There is a wide variety of causes that can cause problems in the knees, which cause the appearance of symptoms such as pain, inflammation, instability and weakness of the knee, stiffness and difficulty in movement.
In this article we will review what are the most common causes of knee problems, as well as their treatment:
Osteoarthritis and other types of arthritis
One of the conditions that most frequently affects the knee is osteoarthritis, also known as “degenerative osteoarthritis“. Osteoarthritis involves wear of the cartilage of the joint (in this case the knee) due to the activity performed and the age of the patient, so that such wear causes pain and inflammation.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, but other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout or lupus, can also affect the knee and other joints, causing pain, swelling and stiffness.
Acute lesions (sudden)
Another of the most frequent knee problems are injuries. With regard to injuries caused suddenly, these are especially frequent in athletes, due to some impact, to some bad forced movement that moves the joint out of its usual range of movements, or caused in an accident.
Among the most frequent knee injuries are the following:
- Sprain: occurs when one or more knee ligaments have been stretched too much, due to traction or twisting.
- Tearing or distention: in this type of injury, it is a muscle or tendon that has stretched too much.
- Meniscus tear or injury: in this case, it is the cartilage of the knee, which is crescent-shaped and functions as a “shock absorber” of the knee, which has been torn or damaged.
- Torn ligament: usual in professional athletes, especially in those sports that require sudden, frequent running, stopping, jumping and changing directions, such as basketball or football.
In addition to the previous ones, other possible less frequent knee injuries are: the fracture of any of the bones of the knee (kneecap, distal area of the femur, or proximal tibia or fibula), caused in most of the cases due to a strong impact; another possible injury is the dislocation of the knee joint, which is rare since an impact of enormous force is normally required to occur.
Not all injuries occur suddenly due to sudden impact or movement, but sometimes injuries can also occur due to repetitive activities or prolonged or repeated pressure on the knee.
Among the activities that exert pressure on the knee joint are jumping, running, climbing stairs, cycling, etc…, so doing them excessively and continuously can cause irritation, inflammation and pain.
Treatment of knee problems
The treatment of knee problems will vary depending on the cause or injury in question and its severity.
In the case of degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis, which are chronic in nature, the treatment is generally palliative to reduce pain and symptoms, as well as improve and preserve mobility, through methods such as physiotherapy, in order to improve the patient’s quality of life. However, in those more severe cases in which other treatments have not worked, it can be considered to perform knee replacement surgery with a prosthesis.
On the other hand, in the case of injuries the treatment will depend on the type of injury and its severity, which can range from immobilization, rest and medications (pain relievers) in milder cases, to include the use of braces, physiotherapy, and even surgery in the cases in which it is required (for example, to repair the damage caused by a tear or rupture of ligaments or tendons).
In any case, if we suffer an injury or notice symptoms of a knee problem, we must go to the specialist to make the diagnosis and determine what is the treatment to follow.
Knee treatment at Vithas Xanit Internacional
If you seek medical assistance to deal with any problem related to the knee or other joints, in the Orthopedic Surgery, Traumatology and Sports Medicine Service at Vithas Xanit Internacional you will find the best professionals who, together with the latest technologies and minimally invasive techniques, allow us to offer you the best possible results in the diagnosis and treatment of knee injuries and pathologies. Contact us for more information or make an appointment.