Knee pain is a common condition affecting individuals from different age groups. It not only affects movement but also impacts the quality of life of the individual. An injury or disease of the knee joint or any structure surrounding the knee can result in knee pain. A precise diagnosis of the underlying cause is important to develop an appropriate treatment plan. Diagnostic tools such as musculoskeletal ultrasound, x-rays and MRI’s can be ordered to help to determine the etiology of your pain. Knee pain can vary from achy in nature to sharp and throbbing, but usually is localized to the knee and does not radiate.
The causes of knee pain can be divided into three major categories:
- Acute injuries : fractures, ligament or meniscus injuries, patellar tendonitis, dislocations
- Medical conditions Osteoarthritis, infections, autoimmune disorders such as Rheumatoid arthritis, Gout, Pseudogout
- Chronic conditions osteoarthritis, chondromalacia, tendinitis, bursitis, obesity
- Redness and swelling
- Locking of the knee (inability to bend)
- Inability to fully extend or straighten the knee
- Difficulty walking due to weakness or instability
- Difficulty walking up and down stairs
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEE A DOCTOR?
- If redness, swelling and knee pain occur (with or without a fever)
- If there is marked knee swelling
- If there is an obvious deformity in your knee or leg
- If you are unable to bear weight or extend your knee
- If you have a feeling of your knee “giving out”