Knee Pain

Joint Pain

Knee Pain

Knee pain is common in people of all ages and can be caused for a variety of different reasons including: torn ligaments or cartilage, arthritis, gout or infection. Most types of minor knee injury can be treated at home with rest. Physiotherapy and knee braces can help to relieve pain. However, in some cases, you may require surgery to restore function and mobility to the knee. You should start to recover from knee pain within a few days. If the pain is very bad or lasts a long time, call to make an appointment with one of our experts at Ahmeys.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the knee
  • Limping and inability to put weight on the knee
  • Loss of motion in the knee and inability to fully straighten the knee
  • Warmth, redness and swelling over the knee
  • A tender knee
  • Weakness or instability
  • Popping or crunching noises

When to see an expert at Ahmeys

If you are experiencing the symptoms above, your symptoms are getting worse, have not gone away within a few weeks or months, have not gone away with home treatment and self-care or have begun to affect your mobility and day to day life, we recommend that you call Ahmeys to book an appointment. One of our experts can check your symptoms and conduct tests to confirm a diagnosis and rule out any other problems. Call Ahmeys to make an appointment if:

  • Your knee pain does not improve within a few weeks
  • You cannot move your knee
  • You cannot put weight on your knee
  • Your knee locks, clicks painfully or gives way

When to make an urgent appointment with Ahmeys or call 111

Severe knee pain symptoms can indicate a more severe medical problem. Seek immediate care if:

  • Your knee is very painful
  • Was caused by a serious injury or fall
  • Your knee is badly bruised, misshapen, swollen or bleeding
  • You are not able to move your knee or bear any weight on your leg
  • You have a temperature and feel generally unwell in addition to knee pain and have redness or heat around the knee (this could indicate an infection).

Causes

Knee pain can be a symptom of many different conditions. An expert at Ahmeys will review your symptoms and will suggest treatment based on the condition causing your pain. See below a list of possible causes and their related knee pain symptoms. Do not attempt to self-diagnose if you are worried about your knee pain and call to make an appointment with Ahmeys to speak with one of our experts.

Knee pain with no obvious injury

  •    Osteoarthritis:
    • Inflammation of the tissues surrounding the knee
    • Worn or damaged cartilage (the flexible, strong tissue that lines the bones) around the knee
    • Bony growths (osteophytes) that develop around the knee
    • Pain, stiffness and limited range of motion
  • Bursitis: inflammation and swelling of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) over your knee that causes redness and pain especially when kneeling or bending
  • Infection: warm, reddened skin with a fever
  • Gout or septic arthritis: hot and red skin with sudden attacks of very bad pain
  • Bleeding in the joint: warmth, swelling and bruising, more likely while taking anticoagulants

Knee pain after injury

  • Sprains and strains: pain after overusing, stretching or twisting the muscle that often occurs during exercise
  • Tendonitis: pain between the kneecap and shin, often caused by repetitive jumping or running
  • Torn ligament, tendon, meniscus or cartilage damage: a tear in the cartilage surrounding the socket of the knee joint. An unstable knee that gives way when you try to stand, prevents you from straightening and potentially causes a popping sound during injury
  • Osgood-Schlatter’s disease: teenagers and young adults with swelling and pain below the kneecap
  • Dislocated kneecap: usually caused by a blow or sudden change in direction that causes the kneecap to come out of its groove and can tear or stretch the supporting tissues. This injury may cause a ‘popping’ sensation and the kneecap will usually look out of place or at an odd angle once it has been dislocated

Diagnosis

If you are concerned about your knee pain symptoms, call Ahmeys to book an appointment with one of our experts to discuss your symptoms and potential treatments. An expert at Ahmeys will review your symptoms and potentially perform the following diagnosistic tests:

  • Physical examination of your knee and assessment of your ability to stand, sit, walk and lift your legs
  • Moving the knee to detect pain-aggravating positions and palpating (touching) over inflamed areas to detect tenderness
  • Straight leg raising can be used to detect sciatica
  • One of our experts may also ask you to rate your pain on a scale of zero to ten and talk to you about how well you are functioning with your pain
  • Assessments to determine where the pain comes from, how much you can move, your range of motion before the pain stops you and whether you have muscle spasms

If an Ahmeys expert has reason to suspect that a specific condition might be causing your knee pain, they might conduct or order one or more further tests including: X-ray, MRI or CT scans, Blood tests, Bone Scans or Nerve studies (using electrical impulses)

Treatment

Depending on the type of knee pain you have been diagnosed with, one of our experts at Ahmeys may recommend the following:

Medication

  • Over the counter (OTC) pain relievers: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, to help control pain and reduce inflammation
  • Menthol or capsaicin creams: to apply topically to the affected area and block the pain signals from your joints
  • Hyaluronic acid: a thick fluid, similar to the body’s natural fluid that lubricates the joints, can be injected into the knee to ease pain and improve mobility
  • PPR injections: PPR is blood plasma containing concentrated platelets that gets injected into the affected area so that your body can use it to repair damaged tissue. These types of injections tend to be more effective in people whose knee pain has been caused by tendon tears, an injury or a strain
  • Corticosteroids: injections of a corticosteroid drug (an anti-inflammatory medication) made directly into the affected area (usually after a local anesthetic is used to numb the area and reduce pain), to help decrease inflammation

Surgery

  • Arthroscopy: removal of inflamed knee joint tissue through a small cut in the skin using a thin tube with a light source and camera called an arthroscope. This is a relatively non-invasive procedure and typically does not require an overnight stay in hospital
  • Partial knee replacement surgery: surgery to replace only the most damaged portion of your knee with replica parts made from metal and plastic. This procedure can be performed through small incisions, so you are more likely to heal quickly than you are with surgery to replace your knee completely
  • Total knee replacement or arthroplasty: surgery to replace a severely damaged knee joint with an artificial one may be suggested. This is a major operation that involves several days in hospital, followed by months of rehabilitation and physiotherapy. The latest joints have a lifespan of ten to 20 years

Supportive and alternative therapies

  • Physiotherapy Therapy
  • Physiotherapy helps to restore movement and function, can help you to increase your flexibility and strengthen your muscles. Regular physiotherapy can release stiff muscles and soft tissues to reduce pain and use of these techniques can help to prevent pain from coming back
  • Acupuncture: is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine in which fine needles are inserted into certain sites in the body for preventative and therapeutic purposes
  • Massage: physical manipulation, stretching and massaging the muscles and joints to prevent and relieve health problems and pain  
  • Yoga: Yoga can stretch and strengthen muscles, improve posture and can be modified to avoid aggravating your symptoms

How to manage your symptoms

  • Protection: protect the knee from further damage, for example by using a support or brace
  • Rest: reduce your daily physical activity and avoid exercising. Use a walking stick or crutches to avoid putting weight on a damaged knee
  • Ice: Apply an ice pack (wrapped in a thin towel to prevent burning the skin) or a bag of frozen peas to the knee for a maximum of 20 minutes every two to three hours
  • Compression: use elastic compression bandages during the day to limit swelling. Bandages should be tight enough to support, but not enough to interfere with circulation
  • Elevation: keep the injured knee raised above the level of your heart whenever possible as this may help to reduce swelling
  • If you are overweight, weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce symptoms if you have knee pain
  • Use stretching techniques provided by one of our experts at Ahmeys or a physiotherapist
  • Take painkillers to reduce pain, but make sure that you follow the recommended dose and that the medication does not conflict with any other medication you are currently taking
  • Exercise regularly to keep joints flexible, but avoid overexerting yourself or putting too much pressure on your knees. Swimming is a good non-weight bearing activity
  • Avoid activities that make the pain worse, such as downhill running
  • Wear flat shoes and avoid standing for long periods of time
  • Warm up before exercising and stretch afterwards and make sure you to not overexert yourself or do excessive amounts of physical activity

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