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Why Knee Pain Can Indicate Other Health Problems?

Although knee pain is localized in the joints of the legs, it can give you clues about other health problems in your body that you may not be aware of. Whenever you suffer from knee pain then it is required to take a thorough look and get yourself tested to find out the root cause of the problem.

Your pain may be the result of one or a combination of the following health conditions:

  • Injury
  • a mechanical problem
  • types of arthritis
  • other problems.

Knee Pain May Indicate Internal/external Injury

If you are having knee pain, it can be due to an injury that can be either recent or chronic like:

  1. ACL tears
  2. Meniscus tear
  3. Fracture
  4. Bursitis
  5. Patellar tendinitis

Firstly you should understand the structure and function of the knee. This joint connects the thigh to the leg and is made up of two joints- the tibiofemoral joint & the patellofemoral joint.

The joint between the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone) is known as the Tibiofemoral joint, whereas the joint between the femur and the patella (knee cap) is known as the Patellofemoral joint.

Joints consist of ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. This allows for both slight internal and external rotation as well as flexion and extension.

Your knee is prone to injury which mostly affects the ligaments, tendons or their fluid sacs, or the bursae that surround the joint. Let’s have a look at

  1. ACL tear: The ACL is known as the anterior cruciate ligament, and is one of the four ligaments that join the shin bone to the thigh bone. It is a common sports injury among sportspersons or players who are involved in sports such as basketball or soccer in which a sudden change of direction is required.
  2. Fractures: The pain of the fracture is very intense which results in swelling and the patient is not able to move that part. The breakage of the patella or kneecap can be caused by an accident or fall. Another cause of fractures can be severe osteoporosis. As a result of osteoporosis, people with weak bones can break themselves by taking the wrong steps.
  3. Meniscus tear: The hard, spongy cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between your shin and thigh bone is the meniscus. If you twist your foot the wrong way with too much force or weight, you can tear it.
  4. Bursitis: Bursae are known as the small sacs of fluid that surround the knee to provide cushioning to the joint. Inflammation in them is called bursitis and is painful.
  5. Patellar tendinitis: The tenderness and swelling in the tendons caused by tendinitis- the Patellar tendon. This is a fibrous tissue that connects the kneecap to the tibia and allows the person to kick, run, and jump. Injury to the tendon causes bursitis and ultimately pain.

Also Read:- Minimally Invasive Knee And Hip Replacement

Mechanical Issues

The musculoskeletal structure is after all the pieces of machinery, and any part can deform or behave in a disorganized manner. There may also be mechanical problems in the knee that can cause pain. Some of the examples are:

Loose Body: Sometimes a piece of bone or cartilage can break off or float in the joint space. It can be caused by injury or degeneration. It’s like getting something stuck in a door handle, not letting it close properly.

IT band syndrome: An IT band is a tight band of tissue that extends from the outside of your waist to the outside of your knee. When it becomes so firm that it rubs against the outer part of the femur, it is called Iliotibial band syndrome. This syndrome is particularly common among cyclists and runners.

Kneecap Dislocation: This occurs when the Triangular bone which covers the face of the joint moves out of place, usually outside of the knee. In most cases, you can see the displacement or dislocation.

Hip or Foot Pain: Your pain may be related to a problem with your hip or foot. Usually, hip or foot pain makes you alter your walk in order to protect yourself from foot pain. The changed way of walking puts more strain on the knees which causes pain.

Types Of Arthritis 

Your knee pain may be a sign of arthritis in the bones. There are several types of arthritis. The most common are:

Osteoarthritis: It is also known as degenerative arthritis. This wear-and-tear state occurs when the cartilage in the knee becomes damaged with the passing of age and use.

Rheumatoid arthritis: The weakest form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, it is an autoimmune condition that can affect any joint in the body, knees also. It is a chronic disease whose severity varies. At the same time, it comes and goes.

Gout: This is the type of arthritis, which is caused due to the accumulation of uric acid in the joint. Although gout usually affects the big toe yet, it can affect the knee too.

Septic arthritis: It is caused by an infection in the joints, causing swelling, pain, and redness.

About The Author

Tanveer Bhutani
Eva Hospital encompasses various modern orthopedic practices pioneered by the prominent orthopedic surgeon in Ludhiana “Dr. Tanveer Singh Bhutani”.

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