If you feel stiffness or mild pain in your knee during the winter months, your first instinct might be to dismiss it as a weather-related discomfort. It’s important, however, to pay attention to the severity and location of the pain, as well as duration. While the new year brings aches and soreness following resolutions to increase exercise routines, knee pain could be an indicator of an injury requiring immediate care.
Knee pain may happen as a result of injury – be it an accident or overwork in the gym – or as you age. Environment and genetics may also contribute to your condition. Aside from obvious aches felt whether your knee is in motion or still, signs of injury may include redness and/or swelling, difficulty with flexing the joint, and pain occurring when you try to stand or put weight on the knee.
Depending on the location of the injury, patients who experience prolonged knee pain may suffer from one of the following conditions:
This is a common knee injury where the meniscus – the cartilage in between your femur and tibia – is damaged. It’s possible to suffer a torn meniscus while playing sports; for example, twisting your leg sliding to a base or landing hard during a tennis or basketball match. Any wrong turn of the knee could result in this injury.
Bursae are the sacs of fluid that surround and protect the patella, or knee cap. When an injury or illness causes inflammation of the fluid, a patient may experience pain and have difficulty moving the knee.
Tendons connect muscle to bone, and at the front of the knee is the patellar tendon which helps the knee straighten. Inflammation of this tendon can make it difficult for athletes to perform well, and for anyone to walk or run without discomfort.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear
This is commonly known as an ACL injury. The ligament, located between the femur and tibia, is prone to tears during activities where a person may brake suddenly after running, or veer in a different direction to avoid being tackled or blocked. Players of group sports like football or basketball may be susceptible to this type of knee injury.
If you experience knee pain that does not lessen, or cannot put weight on a leg or walk due to knee pain, the staff at Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists are here to help. We have the knowledge and tools to diagnose and treat your pain, and will help see you through to recovery. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you live pain-free in 2019.