The knees are a complex mechanism that we depend on to move easily. Learn about the different types of knee pain and its origins. It is important to understand the causes and ways of treating each injury.
|Facts About Knee Pain|
To designate pain located in the knee there is the medical term nostalgia. This type of pain often leads patients to seek an orthopedic or emergency room consultation and, in most cases, it results from trauma. However, certain systemic diseases affect the knee joint, namely osteoarthritis, arthritis, or gout. Knee pain can originate in any of the structures that surround this joint, such as the ligaments, tendons, and pouches, or in those that form the joint itself: bones, cartilage, and ligaments.
Acute nostalgia is referred to as localized pain in the knee that appears suddenly and in most cases is the result of trauma. The most common causes of acute nostalgia are:
The knee has four ligaments: internal and external collateral and anterior and posterior cruciate. Injury to collateral ligaments, in most cases, is the result of a fall or direct trauma. The injury to the anterior cruciate ligament is painful and concomitantly presents with immediate edema. If the patient exerts a force on this limb, he feels that it will “give away”. In most cases, due to the pain or instability felt, he is forced to stop the activity.
Tendonitis or tendon rupture
There are two tendons in the knee (quadriceps and patellar). They can cause inflammation – tendonitis – especially in athletes (runners, cyclists, and skiers). Symptoms are a pain in the anterior region of the knee and swelling, however, in most cases, the pain is inconstant. Partial or complete tendon rupture can occur, causing severe pain, especially with knee extension.
Menisci are fibrocartilages whose function is to increase the stability of the knee, allowing the transport of loads and absorption of impacts, as well as lubrication and the ability to recognize the location of the limbs (proprioception).
Meniscal injuries go through ruptures that can occur in different places in the cartilage and with different configurations. In most cases, mild to moderate pain and swelling appear in the first 24 to 48 hours. Blockage of the knee can also occur if the tear interferes with the mobility of the knee.
Inflammation of the pouch that appears as an inflamed, red, swollen, hot area.
Intra-articular free body
Cartilaginous or bone degeneration caused by trauma.
Usually, the dislocation is external. The clinical picture consists of intense pain, edema, difficulty in walking, and straightening the knee. After the first episode of dislocation, there is a high probability of recurrence.
It affects teenagers. Causes pain and swelling in the tibial tuberosity (below the kneecap). The pain ranges from moderate to severe and gets worse with exercise (especially running and jumping) and improves with rest. The discomfort can last for weeks to months, only ending when the teenager stops growing.
Knee infection that leads to severe pain, swelling, and redness. Concomitantly, fever may appear.
Chronic nostalgia can be caused by a traumatic injury or a systemic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, pseudogout, and chondromalacia. There are several risk factors for the onset of chronic nostalgia, one of the most frequent and common in developed countries being overweight. Being overweight is known to increase stress on knee joints even during routine activities such as walking or walking up and downstairs. Furthermore, it also increases the risk of osteoarthritis due to the acceleration of cartilage wear.
The reason why a patient has nostalgia is a challenging exercise, given the wide variety of possible causes. Clinical history and a physical examination that includes several maneuvers/tests to assess the integrity of the various structures of the knee should be taken. Often the tests are not sensitive and specific enough to allow an accurate diagnosis, which is why the doctor asks for other complementary tests (X-Ray, CT, or Nuclear Magnetic Resonance-NMR), which will confirm the hypothesis he suspects.
treat the nostalgia
About the treatment of nostalgia, it varies depending on the cause for the onset of pain. If this is a trauma, try to break the inflammatory cycle that starts immediately after the injury. Even a minor trauma leads to the release of substances that culminate in an inflammatory response. To break this cycle, treatment must be started as early as possible and for 48 hours.
If it is a more serious injury, surgery and physiotherapy may be necessary.
SOS knee pain
These measures should be started as soon as possible and maintained for 48 hours:
- Compression and protection to prevent swelling and maintain knee alignment and stability. It must have enough restraint to support the knee without interfering with circulation. The use of crutches may be necessary.
- Rest, variable depending on the injury.
- Applying ice, which reduces not only inflammation but also pain. The ideal is to do this for about 15 minutes 4 to 5 times a day, bearing in mind that it should not exceed 15 minutes due to the risk of skin or nerve damage.
- Limb elevation to reduce swelling.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should only be taken when prescribed by the physician who observed the patient.
6 risk factors for having knee pain
- Physical activities with a lot of impact on the knee.
- Lack of muscle strength or flexibility.
- Mechanical problems.
- High-risk activities and sports.
- Previous injury.
- Age and gender.