Knee Pain treatment
What is Knee Pain Treatment?
Knees can hurt for a variety of reasons including injury or illness, and can either hurt suddenly or over a long period of time. In treating Knee Pain, the cause of the pain must first be identified so that the correct treatment can be provided.
If you’re not sure about whether you need to see a surgeon for your hurting knees, any knee pain that lasts for a week even after rest, ice, elevation or medication warrants a consultation. Delaying your consultation could slow the healing process or make recovery more difficult.
If nausea or a fever accompanies your knee pain, or you are unable to put weight on your knee, see a surgeon immediately. Other emergency symptoms include large wounds, excruciating pain, and swelling accompanied by a bleeding disorder, or while taking blood thinning medication.
Does all knee pain require surgery?
People with chronic knee pain such as those suffering from arthritis usually seek treatment, as well as athletes, dancers or anyone whose activities involve sudden stops or twisting movements. Accident victims, such as people who took a bad fall or hit their knee against the dashboard in a car collision will need knee pain treatment, as well.
Obese people, those with knock-knees, or people with naturally high kneecaps are likely to suffer from a dislocated kneecap. People who do a lot of work on their knees such as craftsmen, cleaners and carpet-layers are also susceptible to knee pain.
Knee pain treatments vary according to cause. Here are the possible causes of knee pain and how they may be treated:
- Arthritis (Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Crystalline Arthritis) is generally treated with pain and anti-inflammatory medications. Osteoarthritis in particular may also be treated with Knee Replacement or a series of injections with Hyaluronic Acid or Corticosteroids.There are also prescription medications for Rheumatoid Arthritis to help slow its progression.
- Bursitis is when the bursae or sacs of fluid near the knee joint become inflamed, and may be treated with anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections. Protecting, Resting, Icing, Compressing and Elevating the knee, also known as PRICE therapy, is also used as a home care treatment.
- A dislocated knee requires immediate attention, possible surgery and careful monitoring to make sure no damage has been done to any nerves or arteries.
- A dislocated kneecap is treated by putting the kneecap back into place and placing the knee in a splint. After the surgeon makes sure that none of the bones in the knee were fractured, exercises will be given to the patient to do to help keep the kneecap aligned.
- Iliotibial Band Syndrome is when a ligament called the iliotibial band tightens and rubs against the lower outer part of the thigh bone. This may be treated with physical and PRICE therapy as well as anti-inflammatory medications.
- An infected knee is treated with antibiotics and, if necessary, by surgically draining the knee.
- An injured meniscus, or cartilage in the knee, can be treated with Arthroscopy.
- A misaligned kneecap, also known as patellar mistracking or maltracking, is when the kneecap comes into contact with the outer or inner thigh bone instead of being aligned with the middle of the knee.This is caused by conditions known as Chondromalacia Patella and Patellofemoral Syndrome, and may be treated with surgery or physical and PRICE therapy. The kneecap may also be taped or braced, and the patient may wear orthotic or commercial arch supports.
- Osgood-Schlatter Disease is when the area just below the kneecap becomes inflamed or injured because of repeated knee extension. This usually occurs in athletes in their early teens, and is treated with PRICE and physical therapy, splinting the knee, and anti-inflammatory medications.
- Ruptured tendons may be treated with a splint or surgery.
- Sprained or torn ligaments may be treated by wearing knee braces or surgery.
- Tendonitis may be treated with anti-inflammatory medications, PRICE therapy, bracing the knee and exercises to strengthen the leg muscles.
Most pain medications used in treating knee pain are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. Ibuprofen and Naproxen are examples of NSAIDs and like any medication, they have side effects that should be taken into account especially if the patient has existing conditions. A person with stomach ulcers, certain kidney diseases or bleeding issues should not be taking NSAIDs.
If surgery becomes an option for treating knee pain, the risks involved include blood clots, infection, prosthesis problems, and nerve or blood vessel damage. There is also the possibility of continued knee pain even after surgery.
Wear clothing that will readily allow you to expose your knee for examination, which includes a visual inspection for swelling and bruises. The surgeon may push or pull your knee, ask you to move your lower leg as far as you can to check your range of motion.
Other tests to determine the cause of your knee pain include X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, ultrasound and blood tests. If necessary, fluid for analysis will be taken from your knee using a needle. Arthroscopy is another diagnostic tool where the surgeon uses a fibre optic telescope or arthroscope to take pictures from inside the knee.
To optimise the effects of your knee pain treatment, it is important to stay active and to keep moving. A sedentary lifestyle or resting too long can either cause knee pain to recur or worsen because muscles weaken during long periods of inactivity. A physical therapist can help you find and put the right exercise programme into practise for you.
Exercises that may be good for your knees include walking, swimming, stretching, weight training, stationary cycling, and maybe even Tai chi. They may even help you to manage your weight, which in turn lessens the stress on your knees. Steer clear of jarring, high-impact exercises such as running and jumping, as they might make painful knees worse.
Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is not right. Don’t just brush it off and risk the chance of compromising your movement and interupting your daily activities. Get it checked today for the right intervention the soonest possible time. Book your appointment with Dr. Dutton, here.
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