and effectively with as few side effects as possible. These treatments do not have to involve medication. In fact, pain management is generally more successful when a comprehensive approach is used, with or without medications.
What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Knee Pain
A health care professional will begin by asking questions related to the person’s general health and then specifically to the nature of the knee pain .
Next, an examination of the knee will be performed. This will include bending the knee through the full range of motion, checking for stability of the ligaments, and evaluating for any tenderness and swelling. It is often helpful to compare the results of the examination of the painful knee with the other knee. Frequently, this is all that is required to make a diagnosis and start treatment. In several research studies, it has been found that an experienced examiner is as reliable as X-ray examination.
Sometimes the doctor might want to do further studies such as the following tests.
Plain X-ray can establish fractures and degenerative changes of the knee.
MRI is used to evaluate the soft tissues of the knee for ligament tears or cartilage and muscle injuries.
If gout, arthritis, or other medical conditions are suspected, a health care professional might order blood tests.
Removal of joint fluid
What Natural Home Remedies Relieve Knee Pain
Over-the-counter pain medications can frequently alleviate the pain. If someone is taking these medications on a regular basis, he or she should see a health care professional to evaluate the knee pain for proper diagnosis and to avoid the potential side effects of chronic medication use.
The RICE mnemonic is often helpful, especially for minor injuries:
Rest: Rest the joint, and take a break from your usually activities involving the knee joint.
Ice: Applying ice can help with pain and inflammation.
Compress: A compression bandage can help prevent swelling and help knee alignment. It should not be tight and should be removed at night.
Elevate: Elevation can help with swelling and resting of the knee.
What Are The Symptoms Of Patellofemoral Pain
- Pain around the knee. The pain is felt at the front of the knee, around or behind the kneecap . Often, the exact site of the pain cannot be pinpointed; instead the pain is felt vaguely at the front of the knee.
- The pain comes and goes.
- Both knees are often affected at the same time but one is usually worse than the other.
- The pain is typically worse when going up or, in particular, going down stairs.
- Running, especially downhill, squatting and certain sports can all set it off – anything that leads to the patella being compressed against the lower part of the thighbone.
- The pain may be brought on by sitting still for long periods. For example, after going to the cinema or for a long drive, when it will be worse when starting to move about again.
- There may be a grating or grinding feeling or a noise when the knee bends and straightens. This is called crepitus.
- Sometimes there is puffiness or swelling around the kneecap.