Injuries that cause Knee Pain
If chronic knee pain is affecting your daily life, an awareness of the causes and possible treatment options can help you achieve pain relief.
Knee pain can be caused due to an acute injury or underlying health conditions, so identifying the cause is critical to find a solution that works.
Being active is the best way to keep many health problems at bay – but with age, the body becomes more prone to injury due several risk factors, such as weaker bones.
The knee is the largest joint in the body, and it is also one of the easily injured joints. There are four main parts of the knee joint: bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. The knee joint includes 3 bones – the tibia (shinbone), the femur (thighbone), and the patella (kneecap). The bones are cushioned from rubbing against each other by cartilage. A large disc of cartilage, called the meniscus, acts as the cushion between the femur and the tibia.
Four types of ligaments connect the bones in the knee –
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL)
- Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)
The muscles are connected to the knee bones by tendons.
All these together support the body’s weight during walking, jumping, running and other activities. An injury or damage to any one of the above tissues and structures can cause knee pain.
Common Knee Injuries
The knee is particularly susceptible to pain due to the following injuries:
- Torn ligament (e.g., torn ACL)
- Ruptured tendon
- Fractured patella
If the injury is accompanied by a “popping” at the time the knee gives out, or if you have severe pain and cannot bend your knee, you need urgent medical attention. Other injuries happen over time, such as arthritis pain in the knee.
Treating Knee Injuries
People who have knee pain are often recommended rest, activity modification, weight loss, RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) and physical therapy, depending on the symptoms and underlying condition. However, if the damage is severe, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend surgery to repair the joint.
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