Injuries to the Knee
Injuries to the knee often cause a sensation that feels like the knee is giving way, also known as instability. All three bones are prone to fracture but the kneecap breaks more often because it acts as a shield for the joint. The kneecap can become unstable or dislocate if it slips out of its v-shaped groove in the femur.
Another type of fracture is proximal tibia (shinbone) fractures, where the wider upper part of the bone that is a part of the knee joint breaks. If the break extends into the knee joint then the fracture is called tibial plateau fracture.
While arthritis can take many forms, the condition generally is inflammation of the joints. One of the prevalent types of arthritis is osteoarthritis (sometimes referred to as “wear and tear” and typically is found in older people). Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and posttraumatic arthritis are common types of arthritis found in the knee.
Athletes who play high demand sports, such as soccer, football and basketball are subject to injury to one of the four cruciate ligaments. A quick change in directional movement or an awkward landing from a jump can cause a tear. A blow to the front of the knee is the typical cause of a tear occurring in the PCL. Any force that pushes the knee sideways can result in an injury to the MCL or LCL.
When to See a Specialist
Seek medical treatment from a knee specialist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Pain or swelling in the knee
- Feeling like the knee is “catching” or “locking up”
- A “popping” noise associated with the time of injury
- An inability to put weight on the knee or move the knee
Your doctor will discuss all treatment options with you. The best treatment for your injury or condition will be determined in combination with your overall health.
There are several nonoperative treatment options for knee pain. These might include physical therapy, pain management in the form of over-the-counter or prescribed medications and/or anti-inflammatories or immobilizing the afflicted knee with a brace. If surgery is necessary, PSO knee specialists can perform a wide variety of procedures ranging from minimally invasive to major reconstruction.