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Knee Pain

  • Common Knee Injuries

    Knee arthritis

    The knee is one of the largest joints in the body, and consists of 3 bones – the thigh bone (femur), the shin bone (tibia), and the kneecap (patella) – joined together by an extensive network of ligaments, cartilage, tendons and muscles. The knee functions to support movement and weight bearing. In this section, we look at the common injuries affecting the knees, warning signs and symptoms, as well as treatment options available.

    Knee injuries can be caused by sports or recreational activities, aging wear and tear, or accidental falls. While most minor injuries like cuts and bruises heal on their own, certain injuries may lead to serious conditions that can affect knee function in the long run. Common knee injuries include:

    Arthritis

    Arthritis occurs when the joint becomes inflamed. In the knee, osteoarthritis is a common condition whereby the protective cushion in between the joints wear out. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness, limited movement, swelling and at times a grinding sensation when moving. Genetic factors, joint instability and injury may also contribute to osteoarthritis. If you suspect that you have osteoarthritis of the knee, talk to your orthopaedic specialist to understand the treatment options available for proper management and care

    Fracture

    In the knees, the kneecap is most prone to bone fracture. This could be due to high energy trauma such as accidental falls. Symptoms of bone fracture in the knee include pain, tenderness, swelling, deformity at the area of the fracture and limitation in movement. For minor cases, treatment usually requires immobilisation with cast support until the bone heals, which can take about 6 weeks. If a bone is broken and displaced from its original position, surgery may be required to realign and stabilise the bones. Talk to your orthopaedic specialist to understand the treatment options available

  • Meniscus Tear

    Knee meniscus tear

    In the knee, 2 wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage known as the meniscus function to absorb shock, cushion the joint and maintain stability of the knee. A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries, affecting people of any age, especially athletes engaging in contact sports.

    Signs & Symptoms

    Common symptoms of a meniscus tear include:

    • Pain
    • Swelling and stiffness
    • Locking of the knee joint area
    • Limited range of motion

    If you experience any of the above symptoms, seek prompt medical attention. A delay in treatment may lead to knee instability or lockage. Consult your orthopaedic specialist to find out more.

    Diagnosis

    Your doctor may check your medical history and perform a physical examination. The following diagnostic tests may be used to further assess the injury.

    • X-ray
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

    Treatment

    Depending on severity of the condition, your doctor may prescribe medications to help alleviate the pain. Should symptoms persist, minor surgery such as knee arthroscopy may be advised. Knee arthroscopy involves a small incision to repair the tear. Talk to your orthopaedic specialist to understand the treatment options available.

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury

    Knee injury

    The bones in the knee are connected by ligaments, which function to maintain knee stability. The anterior cruciate ligament is located at the front of the knee, working with the posterior cruciate ligament at the back to control twisting and back-forth motion of the knee. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury can be caused by a sudden change in the direction of movement, a sudden stop in movement, poor landing from a jump, or a direct collision.

    Signs & Symptoms

    Common signs of anterior cruciate ligament injury include:

    • Tearing or popping sensation
    • Loss of full range of motion
    • Discomfort
    • Tenderness
    • Pain with swelling, usually within 24 hours

    An ACL injury should be treated immediately. If delayed, the knee may lose stability and may lead to serious long-term problems.

    Diagnosis

    Your doctor may check your medical history and perform a physical examination. The following diagnostic tests may be prescribed to further assess the injury.

    • X-ray
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

    Treatment

    Treatment methods vary depending on the individual as well as severity of the injury. For minor cases, non-surgical methods such as the application of a brace to help protect the knee from instability may be prescribed. Physical therapy may also help to strengthen the leg muscles and aid in restoring function to the knees. In more severe cases, surgery may be recommended to reconstruct the ligament, restore knee stability and prevent irreparable damage to the meniscus. Talk to your orthopaedic specialist to understand the treatment options available

  • Patellar Tendon Rupture

    Patellar tendon

    The patellar tendon works with the muscles in front of the thigh area to straighten the leg. Sudden impact or heavy load on the tendon, as well as age-related wear and tear may injure the patellar tendon.

    Signs & Symptoms

    Common symptoms of patellar tendon rupture include:

    • A tearing or popping sensation
    • Pain and swelling
    • Inability to straighten the knee
    • Tenderness
    • Indentation at the bottom of the kneecap
    • Kneecap shifting up to the thigh
    • Cramping
    • Difficulty walking

    Diagnosis

    Your doctor may check your medical history and perform a physical examination. The following diagnostic tests may be prescribed to further assess the injury:

    • X-ray
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

    Treatment

    Depending on the severity of the condition, your doctor will recommend the treatment plan best suited for you. In minor injuries, non-surgical methods such as using a brace and crutches to keep the knee in place may help with healing. Physiotherapy may also help to strengthen the leg muscles. In more severe cases, surgery may be required to re-attach the torn tendon to the kneecap. Talk to your orthopaedic specialist to find out more.

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