Sources of Knee Pain and Easy Treatments:
There are several potential sources of knee pain with the most common being an injury to the meniscus. The meniscus is sometimes referred to as the shock absorber of the knee. It is a structure inside the knee that acts to absorb the energy of walking, running, and jumping while allowing the cartilage of the knee to do the gliding and sliding motion.
The meniscus is often injured with simple daily activities such as:
• rising from seated or kneeling position
• getting out of a car or truck
• getting off the toilet
• It can also be injured with any sports motion that involves twisting, running, or jumping
Generally a patient with a meniscus injury has pain on the inside or outside of their knee making it tender to touch along the joint. They may also experience swelling or the feeling of fullness in the back of the knee. Often patients tell me they have trouble moving to the side, twisting, bending or even letting their knees touch while trying to sleep. Some report a “catching”, “locking”, or “popping” sensation in their knee with walking, squatting, or kneeling. The best way to prevent injury to the meniscus is to avoid loading (bearing weight) at the same time as twisting the body. When you get up from chair, out of a car, or off of your tractor try pivoting your body to stand straight up without twisting. Treatment will vary depending on the size and location of the meniscus tear.
Treatment plans can include:
• Physical Therapy
• Corticosteroid injection
• Surgical intervention
Surgical procedures for knee pain have become much less invasive over the past several years. I perform all meniscus surgeries using the arthroscope. This technique uses small incisions instead of a large, invasive incision. Through these small incisions, a camera and special instruments are used to visualize the meniscus and repair or remove the torn tissue. This allows for less damage and a faster recovery.