The knee is the largest joint in the body, comprised of bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Knee pain may result from injury to any of these components. For accurate diagnosis and treatment of knee pain, athletes and non-athletes alike turn to leading board-certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship-trained sports medicine specialist Dr. Maury Harwood at Harwood Orthopedics in Morgan Hill, California. Call Dr. Harwood, who also serves patients from nearby South San Jose, to address your knee pain before it becomes worse.
Injuries that affect ligaments and tendons around your knee joint are one of the main culprits in causing knee pain. Some of the more common knee injuries include:
Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the four ligaments that link your shinbone to your thighbone. Athletes who play contact sports like basketball and football are more prone to ACL injuries.
Your meniscus functions as a shock absorber between your shinbone and thighbone. You can suffer a meniscus tear by twisting your knee. It’s also a common injury in athletes.
You can break your kneecap, or patella, due to trauma caused by a fall or car accident. Weakened bones affected by osteoporosis or arthritis can be particularly vulnerable to fractures.
There are a number of factors that can increase your likelihood of experiencing knee pain or dealing with injuries to your knees, including:
Being Overweight: Carrying excess weight can put undue stress on your joints, put you at a higher risk of developing arthritis, which can lead to degeneration of your cartilage and joints.
Certain Sports: Sports like basketball, football, and soccer can put your knees at risk. The jumping, changing directions, and impacts due to falls or collisions can put pressure on your knees.
Past Injuries: If you’ve injured your knee before, it is more prone to re-injury.
Knee pain can make everyday activities like walking or getting dressed difficult. It’s important to have your knee assessed if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
Make an appointment to see Dr. Harwood right way if you are experiencing these symptoms so he can get to the root cause and alleviate your knee pain.
Dr. Harwood reviews your medical history, performs a physical exam, and does tests, such as X-rays, MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound to assess the anatomical structure of your knee.
Based on your exam, Dr. Harwood may advise you on nonsurgical treatment options including pain medications, physical therapy, or a cane to help you walk. If these treatments fail to relieve your pain, he may discuss arthroscopic knee surgery to repair the joint or knee arthroplasty -- a partial knee replacement or total knee replacement -- which can alleviate knee pain.