One of the most common reasons people seek the help of a trained healthcare provider is chronic pain. Among the various types of chronic pain, one of the most common locations is in the knee. There are countless people who struggle with knee pain, ranging from acute injuries to chronic medical conditions. One example involves individuals who suffer from knee pain due to osteoarthritis. This is a condition that develops over time when the cartilage that usually cushions the bones in the knee starts to wear away. If you are experiencing knee pain, this article will help you understand the common causes of knee pain and the various treatment options that might be available.
The Statistics on Knee Pain
Knee pain is much more common than many people realize. This is a common reason why people seek the help of a trained medical professional. Some of the keystats to keep in mind regarding knee pain include:
- Close to 1 in 5 individuals suffer from knee pain
- The incidence of knee pain increases as people get older
- As people get older, a greater percentage of people with knee pain are going to experience disabilities
Therefore, it is important to diagnose knee pain as quickly as possible. This starts with understanding the causes of knee pain itself.
The Causes of Knee Pain
There are two broad categories of knee pain. The first involves acute knee pain. This usually develops when an injury takes place. This could include:
- Acute ligament tears involving the ACL, MCL, PCL, or LCL, such as those that take place while playing sports such as football and soccer
- Acute ligament sprains, such as a sprain of the PCL that takes place in an auto accident, commonly called dashboard knee
- Direct blows to the knee itself, which might also occur while playing sports, in an auto accident, or in a fall down a flight of stairs
Other people develop knee pain due to chronic medical conditions. These include:
- Individuals with arthritis, which stems from cartilage degradation due to chronic inflammation
- Individuals with gout, which develops when there are small crystals that get lodged in the knee
- Individuals who suffer from obesity, which gradually wears away the support in the knee
The good news is that treatment options are available.
Knee Pain Treatment Is Addressed with a Well-Rounded Treatment Plan
For those who suffer from knee pain. This is a condition that needs to be addressed with a well-rounded treatment plan. When a knee pain treatment plan is introduced, the goal is to start low and go slow. Some of the components of knee pain treatment include:
- Start with non-surgical treatment plans first to reduce pain and manage the symptoms
- Low-impact aerobic exercise is recommended to make the knee feel better by increasing strength, flexibility, and mobility with cycling, swimming, and an elliptical
- Exercise and strengthening plans are usually directed by a trained physical therapist, who will try to prevent injuries to other parts of the body when they try to compensate for weakness in the knees
- Doctors will also develop a medication regimen to reduce inflammation in the knees with an NSAID plan
- Steroids, opioids, and other medications are only used when other options have failed
- A knee brace is usually recommended to provide extra support for the knee and avoid placing excessive stress on the joint itself
Many patients ask about surgery. Importantly, surgery is only recommended when all other options have failed. Some of the reasons why surgery might berecommended include:
- Achieving the treatment goals may not be possible without surgery
- A conservative treatment plan has been tried and has failed
- The knee pain is intractable and surgery is required
- There is an acute ligament tear that must be fixed
That is where we can help.
Rely on the Team from Prime Surgical Suites
At Prime Surgical Suites, we only recommendknee surgery if all other treatment options have failed. Our team is here to help you get back on the road to recovery with a treatment plan that has been customized to meet your needs.
AtPrime Surgical Suites, we provide state-of-the-art, cost-effective musculoskeletal surgical care in a convenient and comfortable outpatient setting for patients of all ages. Located in RiverCrest Medical Park, we are the region's first outpatient center focused exclusively on orthopedics. Our physician-led center will help restore your active lifestyle and well-being with compassion and orthopedic excellence.