The knee is a very complex joint with many components making it vulnerable to a variety of injuries. When damaged, it can seriously impact your quality of life. Knee pain is one of the most common reasons people visit an orthopedic physician. Difficulty standing and walking can greatly diminish your sense of independence. The GOOD news is that most collective knee pain problems are treatable.
The CAUSES OF KNEE PAIN are many, including injury and disease. Injuries of the knee commonly seen tend to be damage to the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, and the meniscus. There are an estimated 2.5 million sports-related injuries a year just by adolescent athletes alone. A fracture is most often caused by trauma such as a car accident, a fall, or sports contact; the most common broken bone in the knee is the patella, more generally known as the kneecap.
Fast facts on knee injuries:
- The highest knee injury rates occur in people between the ages of 15 to 24.
- Sports participation is a high risk factor for knee injuries.
- 60% of high school sports-related injuries occur in the knee.
- Female basketball and soccer athletes are as much as 8 times more likely to suffer an ACL injury than a male.
- Young athletes suffering an ACL injury will have an increased risk of arthritis as they age.
Avoiding knee injuries:
- Warm up properly prior to exercising or participating in sports.
- Wear proper footwear with a good fit.
- Don’t increase sports or exercise workouts suddenly.
- Wear knee guards in sports activities.
- Maintain strong, flexible leg muscles.
- Always, always, always … Use a seatbelt when driving.
The MOST WIDESPREAD DISEASE affecting the knee is arthritis, which is caused by the gradual wearing-away of cartilage. Primary symptoms are pain, swelling, and stiffness in the knee. Currently, there is no “cure” for arthritis, however there are options, both surgical and non-invasive. Depending on the amount of arthritic damage, treating knee pain may often be done without surgery. These options may include one or a combination of physical therapy, weight control, injections, medications, bracing, exercise, and strengthening. When considering knee replacement surgery, the physicians and physical therapists at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates have a wide array of experience and expertise.
Whatever the cause of your knee pain, from sports injury to trauma to arthritis, the 13 physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates are here to help alleviate your discomfort. We have four convenient locations. Browse here to view our physicians and their specialties or call us at 941-951-2663 to make an appointment.
Sources: SOA.md website; MediLexicon International; arthritis.org; webMD