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KNEE AILMENTS

Knee joint is the largest and one of the most important joints of our body that provides stable support to the body. It allows bending and straightening of leg while walking, sitting, playing or dancing etc. It is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments, muscles, tendons and fluid. Knee problem may occur due to damage or injury to any of these structures.

Knee Pain

Causes of Knee Ailments

Knee problems are very common, and can occur in men, women, and children of all races and ethnic backgrounds. The major causes of knee problems include the following:

  • Knee injury: A direct blow on the knee during sports, vehicular accident or falling from height can cause knee problem.
  • Sudden movement: A sudden and unexpected movement of the joint may strain the knee muscles or ligaments.
  • Wear and tear: Excessive use of the joint may cause disorders like osteoarthritis (most common disease affecting the knee)
  • Rheumatic diseases: Systemic disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) can lead to inflammatory knee problems.
  • Overweight: In some cases, excessive weight on the joint can be the reason for joint disorders.
  • Aging: Getting older can also be a reason for many knee problems.

Symptoms of Knee Ailments

The symptoms of knee ailments depend upon the disorder and duration of symptoms (acute or chronic), But in majority of the cases, patient complains of the following problems associated with the knee joint:

  • Pain in the joint with or without movement
  • Pain gets worse in changing weather
  • Swelling of the joint
  • Stiffness in the joint (especially in the morning)
  • Warmth in the joint
  • Grinding feeling in the joint
  • Locking of the joint
  • Restricted physical activity

These are just common symptoms but patient may have other symptoms too that should not be ignored as knee joint is one of the most important joint of our body. So anything that is not normal or is causing discomfort should be discussed with the doctor and treated accordingly.

Diagnosis of Knee Ailments

The diagnosis of knee ailments starts with a complete medical history of the patient. It is also required to consider family history of joint pains as some of these disorders run in families. This is followed by thorough physical examination of the joint to find any visible signs and assess its level of activity. In addition ,some of  these following diagnostic tests are almost always required to determine  the cause for the  disorder:

  • X ray
  • Bone scan
  • CAT scan
  • MRI
  • Arthroscopy
  • Biopsy

Treatment of Knee Ailments

Treatment of knee problems specifically depends upon the cause and extent of disorder. It is required to first evaluate the damage that has already occurred and simultaneously start the treatment that would prevent further damage. Treatment may include some of the following:

  • Medication: Oral or injectable medicines are given to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation e.g. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
  • Physical therapy: Various types of exercises and activities are advised to the patient so as to improve the joint movement and strength.
  • Weight loss: Weight loss can drastically improve the discomfort of knee that has occurred due to excessive weight.
  • Surgery: In cases of severely damaged knee joint that cannot be managed by any of the conservative ways, surgery can prove to be beneficial for the patient.

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