The knee plays a crucial role in facilitating the smooth forward and backward movement of the lower leg. Ordinarily, a person with a healthy knee can swing the leg up to 150 degrees. At times, however, the knee might get injured or overuse at home or in the workplace or a chronic degenerative medical condition like arthritis might affect the efficiency of the knee.
Types of Knee Pain
Knee pains fall into three broad categories:
- Acute injuries, which includes fractures, broken bones, ACL injuries, torn ligaments, meniscus as well as dislocations.
- Medical conditions, like types of arthritis such as rheumatoid, post-traumatic and osteoarthritis.
- Chronic or Overuse conditions such as patellar syndromes, bursitis and tendinitis.
Signs and Symptoms of Knee Pain
An orthopedic doctor can quickly diagnose a knee injury through physical observation, or X-rays. The severity and symptoms of the knee injury vary significantly depending on the type of injury as well as the part of the knee that is affected. As such, the symptoms can range from a mild ache to an intense immobilizing pain. The following are common signs that a person suffering from a knee injury might exhibit.
- Pain in the knee especially when moving it
- Swollen knees
- Stiffness or locking of the knees
- Limping or difficulty in walking
- Difficulty in extending the leg
- Inability to stand on the leg with an injury in the case of fractures
Home self-treatment remedies
In the event you experience a knee injury, the following are a few actions you can take to relieve the pain. The type of treatment, however, will vary according to the nature of the injury.
Take a break from the activity that resulted in the injury, and position a pillow or a soft cushion below the knee. Apply ice cubes for ten to twenty minutes, at least, three times daily, on the injured leg to minimize both the inflammation and the pain.
You can also consider compression, where you wrap the sore body part using an elastic band-aid to minimize swelling. Avoid tying the bandage too tightly as it can worsen the situation. If after wrapping the bandage the leg becomes numb, more painful, cold or the region below the wrap swells, the chances are that the wrapping is too tight.
Support the injured leg
Reduce the stress load on the injured leg by using a walking stick, crutch or cane, especially if the injury resulted in limping. The cane should be on the hand adjacent to the injured knee.
Pain balms and Pain relievers
Apply pain balms or ointments and gently rub the skin surrounding the injured area so as to enhance blood flow. Furthermore, you could take aspirin or a pain killer if you are in physical pain.
If the pain persists two to three days after the injury, consider visiting an orthopedic doctor as the injury might be severe. The Orthopedic doctor will conduct knee examinations that include visual checkups, X-rays, checking the knee temperature, ligaments and range. Based on the diagnosis and the extent of the injury, the doctor will suggest treatment options, which in extreme cases might include a Knee Replacement surgery.