Common knee conditions & injuries
Osteoarthritis and the swollen knee
Most patients that have osteoarthritis (various degrees of cartilage loss seen on X-ray or MRI) get acute flare-ups involving the knee becoming warm, swollen, and painful. Having osteoarthritis does not mean that you have daily pains. The flare-ups often relate to periods of joint overloading such as with overtraining, over-exercising, and new exercises. The fluid in the joint is harmful to the joint if left unattended and needs to be removed. Most patients recover well after ultrasound guided drainage of the fluid followed by injection of a steroid and a short course of physiotherapy. Alternative treatments for patients with Osteoarthritis not having surgery is PRP injections and Stem Cell treatment (see under).
Anterior knee pain refers to pain as a result of the following three most common conditions;
Chondromalcia patella (softening of the cartilage of the knee cap), fat pad impingement, or patellar tendonitis. These three conditions occur as a result of poor tracking of the knee cap during knee movements and can be managed conservatively without the need of surgery.
Ligament strain or injury often affects the medial knee ligament (medial collateral ligament) This is often the result of a twisting injury and can be managed conservatively. It is easy to diagnose with diagnostic ultrasound.
Meniscus injuries result from abrupt twisting injuries and are best diagnosed with MRI. As most meniscus injuries do not result in locking of the knee, this type of injury can be successfully treated without surgery. High volume distension injections can settle the painful flare up and allow full recovery with a course of physiotherapy.
Cruciate ligament injuries result in knee instability and need to be diagnosed early with MRI. Complete tears mostly require surgery with a 6 to 12 month recovery and rehabilitation period.