Common Causes of Knee Pain
Your joints work hard to keep your body moving. But over the years, injuries and every day wear and tear can take their toll. Knee pain is a very common medical problem that often affects older individuals, but can strike at any age. It may be short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic). If you’ve been experiencing severe or persistent knee pain, it’s time to see a specialist. An orthopedist is a doctor who specializes in joint problems.
There are over 100 different types of arthritis. Some of the most common to affect the knee include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis develops from damage due to wear and tear. As the cartilage in the knee deteriorates, the symptoms can worsen. In contrast, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. Although there is no cure for arthritis, an orthopedist can develop a personalized treatment plan to minimize the damage and improve symptoms.
Anatomical and Mechanical Issues
Knee pain can sometimes be the result of mechanical problems in the joint. For example, it’s possible to suffer a dislocated kneecap. It’s also possible to develop knee pain from an altered gait. If a patient has foot or hip pain, that patient may change the way he or she walks in an attempt to reduce the pain. Over time, the altered gait can result in pain to other areas, such as the knee.
The knee is a complex joint comprised of ligaments, tendons, bones, cartilage, and bursae (fluid-filled sacs). Any one of those components can sustain damage. Knee injuries often occur as a result of sports injuries, but may also be the result of falls. One of the most common sports injuries is an ACL tear. This refers to damage to the anterior cruciate ligament, which connects the shinbone to the thighbone at the knee.
You can receive world-class medical care at Steamboat Orthopaedic and Spine Institute. Located in beautiful Steamboat Springs, CO, this medical practice provides a full spectrum of services, from diagnostics to surgery to rehabilitation. To request an appointment, call (970) 879-6663.