Knee pain and related problems are very common, especially in adults. The knee is an important, complex structure – it acts as a hinge between the top half and the lower part of the leg, enabling movement between the two, and it provides stability and strength to support the weight of the body. Given its complexity, the amount of use it gets over a lifetime, and the range of injuries that can cause knee pain, the signs and symptoms of injuries and conditions can vary widely.
Chris Parish, our Orthopaedic Podiatrist, has over 23 years experience diagnosing and effectively treating a wide variety of conditions and injuries causing knee pain. To discuss your knee pain or condition, or to make an appointment to see Chris, please call us, email us or use the simple online form to submit your question or message.
- Ligament Injuries
- Treatment of Ligament Injuries
- Tendon Injuries: Patellar Tendinitis (Patellar Tendinopathy/Jumper’s Knee)
- Treatment of Patellar Tendinitis (Patellar Tendinopathy/Jumper’s Knee)
- Meniscal Injuries (Cartilage Injury)
- Treatment of Meniscus Injuries (Cartilage Injury)
- Patello-Femoral Pain / Chondromalacia Patellae
- Treatment of Patello-Femoral Pain (Chondromalacia Patellae)
Ligaments are tough bands of rope-like tissue that connect bones or cartilages at a joint. There are four ligaments connecting your thighbone (the femur) to your lower leg bones (the tibia and the fibula). These are either ‘collateral’ or ‘cruciate’ ligaments.
The two collateral ligaments, the medial and lateral collateral ligament, connect to the inside and the outside of your knee. The two cruciate ligaments, the anterior and posterior cruciate ligament, cross each other inside as they stretch diagonally from the bottom of your thighbone to the top of your shinbone.
A tear in one of these ligaments, which can be caused by a fall or contact trauma, is a common injury, especially in active or sporty people.
You may feel immediate pain that worsens when you try to walk or bend your knee – and a popping sound. Your knee may also feel as if it might give way or buckle and you may not be able to bear any weight on it.
If you suspect you may have damaged a ligament, you should rest it immediately and seek professional medical advice.
As a general rule of thumb the R.I.C.E. theory should be used to help reduce pain and swelling and prevent further damage: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
A knee brace or support is sometimes needed to aid recovery. An Orthopaedic Podiatrist can advise on long-term treatment and rehabilitation.
(Patellar Tendinopathy/Jumper’s Knee)
Patellar tendinitis, also called patellar tendinopathy and Jumper’s Knee, refers to inflammation and degeneration of the patellar tendon, the tendon that connects the quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh to the larger lower leg bone (the tibia). It is particularly common in athletes and active individuals who repeatedly place extra strain on their knees by engaging in sports that involve direction changing or jumping movements; runners, skiers and cyclists are particularly prone.
Symptoms include pain in one or both knees (which is worse for jumping, running or squatting), swelling in the front of the knee or just below the kneecap and being unable to completely extend or straighten your leg.
The immediate treatment for patellar tendinitis is to rest and restrict movement.
Ice therapy can also be applied to help reduce swelling, but never directly to the skin in case of ice burn occurring. Instead, wrap an ice pack in a cloth and apply to the affected area for up to ten minutes; this can also help to numb the pain.
Support straps are sometimes needed to aid recovery. An Orthopaedic Podiatrist can advise on long-term treatment and rehabilitation.
The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage that cushions the knee joint. Each knee has two ‘menisci’. These lie on the medial (inside) and lateral (outside) of the upper surface of the tibia (shin) bone, where they act as shock absorbers, protecting the knee from impact and trauma. They also allow for proper interaction and weight distribution between the tibia and the femur (thighbone).
Meniscal injuries involve tears in the cartilage, usually through an impact injury or by twisting the knee. They can be quite painful and debilitating and are often accompanied by mild to moderate swelling that occurs slowly, sometimes as much as 36 hours after injury. You may also find that you are unable to straighten your knee completely or that it feels locked in place.
The R.I.C.E. theory should be used to help reduce pain and swelling and prevent further damage: rest, ice, compression and elevation.
A knee brace or knee support may be necessary to aid recovery. See an Orthopaedic Podiatrist for advice on long-term treatment and rehabilitation.
Patello-femoral pain is used to describe pain at the front of the knee (the patella) which comes on gradually with symptoms increasing over a period of time. It is sometimes called anterior knee pain.
There are a number of reasons why Patello-femoral pain might develop.
The back of the patella is covered with smooth cartilage to help it glide over the lower part of the thighbone (femur). Overuse can wear this cartilage away. The term chondromalacia patella refers to damage of the patella cartilage.
Incorrect alignment (when the patella does not move or ‘track’ correctly when the knee is being bent and straightened, rubbing against the femur instead of gliding over it) can also lead to damage of the surrounding cartilage.
Patello-femoral pain can also be caused by poor leg function. Over-pronation, where the foot rolls inwards, can lead to increased stress on the knee joint and in some people, women especially, a larger than normal femoral angle can place extra strain on the patella. This is known as the Q-angle, which is naturally larger in women due to their wider pelvis.
Pain is usually felt at the front of the knee – it may come and go but is usually worse when going up or down stairs, and sometimes there is a grinding sensation and swelling.
Patello-femoral pain usually improves with physiotherapy. An Orthopaedic Podiatrist will look at underlying causes and may prescribe orthotic insoles to help correct poor foot and leg function.
A special brace to help support the knee area can also help to reduce pain and improve mobility.
With the correct exercises and rehabilitation programme, a full recovery is usually made.
Chris Parish, our Orthopaedic Podiatrist, has over 23 years experience diagnosing and effectively treating a wide variety of knee conditions, and injuries causing pain to the area. To discuss your knee pain or condition, or to make an appointment to see Chris, please call us, email us or use the simple online form to submit your question or message.