The knee joint is the largest joint in your body. It includes the lower end of the femur (thighbone) rotating on the upper part of the tibia (shinbone) and protected in front by the patella (kneecap). Strong ligaments hold the leg bones together and stabilize the knee joint. Four different ligaments are the primary stabilizers of the knee: the medial collateral ligament (MCL), the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).
The surfaces of the knee are protected by fluid-filled sacs called bursa, and a tough, rubbery disc called a meniscus (plural: menisci). If someone is seeking treatment from a knee injury doctor in NYC, chances are it is because they have sustained trauma to one of these structures.
Knee pain, swelling, the inability to flex or extend the knee, or knees that give out (i.e. trick knee) are all reasons to visit a knee pain doctor in NYC. These symptoms could indicate a need for a surgical evaluation.
Three main tendons pass near the knee joint: the quadriceps, hamstring, and patellar tendons. Each of these tendons can rupture partially or completely. In athletes, these injuries occur when making a sudden change in direction, landing from a high jump, or being struck by another player.
People who have experienced a complete tendon rupture report sensing a “pop” followed by severe pain, swelling, bleeding into the joint, and difficulty bearing weight. Partial tendon ruptures may need only splinting, but complete ruptures usually require prompt evaluation by a knee injury doctor. Urgent evaluation of tendon ruptures by a knee injury doctor in Jersey City is recommended to prevent permanent damage to the knee.
A meniscal tear often occurs after a person rotates or twists a flexed knee with the foot planted. Athletes who play soccer, football, and basketball are at particular risk for meniscal tears; however, they can occur in older people without playing any sports at all.
A torn meniscus causes the knee joint to “lock” or catch. This locking also causes pain. Patients may not be able to squat or kneel, and they may find it difficult or impossible to fully extend the knee. Rest, ice, and bracing are initially helpful, but evaluation by a knee injury doctor in New York City is strongly advised.
A kneecap dislocation (patellar dislocation) is a rather common injury, accounting for 3% of all knee injuries. Fortunately, it can be treated successfully by a knee pain doctor in Jersey City or surrounding areas. Kneecap dislocations occur more frequently in women as well as in teens and young adults — especially in ballet dancers and gymnasts. Overweight males are also at increased risk of this injury.
Fortunately, most dislocated kneecaps can be treated by “reducing” them, which essentially means popping the patella back into its normal position. You may have to wear a splint for a few weeks until soft tissues around the kneecap heal and regain strength. If the kneecap cannot be reduced by hand, a surgical procedure may be required (i.e. reduction and surgical stabilization).
Bursitis is an inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that surround some joints, like the knee. Repeated trauma, crystalline deposits, or various infections may inflame the knee’s bursae and cause bursitis. Signs of possible bursitis of the knee include swelling, redness, stiffness, and pain that worsens when the knee is bent, and improves with rest. People who frequently kneel at work such as carpet layers, roofers, or plumbers are prone to suffering from bursitis of the knee.
Your knee injury doctor in NYC may recommend PRICE (protect, rest, ice, compression, elevation), NSAIDs or steroid injections to treat knee bursitis. Your knee pain doctor may treat chronic bursitis by removing the bursa altogether. A bursectomy may be done as in an open procedure with a relatively large surgical opening or arthroscopically, through a “keyhole” incision.
You often hear of professional athletes who injure their ACL or anterior cruciate ligament, but this injury is not just common among professional athletes. Over 100,000 ACL ruptures occur in the US each year. Most of these injuries result from a trauma to the knee, perhaps during sports, but also from motor vehicle accidents and other traumatic episodes. A torn or ruptured ACL causes pain, swelling, redness, and bleeding in the knee. The ACL is a major stabilizing ligament in the knee, so when the ACL ruptures, the leg may be unstable at the knee.
PRICE (protect, rest, ice, compression, elevation) is useful right after an ACL injury. Over-the-counter pain medications should relieve the pain. Patients should not put weight on the knee for some time after the injury, and crutches may be needed. A torn ACL can be managed surgically or non-surgically. Non-athletes and those who do not put their knees to moderate or high degrees of strain may be able to live with a torn ACL, thus avoiding surgery.
Unfortunately, people who opt against surgery are at increased risk of a meniscal tear, articular cartilage injury, chronic knee pain, and decreased activity due to pain and stiffness. Young, healthy, active individuals usually opt for surgical ACL correction to avoid these outcomes and return to play.
If you are looking for a knee pain doctor in NYC, Staten Island or Jersey city, contact Regional Orthopedic today.