The knee is a complex joint and a critical component in your mobility. When the knee doesn’t work right because of injury or disease, it can cause persistent pain and disability that can have a significant impact on your quality of life overall. Knee pain in a common complaint we hear at the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio, from patients of all ages. Fortunately, there are many approaches to address knee pain, from conservative treatments like rest and ice to surgical correction. Our team will evaluate your situation, provide a comprehensive diagnosis and recommend the best treatment options for you.
At the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio, we see patients with a variety of knee concerns:
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the ligament that extends from the shinbone to the thighbone. When this ligament is injured or damaged, the knee becomes unstable and painful. These injuries often occur during sports or activities that require quick direction changes, such as basketball or soccer.
Cartilage covers the ends of the bones with a tough, rubbery material that acts as a shock absorber when the joint moves. Damage to cartilage leads to decreased mobility and persistent pain in many cases. While injuries are a common culprit but wear and tear can also lead to significant damage.
Tendons connect muscles to bone and can also become damaged over time or due to injury. Tendonitis occurs when tendons become inflamed and painful. Tears can also occur, which are most common in older adults since tendons can become more prone to injury over time.
Ligaments connect bone to bone, stabilizing the knee joint. The ACL is not the only ligament in the knee that can suffer damage. Other ligaments can also tear due to sports injuries, falls or other trauma. These injuries can be quite painful but can often heal without surgical intervention.
When fluid-filled sacs that cushion the knee become inflamed, pain and reduced mobility can result. These sacs are known as bursae, and the inflammation is called bursitis. Bursitis is usually treated through nonsurgical methods.
When the bones in the knee become out of place but are not fractured, it is known as a dislocation. Dislocations may occur from congenital abnormalities, a blow to the knee or a fall. This uncomfortable condition can often be addressed with bracing or physical therapy although repeat dislocations may require surgery.
The patella or kneecap can be fractured, often by a direct blow. They are most likely to occur during a motor vehicle accident or another event that places force on the front of the knee. Fractures usually require surgery to put the patella back in place, and immobilization to allow the bone to heal.
Procedures and Treatments for the Knees
Because many injuries can occur to the knee, we offer a myriad of treatment options as well. In most cases, conservative treatment is recommended first, and if it does not produce the desired relief, surgery may be advised. Treatments at the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio might include:
This surgical procedure is a less invasive method of seeing inside the knee to address injuries without extensive incisions or a lengthy recovery. A lighted scope allows our surgeon to visualize the area to make a diagnosis and minor corrections.
Medications and Injections
Pain relievers and steroid injections can be used to manage knee discomfort, reducing inflammation and pain. While the relief tends to be temporary, it can be the right amount of treatment while the joint heals.
A brace or cast may be placed over the knee to restrict mobility and allow for full healing to take place. This approach is commonly recommended after a fracture and may also be used for other types of injuries. Crutches may also be provided to prevent weight on the joint as it heals.
Specific exercises under the guidance of a licensed therapist can promote healing of an injured knee while helping you regain strength and mobility in the joint. Physical therapy may be prescribed alone or as a part of rehabilitation after surgery.
While surgery is considered a last resort, it may be the only treatment that will provide optimal results. Our surgeons perform a variety of surgical procedures on the knee, depending on the type and severity of the injury.
Chronic knee pain can keep you from enjoying your life to the fullest. Don’t suffer any longer. Contact the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio today at 419-222-6622 to find out how we can help.