Knee pain gets more common as we age due to wear and tear on the knee joints that help support our weight and keep us moving around all day. However, there are certain times when knee pain can be a sign of a more serious issue and you want to talk to a knee doctor. Knee pain is common and may go away after a few days if you have aggravated the joint or nearby supportive muscles and tissues. But when the pain doesn’t go away then the knee pain might an indicator that you have an issue with your knee that needs to be addressed by a doctor. Different types of conditions and injuries can affect your knee, including overuse injuries, acute knee injuries, and medical conditions that are associated with knee pain. Learn more about other issues knee pain can indicate.
Overuse Injuries of the Knee
Overuse injuries involve repeated movements that can cause swelling, inflammation, and other issues with the knee joint. Here are three examples of overuse knee injuries and their pain symptoms:
Athletes like runners and cyclists can experience tendinitis in the knee due to repetitive motions that put a lot of pressure on the knee joint. Tendinitis refers to inflammation of the tendons in the knee that connect the kneecap and the shinbone together. When these tendons become inflamed it can cause pain and restrict movements of the knee joint.
The knee is a ball and socket joint that requires support and lubrication to function properly. The bursa is a fluid-filled sac that provides support to the knee joint. In some overuse cases, too much pressure and wear and tear on the knee cap can aggravate the bursa and lead to bursitis. This can cause pain and discomfort around the knee cap and front of the knee.
IT Band Syndrome
The iliotibial band refers to the connective tissues that support the knee and outer thigh. IT Band Syndrome refers to when the IT band is irritated and inflamed, which can impact the stability of the knee joint. IT Band Syndrome is an overuse injury that affects the knee common in athletes like runners.
Medical Conditions with Knee Pain
Certain medical conditions can come with symptoms that include knee pain. These medical conditions can be degenerative or have no specific origin. Arthritis is the most common medical condition that leads to knee pain, and there are several types of arthritis. Learn more about why do joints develop arthritis and how to treat them properly.
Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that is degenerative, meaning the wear and tear occurs with time and age. The cartilage in the knee joint wears down over time, which can cause painful and uncomfortable symptoms. Cartilage is there to help the joint function smoothly and keep the bones from rubbing against one another. As the cartilage wears down, pressure and overuse of the knee can cause serious pain and discomfort.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that can affect all joints, including the knee. For people who have rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system actually attacks the tissues that support the joints, which leads to chronic pain and inflammation.
Acute Knee Injury
Acute knee injuries can occur in a variety of ways, including sports injuries, slip-and-fall accidents, and car accidents. Here are two examples of an acute knee injury.
A torn ligament in the knee is a very painful experience that can make certain movements like walking and bending the knee extremely uncomfortable. Depending on what ligament is torn, surgery may be required to properly treat the tear. There are multiple ligaments that support the knee joint and if one is torn it can lead to swelling, inflammation, and make it difficult to bear weight on the knee.
A knee fracture can be a tiny crack along the knee cap or a complete break of the kneecap. Depending on your specific injury, a broken bone in the knee joint will likely come with immediate pain, swelling, and bruising. You may not be able to put any weight on the knee joint at all.
If you are experiencing chronic knee pain or knee pain with other symptoms like swelling, inflammation, and difficulty bearing weight, then you should visit a knee doctor right away. At AICA Orthopedics, we have knee doctors available to provide you with quality care all over metro Atlanta. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you experience pain relief.