Knee Pain

Knee pain is a common medical issue that can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. Often, knee pain is characterized by discomfort, soreness, or sharp sensations in and around the knee joint. Knee pain can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from injuries and overuse to underlying medical conditions.

The knee is the largest joint in the body and has a complex structure that plays a crucial role in supporting body weight and facilitating movement. The knee has 4 main types of tissues: bones, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons. Any of these important types of tissue is susceptible to injury for various causes. It may be difficult to identify exactly which part of the knee is in pain and what is causing it. Often, the pain emerges during or following exercise/sports, doing specific movements, or as intermittent episodes that come and go without warning.

Common Causes of Knee Pain

1. Knee Injuries & Overuse

2. Medical Conditions

  • Arthritis

  • Tendonitis

  • Baker Cyst

  • Infection

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Common Knee Pain Symptoms:

  • Inflammation or Swelling

  • Pain when pressure is placed on your knee (walking, running, or bending the knee)

  • Clicking, Popping or Crackling noises

  • Limited range of motion

  • Weakness or Instability

When To See A Doctor/Orthopaedics Specialist:

  • Severe knee pain, stiffness

  • Injured in an accident

  • Unable to walk, feels unstable or knees about to give way

  • Unable to straighten or fully bend your knee

  • Knee looks deformed

While minor knee pain conditions can be managed with conservative and home remedies, it is important to recognize when to seek professional guidance before the symptoms worsen.

Knee Treatment Options

Conservative Treatment:

  • Rest - avoid using injured knee.

  • Ice – apply ice packs and using compression to reduce any inflammation and swelling on/around the knee (never apply ice directly to skin).

  • Compress – bandage the injury.

  • Elevate – lie or sit with leg raised.

  • Painkillers/Anti-inflammatory medications –manage pain and reduce inflammation.

  • Medicated cream – to reduce inflammation and relief pain.

Learn more about treating knee pain conservatively or at home.

Treatments Requiring Professional/Surgical Intervention:

  • Bracing or Splinting

  • Physical therapy – exercises to strengthen muscles around the knee, to improve stability and reduce knee pain.

  • Injections – reduce inflammation, improve joint lubrication and promote healing

  • Surgery – Surgical interventions such as arthroscopy, meniscus repair, or knee replacement might be necessary for severe knee injuries/conditions.

Following the initial consultation and assessment, your orthopaedic specialist will recommend the necessary treatment option(s) based on the severity and type of knee injury/condition.

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What Goes On During The Consultation?

Dr Siow may order an x-ray, CT or MRI scan depending on the injuries sustained.

Physiotherapy may be necessary for certain knee injuries:

  • ACL rupture - ACL ruptures almost always need surgery followed by up to a year of rehabilitation.

  • Other ligament injuries - Treatment may involve wearing a hinged knee brace and physiotherapy and/or injections.

  • Meniscal tear - Arthroscopy may be needed, usually rest and physiotherapy is recommended.

  • Dislocated kneecap or fracture - knee joint will be immobilised with a locked brace, followed by physiotherapy to prevent another dislocation.

5 Tips To Prevent Knee Pain

Although there is no perfect way to stop knee pain, there are measures we can take to reduce the risks of knee pain.

How To Prevent Injuries and Preserve Joint Health:

Maintain a healthy weight

Excess weight adds stress to your joints, especially on the knee supporting your body weight. Maintaining a healthy weight to reduce the risk of joint deterioration.

Remain active

Low-impact exercise like swimming, walking, and cycling helps with strengthening the muscles around the joints.

Use proper exercise techniques

When engaging in exercises such as weightlifting and sports that exert significant pressure on your knees, use proper techniques to prevent unnecessary strain on your joints and risk knee injury.

Warm up and cool down

Always start with a warmup before you start exercising and cool down afterward. This helps your muscles and joints to prepare for an activity and aid in recovery.

Listen to your body

Pay attention to any pain, discomfort, or changes you feel in your knee. If something feels off, consult a doctor or an orthopaedic specialist right away.

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In conclusion, knee pain is a widespread issue that arises from various factors. Timely diagnosis, proper treatment, and preventive actions are key to addressing knee pain and enhancing joint well-being. Regular check-ups also play a crucial role in identifying potential knee problems early when something feels off, allowing for timely knee treatment and other interventions.

If you are facing persistent or severe knee pain, seek guidance immediately from a medical expert to ensure accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment approaches.

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