Knee Pain And Conditions That May Require Orthopedic Treatment

Friday, October 16th, 2020

If you suffer from knee pain, you know it can be debilitating and get in the way of everyday activities. Many people experience knee pain as they age, caused by a variety of conditions. You can seek treatment from an orthopedic doctor or surgeon, but the methods you choose will depend on your condition.

Osteoarthritis

Although there are a few types of arthritis that can cause knee pain, the main cause is osteoarthritis. This condition is most often experienced by those over 50 years of age, but younger people can also develop it. The cartilage in the knee will slowly wear away if you have osteoarthritis, which results in pain, swelling, stiffness, and inflammation. Here are the treatment options your orthopedic surgeon may suggest for osteoarthritis.

  1. Physical therapy: This involves doing exercises that strengthen the muscles around the knee and improve range of motion. It will only help stop pain for so long. If your osteoarthritis debilitates to the level that bone is rubbing against bone, it will no longer help.
  2. Medication: Taking medicines over the counter, like acetaminophen, can help get rid of knee pain temporarily. Prescription medications can offer even more pain relief. But, taking medicine to stop the pain does not solve the problem long-term.
  3. Surgery: If your doctor suggests surgery for your osteoarthritis, you may be able to choose from arthroscopy, total, or partial knee replacement, or osteotomy. These options will likely only be offered if other treatments are not working.

Torn ACL

Injuries can result in long term knee pain as well. ACL tears are one of the most common injuries that result in pain. When this ligament (which connects your thighbone to your shinbone) is torn, it can cause reduced range of motion and instability as well. Here are some treatments that can help if you have torn your ACL.

  1. Physical therapy: Doing specialized exercises can help strengthen the muscles around your knee and restore range of motion. Just be careful not to exceed the recommended limits.
  2. Using a knee brace: Doing this will help keep your knee stable after you have torn the ACL. It helps prevent pain too.
  3. Surgery: Unfortunately, this type of injury almost always requires surgery. This is because the ACL cannot heal properly on its own. The orthopedic surgeon will repair or replace the ligament so your knee can function again.

Torn meniscus

This injury is similar to a torn ACL but occurs in the cartilage instead of the ligament. If you have a torn meniscus, you may feel like your knee is locked when you try to move it, as well as pain. Your orthopedic physician may suggest the following treatments.

  1. Physical therapy: This treatment is usually suggested alongside surgery because the meniscus cannot heal by itself. It will strengthen the muscles around the knee and the stability of the entire joint structure.
  2. Surgery: Joint pain caused by a torn meniscus can only be fully stopped with surgery. But, that doesn’t always mean a major procedure. With minimally invasive arthroscopy, your orthopedic surgeon can have you in and out the same day.

Blood supply problems

It may sound strange, but certain blood flow related conditions can result in knee pain. These are hemophilia and a general lack of blood supply. Both can mean that joint replacement or repair will be necessary.

For those with hemophilia, it is difficult to create the blood clots that help stop blood loss in injuries. This condition also results in joint bleeds and an early need for joint replacement.

On the opposite end of the blood flow spectrum, a lack of blood can cause knee pain. This is typically caused by an injury that prevents blood (and thereby oxygen) from getting to the knee joint.

Do you need orthopedic services to help with knee pain?

If you are experiencing debilitating knee issues, Dr. Dear and his Team at Texas Panhandle Orthopedics can help. We provide a variety of Services to help stop the pain and get our patients back to living their best lives. You can call us at (806) 502-6570 for more information.