Suffering With A Knee Injury?: The Most Common Knee Injuries
Whether it’s a a sports injury, knee arthritis, or a the result of a fall around the home, many individuals suffer from serious knee injuries and defects and don’t even know it. Are your knees giving you trouble? Is this a knee sprain or something more serious?
Bone on bone knee pain is a commonly associated with knee osteoarthritis. There are many other risk factors including a previous traumatic knee injury, age, gender, race, body weight, and genetic predispositions.
What does a torn meniscus feel like? Some individuals experience a painful knee popping sensation during a meniscus injury. Can you walk with a torn meniscus? Many individuals are still capable of putting weight on the injured knee, although knee instability is common following a meniscus tear.
A torn ACL is often a sports injury, however, ACL injuries may occur during car accidents or even as a result of a misstep during normal daily activity.
Quadricep and patellar tendon tears are are a few other common knee injuries from falling. In the event of a full patellar tendon tear, the kneecap itself may move shift since it is no longer structurally held in place by the tendon.
While a kneecap dislocation is normally the result of a tendon tear, dislocation of the knee involves the bones comprising the joint itself becoming misaligned. The main dislocated knee causes are car accidents and impact-related sports injuries.
A Full Range of Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Care for Your Knee Injury
At Sports Medicine Oregon, we understand that every knee injury is unique. With this in mind, we take a personalized and methodical approach to your knee injury and then design a plan of action. After all we are here to treat our patients not just their symptoms.
The Sports Medicine Oregon orthopedic care capabilities include everything from cutting edge regenerative injections and cortisone injection for meniscus tears to robotic knee replacement surgery and individually tailored strength training and physical therapy regimens. A treatment program focused on pain alone won’t remedy the underlying problem.
So what are your treatment options? It all starts with a detailed history of your problem and an exam by a board certified orthopedic or sports medicine physician and ends with a personalized plan of action specific to your knee injury.
At Sports Medicine Oregon, we’ve treated thousands of knee injuries and it all starts with a thorough history of your problem and examination at our state of the art facility. We will diagnose the root cause of your knee pain and knee instability and then design a strategy to help you restore your active lifestyle.
Simply put: Different types of knee pain will indicate different types of knee injuries. What is your body trying to tell you? Your specific symptoms and your activity level will give us a clear way to help you manage knee pain, swelling, stiffness and instability in a manner that will avoid further injury to your knee.
Once we’ve established your diagnosis, one of our board certified orthopedic and sports medicine physicians will assess and diagnose the cause of your knee symptoms. An accurate diagnosis is paramount to the shortest possible road to recovery.
Return to Play Guidelines
Understanding how often and how aggressively you can go about your normal activity regimen will depend on your injury, your lifestyle, and your knee diagnosis. Many symptoms can be adequately managed with strengthening and activity adjustments. At Sports Medicine Oregon, we call these personally tailored instructions your “Return to Play” guidelines.
Integrated Physical Therapy
Have you adjusted your lifestyle but your knee is still holding you back? Physical therapy can strengthen the surrounding muscles and increase flexibility. It is often a necessary step to take when your underlying knee injury is capable of healing without surgical intervention, Our on staff physical therapists will work directly with your physician to assure that your time is well spent.
Today, we are witnessing a true renaissance in sports medicine treatment and the latest biotech solutions can regrow healthy tissue and set you free from chronic knee pain and reduced range of motion in your knee. Is platelet rich plasma (PRP), prolotherapy, or stem cell (bone marrow aspirate concentrate) therapy right for you?
Imaging and Interpretation
If the previous treatment options haven’t adequately managed your symptoms it may be time to address the structural cause of your knee pain. Fortunately, we can image and diagnose many common knee injuries on-site.
Minimally Invasive Corrective Surgery
Unlike more invasive“open” surgery, arthroscopic knee surgery involves less pain, less swelling and shorter recovery times. After outpatient knee arthroscopy, patients return home the same day and can be back to their active lifestyle in a minimal amount of time.
Total Joint Replacement
Are you experiencing bone on bone knee pain? As a last resort, knee joints damaged by severe knee arthritis are often treated with total knee replacement surgery. If it turns out that this is the best option for you, our board certified orthopedic surgeons are leaders in the field.
Knee Swelling, Knee Pain or Stiff Knee: Time to See an Orthopedist
There are many common knee injuries each with a range of symptoms and degrees of severity. It’s important to understand exactly what these knee pain symptoms signify. What is your body trying to tell you?
Symptoms associated with less severe injuries (namely bumps, bruises, and mild knee sprains) can often be managed with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. However, structural injuries and more severe conditions will require professional treatment. Is this knee pain the result of a mild knee sprain or a potentially more serious injury?
Knee pain, swelling, sensitivity
Many common knee injuries include pain and swelling. A torn meniscus is a common sports injury and other torn meniscus symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling. Similarly, after a patellar tendon tear patients note tenderness around the kneecap, cramping, among other symptoms. (In the event of a full patellar tendon tear, the kneecap itself may move shift since it is no longer structurally held in place by the tendon.)
Knee instability and limited range of motion, “locked knee”
In addition to the pain and swelling, instability, diminished range of motion, and “locked knee” are telltale signs of a potential a range of tears, partial tears and ruptures. Common ligament and tendon injuries similarly include tenderness along the joint, reduced range of motion, and a general feeling of knee instability.
In certain scenarios, it is also possible for portions of the torn meniscus to separate from the healthy cartilage and “drift” in the joint itself. A meniscus tear may also limit the overall knee joint range of motion resulting in locked knee. What does a torn meniscus feel like?
Knee locking up and popping, clicking, bone on bone knee pain
Bone on bone knee pain is a common knee pain symptom -- especially with knee osteoarthritis. What does arthritis in the knee feel like? Common knee arthritis symptoms include pain in or around the knee, aching, stiffness, decreased range of motion, and swelling. Knee popping and knee clicking (specifically knee clicking when walking) are two of the more common symptoms patients mention during visits.
So what causes your knee to pop? Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to that question. Knee popping (known medically as “crepitus”) can be a haphazard occurrence in joint synovial fluid or a more complex knee injury. Additionally, during a meniscus injury and ACL injury some individuals experience a painful knee popping sensation.
Best Knee Injury Treatment Options
Depending on your age and activity you may not need to undergo surgery. Fortunately, at Sports Medicine Oregon, we offer many non surgical knee treatment options for your knee injury including personalized rehabilitation at our state-of-the-art outpatient physical therapy center and the latest regenerative knee injections.
Your specific symptoms as well as your lifestyle activity level will give us a clearer idea of the treatment options to consider moving forward.
Accurate Diagnosis and Return to Play Guidelines
Once your knee injury has been assessed and diagnosed by our board certified orthopedic and sports medicine surgeons, we can determine your Return to Play guidelines. These treatments will establish specific rules regarding your expectations and limitations until you return to your active lifestyle without knee pain.
While competitive athletes and active individuals may need surgery, less active individuals often benefit from the same techniques used to treat high-level athletes, such as physical therapy, strength training, and assistive braces alongside general lifestyle adjustments. In fact, knee injuries (in particular partially torn knee tendons) often respond well to nonsurgical treatment.
From knee arthritis to meniscus tears and ACL injuries, your nonsurgical options will be determined by the severity of your injury or joint inflammation. With this in mind, those in the preliminary stages of osteoarthritis can greatly benefit from the full spectrum of nonsurgical treatments.
Physical therapy will allow you to strengthen the surrounding muscles and also increase range of motion. Based on your knee injury we will determine a plan of action create a strength training regimen based on you and your activity goals.
For decades, patients were exceedingly limited to injections designed to treat knee pain (including cortisone injection for meniscus tear and steroid injection for knee arthritis). Today, that has all changed and there are many biological regenerative injections (including PRP therapy) to regrow and build knee joint tissue. Come in today and let’s talk about your regenerative knee injection options.
When Knee Surgery is the Best Option for Your Knee Injury
Let’s say you’ve changed your lifestyle, shed a few pounds and your knees are still holding you back. If your symptoms cannot be managed with nonsurgical treatments or your functional plateau is keeping you from your active lifestyle it may be time to consider knee surgery.
Total Knee Replacement
Early stage knee arthritis can be managed with injections, braces, physical therapy, and general lifestyle changes, however, if these treatment options have not adequately relieved your knee pain symptoms it may be time to consider knee osteoarthritis surgery. During total this procedure, the surgeon will use synthetic parts to replace damaged structural components of the knee.
Nonsurgical treatment options such as braces, lifestyle adjustments, and physical therapy suffice for many less active or older individuals following an ACL injury, active individuals will often require. During ACL knee surgery, the surgeon uses a portion of a patient’s hamstring tendon to replace the torn or damaged ACL.
During PCL reconstruction knee surgery, the surgeon will make an incision in the front of the knee and use a portion of the patellar ligament as a an autograph to replace the torn or damaged PCL.
It’s important to note that a meniscus tear normally will not heal itself without surgery or treatment. In certain scenarios, it is also possible for portions of the torn meniscus to separate from the healthy cartilage and drift in the joint itself. Similarly, studies have repeatedly shown that meniscal damage is a “potent risk factor for the development of radiographic osteoarthritis.”
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery: Minimally Invasive Knee Surgery
Today there are many outpatient knee arthroscopy options and typically patients are free to return home just hours after the procedure. Unlike more invasive procedures, arthroscopic knee surgery doesn’t require large incisions, reducing swelling and recovery times. These surgeries are geared toward tendons, ligaments, and joint preservation not joint replacement.
What exactly is arthroscopic knee surgery? During a typical procedure, the surgeon guides a small camera (arthroscope -- hence the name) through the knee via a small incision and uses this visual data and surgical instruments to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your knee pain.
Less Pain and Swelling
Unlike traditional arthrotomy surgeries (also known as “open surgeries”) arthroscopic knee surgery involves small incisions to treat the underlying problem. This means less swelling, less damage to normal tissue, and less knee pain after surgery.
Smaller incisions often enable shorter recovery times allowing you to get back to your normal daily activity faster.
Decreased Risk of Infection
These smaller incisions minimize the overall healing time and also reduce patient’s risk of infection.
Almost all arthroscopic surgeries are performed as outpatient procedures and patients are normally free to return home just 1-2 hours after the surgery.
What Is the Recovery Time for Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?
Now that the surgery is over, it’s time for the healing process to begin. Knowing what to expect during the recovery process can help us set realistic goals beforehand. What’s the average arthroscopic knee surgery recovery time? How long does swelling last after arthroscopic knee surgery?
Patients are able to return home an hour or two after surgery. At home, it’s important to keep the knee elevated and apply ice packs as needed to minimize any swelling and knee pain. While you may need crutches immediately after surgery, many individuals are able to walk gingerly within a few days.
Most patients return to work the week following knee surgery and individuals with less strenuous “desk” jobs can go back to work even earlier. A full recovery following arthroscopic knee surgery will take between 4-8 weeks.
During this time, your doctor will design a physical therapy regimen. These arthroscopic knee surgery recovery exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint and also increase flexibility to restore your active lifestyle.