Knee pain is a common condition that affects people of all ages. It may be caused by the knee joint itself, or caused by conditions of the muscles, tissues, tendons, or ligaments that surround the joint. Your knee pain may be sudden, or over a long period of time.
You are at a higher risk of developing knee pain if you are overweight, lacking in muscle strength or flexibility, have a previous injury, or play certain sports that put more stress on your knees, such as basketball or soccer.
You may experience the following symptoms if you have knee pain:
- Swelling or stiffness
- Redness and warm to the touch
- Popping or crunching sound when bending your knee
- Pain when pressure is placed on your knee
If you experience these symptoms and they do not go away, make an enquiry to get a diagnosis. Delaying your consultation may slow the healing process or lengthen your recovery time.
Diagnosing and Treating Knee Pain
A physical examination is necessary to identify the cause of your knee pain. Besides noting your medical history and symptoms, your doctor may also request for imaging tests, such as an x-ray or MRI scan, to show any bone or cartilage damage, as well as rule out other medical conditions.
Treatment for knee pain depends on its cause and severity. Your doctor will work with you to decide on the right combination of treatments, which may include the following treatments:
Your doctor may recommend you to exercise more or reduce weight, which reduces stress on your joints, improve joint function, and reduce pain.
Your doctor may prescribe painkillers or anti-inflammatories to reduce pain. Pain relief creams may also be prescribed as well.
This injection helps relieve pain or inflammation in a specific part of your knee, or improve your mobility by lubricating your joints.
Some complementary therapies that may be effective in relieving your symptoms include acupuncture, and supplementation with glucosamine.
A minimally-invasive surgical procedure, arthroscopic surgery is usually performed to repair damaged ligaments or meniscus. It may also be used to remove loose bodies from your knee joint and reconstruct the cartilage.
Knee replacement surgery
Your doctor will remove the damaged parts of your knee, and replace them with parts made from plastic and metal. Depending on your condition, your doctor may remove and replace the most damaged parts, or replace the entire joint.