Knee pain is a common complaint for many people, as it can be frustrating and prevent someone from doing the things they want to do. The good news is that knee pain is a very treatable issue. Those who are experiencing knee pain and discomfort, can talk with a knee pain doctor in Frederick, MD, such as from the Pain & Spine Specialist of Maryland, LLC, for an exam and treatment plan. In many cases, diagnosing the knee condition requires a focus on patient medical history, the type and severity of the pain, when it started, whether there was recent trauma, and where the pain is located. A knee doctor can perform an evaluation of the knee to decide the right treatment plan.
Q: What are potential causes of knee pain?
A: Knee pain can stem from a variety of reasons. Identifying the cause of an individual’s knee pain is going to be unique for that person. But in general, knee pain can develop due to arthritis, ligament injuries, patellofemoral syndrome, prepatellar bursitis, dislocated knee cap, gout, plica syndrome, and many more.
It is important that the patient is entirely forthcoming about their recent and past medical history, to help the knee doctor make an accurate assessment. After a consultation, a knee doctor may diagnose a patient with any of the following:
- Arthritis: there are a couple different kinds of arthritis that can impact the knee joint, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The former can develop as a result of overuse and from cartilage deterioration, while the latter stems from an autoimmune illness.
- Ligament Injuries: there are two collateral (medial and lateral) and two cruciate (anterior and posterior) ligaments in the knee. If these ligaments were to become damaged due to a direct blow or sudden change in movement, a person is likely to experience swelling and pain.
- Patellofemoral Syndrome: most often seen in adolescents and younger adults, this syndrome can develop due to vigorous activities which has added undue stress onto the knee (such as running, climbing, or squatting). This condition can cause an aching pain underneath the kneecap itself.
- Prepatellar Bursitis: the prepatellar bursa is a fluid-filled sac that sits right on top of the kneecap. This area can become swollen due to frequent kneeling, infection, direct trauma to knee, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout.
- Dislocated Knee Cap: a knee cap may get dislocated due to sudden force of impact. Symptoms associated with dislocation can include knee buckling, catching during movement, swelling, stiffness, popping sounds, and slipping off to one side.
- Gout: those with high levels of uric acid in their blood may develop this inflammatory condition. Gout may start to impact one joint after the other (toes, knees, hip, fingers) and result in pain, swelling, warmth, and redness of the site.
- Plica Syndrome: a less common cause of knee pain, which can occur when embryonic remains from the synovial capsule in the knee joint gets aggravated. People with this syndrome may notice middle and front knee pain that gets worse during activity or after sitting for a long period of time.