Regardless of your age or activity level, knee pain is something you may experience in your lifetime. Generally speaking, most knee pain is associated with an injury of some sort requiring medical treatment. Other types of knee pain are due to arthritis and other diseases or disorders. The knee joint is a very important part of the human body and, when it is injured, the effects can include discomfort all the way to losing the ability to walk.
What Makes up the Knee?
The knee is the connection between the upper and lower leg bones and is a joint allowing movement in a very specific range. The main area of the knee, when it comes to bearing weight, is the area of movement for the femur (the thigh bone) and the tibia (the shin bone), while the kneecap provides support for the ligaments and muscles of the joint. The femur, tibia, fibula and patella are the bones which make up the knee. Various type of injuries to any of these area can cause moderate to severe knee pain.
Here are 3 of the most common causes of knee pain:
Arthritis is the swelling of a joint and is noted by inflamation, pain and loss of the normal range of motion of that joint. There are two main types of arthritis, namely Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the more common form of arthritis as it relates to general wear and tear of the affected area through years of regular use. This is the most common form of general knee pain in most people and certain conditions can bring it about, such as obesity, playing dangerous sports involving hard stresses on the joint, and previous damage to the muscles around the knee. When this happens, the protective coatings on the bones wears away and the bones come in contact with each other, causing pain and discomfort. Treatment is available to aid in the support of the area and in worst cases, surgery can be performed to replace the missing padding.
2. Ligament Tears
The ligaments surrounding and joining the muscles and bones around for the knee can be damaged or torn when placed under too much stress. This causes a general instability in the knee, making it harder to place weight on it without losing balance. These types of injuries are generally the result of high-risk activities, but can also happen if you attempt to turn and the lower part of the leg is unable to turn with the knee. This type of injury is very painful and can show signs of swelling, redness, bruising and loss of functionality.
3. Meniscus Tear
This type of injury revolves around either the inner or outer menisci of the knee. This can be recognized by a popping sound or a feeling that the knee is catching on itself when being used. To determine if this type of injury has happened, you need to go to a doctor for a physical examination, which will include X-Rays and a possible MRI of the area. If general treatment of the area is ineffective and pain persists, surgery is normally needed to repair the area.