The knee is one of the largest joints in the body and knee pain is a common complaint across all age groups. It may be due to a diverse range of causes including sudden injury, overuse injury or an underlying medical condition.
The location and severity of knee pain varies depending on the root cause. The thigh bone (femur) and lower leg bones (fibula and tibia) compose the knee joint. Structures found in or around the knee joint include discs (menisci), cartilage, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Signs and symptoms that may accompany knee pain include swelling, stiffness, redness, warmth, weakness, instability, popping or crunching noises, fever and decreased range of motion (inability to fully extend or flex the knee).
What are the most common knee patients we see at IMAC? Last week, we covered the Top Five; this week we finish out the list with four more.
COMMON KNEE CONDITIONS
Bursitis refers to inflammation of a fluid filled sac (bursa) located near the knee joint. A bursa reduces friction and serves as a cushion to reduce pressure between bones and tendons and muscles near joints. Causes of knee bursitis include frequent kneeling, a direct blow to the knee, bacterial infection of a bursa, and complications from other conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout in the knee.
Patellar tendonitis is an overuse injury affecting the patellar tendon, which sits just below the patella (kneecap) and attaches the kneecap to the shinbone. It is also referred to as jumper’s knee. Activities requiring frequent jumping and landing place excessive stress on the patellar tendon. The stress results in tiny tears in the tendon. It commonly affects athletes involved in sports such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, football, track and field, tennis, gymnastics, and skiing. The condition can also be the result of aging.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome
Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) occurs when the iliotibial band (the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin) is tight or inflamed. It is one of the most common overuse injuries among runners. It can also be associated with activities such as cycling, hiking, or weight-lifting. Iliotibial band syndrome is the most common cause of lateral, or side, knee pain. It is caused by excessive friction of the iliotibial band on the side of the knee.
Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) refers to a joint condition in which bone below the cartilage of a joint dies due to lack of blood flow. The dead bone and cartilage break loose causing pain and decreased joint movement. The condition can occur in any joint, but it most commonly affects the knee joint. Osteochondritis dissecans occurs most often in children and adolescents, especially those high active in sports. The exact cause of OCD is unknown, but scientists suspect it might result from repetitive trauma to bone over time.
So how can we help? Let’s talk about possible treatments to get you back to full function.
The simplest way to look at it is this: our bodies are made up of red tissue and white tissue. Red tissue is red because of the blood supply to it or within it. Other tissues that are white, like ligaments, meniscus and joint surfaces do not have the abundant blood supply in our body like red tissue does.
Therefore, at IMAC Regeneration Centers, we use therapies such as Platelet Rich Plasma and other cellular options to inject those tissues that cannot heal correctly due to the lack of good blood supply, i.e., the white tissue. From there, we also offer rehabilitative efforts to work in partnership with the cell-based care we deliver.
Over time, when pain becomes dominant in our body, we compensate and break down in other areas that lead to weakness and loss of skill of the affected joint. IMAC’s physical therapists are trained to know how to protect the joint we are trying to heal, while providing challenge to it so it can perform again at normal levels.
We would love the opportunity to visit with you or your loved one about any physical limitations or pain, and work with you to build a treatment plan to get you back to full function, health and life.
Thanks for reading.
IMAC Vice President and Physical Therapist