Medically Reviewed by Dr. Zachary Byrd
Knee Pain in Columbus & New Albany, Ohio
Knee pain is a common problem that can affect people of all ages, causes a lot of discomfort, and disrupts daily activities. The knee is a complex joint susceptible to injury and degenerative changes.
If you are experiencing pain in your knee or have had a recent knee injury and would like to find relief, schedule an appointment at JIS Orthopedics with one of our orthopedic specialists.
Our experienced healthcare professionals can accurately diagnose the source of your pain and create a treatment plan that is customized to your unique needs. We have offices situated in New Albany, Athens, and St. Clairsville to conveniently help you address your discomfort.
Anatomy of the Knee
The knee is a complex joint that is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Some of the bones in the knee joint are the femur (thighbone), tibia (shinbone), and patella (kneecap). These structures work together to allow the knee to move and function properly.
Since the knee is one of the largest joints in the body and is responsible for bearing a large amount of weight, it can be subject to a lot of wear and tear. When any of these structures are injured or damaged, it can cause pain in the knee.
Common Symptoms of Knee Pain
Individuals who experience knee pain may notice several different symptoms. The most common symptom is a dull, aching pain that worsens with activity or when bearing weight on the affected knee. Other common symptoms include:
- Stiffness and decreased range of motion in the affected knee
- Swelling and tenderness around the joint
- Warmth and redness in the area
- Weakness or instability in the knee
- Clicking, popping, snapping, catching, or knee locking up
Common Causes of Knee Pain
Knee pain is a widespread problem that can have several different causes. It can be caused by injury, arthritis, or even just everyday wear and tear. Some common causes of knee pain may include the following:
There are different forms of arthritis that may cause knee pain, including:
- Osteoarthritis — This is the most common type of arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage in the joints breaks down. This can cause the bones to rub against each other, which leads to pain and inflammation.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis — This form of arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue. This can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints.
- Gout — This is a type of arthritis that occurs when there is too much uric acid in the body. This can cause crystals to form in the joints, which leads to pain and inflammation.
Ligament Sprains or Tears
Ligament tears are another common cause of knee pain. The knee has four main ligaments: the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and lateral collateral ligament (LCL).
These ligaments provide stability to the knee joint. A tear in one or more of these ligaments can cause pain, swelling, and instability in the knee joint.
A meniscus tear is a common knee injury. The meniscus is a tough, rubbery disc that sits between your thighbone and shinbone. It acts as a shock absorber, absorbing the impact of your movements and keeping your knee joint stable.
The most common type of tear occurs when the knee is twisted forcefully, such as when you suddenly change direction while playing sports. Meniscus tears can cause knee pain, swelling, stiffness, and mechanical symptoms, as listed above. You may also have trouble moving your knee.
Fractures can occur in any of the bones that make up the knee joint, including the femur (thighbone), tibia (shinbone), or patella (kneecap). A fracture may be caused by a direct blow to the knee or by falling and landing on the knee.
Tendon and Cartilage Damage
Some common forms of tendon and cartilage damage that cause knee pain include:
- Bursitis — This condition occurs when the fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that cushion the joints become inflamed. This can cause pain and noticeable swelling in the affected joint.
- Tendinitis —This is a condition that occurs when the tendons (the tissues that connect muscle to bone) become irritated and inflamed. This can cause pain and tenderness in the affected area.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a painful knee condition usually felt around the kneecap or patella. It can also be felt in the front of the thigh or in the groin.
This condition is thought to be related to overuse or repetitive stress on the knee joint. This can happen when you do a lot of activities that involve kneeling, such as running, squatting, or stair climbing, or if your quadriceps are weak or inflexible.
When Should I See a Doctor for Knee Pain?
If you are experiencing knee pain, it is vital to see a doctor to determine the cause. You should see a doctor immediately if the pain is severe or persistent. Additionally, if the pain is accompanied by swelling, redness, or warmth in the joint, you should also seek urgent medical attention.
How Is Knee Pain Diagnosed?
An orthopedic doctor can diagnose your knee pain by reviewing your medical history and asking about the symptoms you’ve been experiencing. They will also perform a physical examination, checking for swelling, tenderness, or redness in the knee area.
X-rays may also be taken to rule out any other potential causes of knee pain, such as arthritis or a fracture. If the cause of your knee pain is unclear, further testing, such as an MRI scan, may be required.
What Are the Treatment Options for Knee Pain?
Treatment options for knee pain will depend on the underlying cause. For example, if your pain is due to arthritis, there are many potential non-operative options that exist, including physical therapy, injections, bracing options, or medication and lifestyle changes (such as weight loss and exercise).
For pain caused by knee injuries, rest and physiotherapy may be advised. In some cases, surgery may be necessary for chronic knee pain or to repair a damaged ligament or tendon.
Some common treatment options for knee problems include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Corticosteroid injections
- Orthobiologic injections
- Arthroscopic joint preservation surgery
- Knee replacement surgery
- Partial knee replacement surgery
- Physical therapy
- Viscosupplementation (gel injections)
Schedule an Appointment with Us Today!
If you feel discomfort and pain in your knee and want to know about available treatment options, contact one of our offices today at JIS Orthopedics. We have locations in New Albany, Athens, and St. Clairsville.
Our expert orthopedic specialists will educate you about the cause of your knee pain and provide a treatment plan that can help relieve pain. Give us a call or book your visit online!