Common Causes of Knee Pain
Knee pain can severely limit daily activity and diminish the quality of life. The most common causes of knee pain are:
- Injuries such as sprains, strains, fractures and ligament tears
- Arthritis – usually osteoarthritis but, more rarely, rheumatoid arthritis
- Cartilage damage and other degeneration
- Excess body weight that puts undue stress on the knees
- Muscle imbalance – usually results in pain in the kneecap
- Referred pain – such as pain in the foot that affects how you walk, causing pain in the knee
Getting to the Root Cause of Knee Pain
There are many causes of knee pain, not all of them originating in the knee. Since treatment will depend upon the root cause of your pain, take these steps to make sure an accurate diagnosis is made.
- See your family doctor.
- Your family doctor may refer you to an orthopedic specialist, or you may make an appointment to see one of our orthopedic specialists directly.
Your family doctor or orthopedic specialist may use one or more of the following evaluation methods to arrive at a proper diagnosis.
- Physical examination
- Blood test for rheumatoid arthritis
Typically, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments.
- Medication – typically oral anti-inflammatories
- Activity modification or rest
- Injections – cortisone or a hyaluronic acid such as Synvisc® or Hyalgan®
- Physical therapy – Maria Parham Health offers comprehensive rehabilitation services. Ask your doctor about getting a referral to our services.
- Assistive devices such as orthotic shoes, canes, crutches, walkers, and similar devices.
- Weight management
- Arthroscopic surgery – a minimally invasive surgery involving small incisions and the use of a fiber-optic scope. Board-certified orthopedic surgeons at Maria Parham Health can use arthroscopy to perform procedures such as anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, debridement and lateral releases.
- Osteotomy – the removal of a small wedge of bone to take pressure off the pinch point
- Knee replacement surgery