Knee Pain

The knee is the largest joint in the human body.  It is often described as a hinge joint.  However, the knee not only bends back and forth like a hinge, it has a rotational component that occurs with flexion and extension.  The knee is composed of ligaments, muscle, tendons, and cartilage.  The femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone) are separated by medial and lateral meniscus.  These tough cartilaginous meniscuses act as shock absorbers and cushion the knee during every day activities.   The ligaments provide stability to the joint and help control movement of the knee.  See illustration below for further detail.


At some point in our lives, we will likely experience knee pain. Every day wear and tear on this heavy, weight-bearing joint can precipitate pain.  Also, injury to any of the structures mentioned above can also be a culprit.  Many things can predispose an individual to having knee problems, such as age, gender, excess weight, lack of muscle flexibility and strength, certain sports, previous injury, certain occupations, infections, etc.  The aforementioned risk factors can lead to osteoarthritis.  This condition is wear and tear of the cushioning cartilage (meniscus) of the knee.  When this occurs, the femur and tibia begin to rub against one another during movement, creating friction in the joint.  The friction creates pain, swelling, stiffness, and can even cause bone spurring.  According to the Arthritis Foundation, more than 27 million people in the U.S. have osteoarthritis, with the knee being one of the most affected areas.  By 2030, an estimated 67 million Americans ages 18 years or older are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.  Diagnosis of OA of the knee can be obtained by physical exam from your doctor, along with x-rays of your knees.  X-rays show bone and cartilage damage as well as presence of bone spurs.
Treatment of osteoarthritis consists of weight loss, physical therapy, pain relievers, steroid injections, visco-supplementation (Synvisc, Supartz, Euflexxa), and surgery. Valley Sports & Spine Clinic offers multiple treatment modalities.  One in particular is sterile, ultrasound guided joint injections.  Using ultrasound allows the provider to visualize the joint space and inject the steroid or visco-supplement (Synvisc, Supartz, and Euflexxa) directly into the joint.  Studies show that trained Orthopedic Doctors will miss placing an injection into the joint space 17-18% of the time; Ultrasound allows for 100% accuracy.   Below is an illustration of ultrasound, with visualization of the needle tip directly into the joint space.

knee US

A more recent option called  Radiofrequency Ablation involves blocking the nerves that transmit sensation from the pain, thereby blocking pain.

The main goal is to reduce pain and help patients return to their everyday activities.  To help them regain their quality of life, and enjoy doing the things they love most.

 

Good Luck!

Valley Sports & Spine Clinic
Giving you Back your Life
Holly Williams, PA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *