The knees are workaholics, bearing the weight of our entire body. With each painful, step, those with knee pain usually go about their day, assuming this is all a part of working hard or getting older. There is certain functionality to pain. Yes, it can be a sign that we’ve overdone it a bit, but pain can also be a sign of greater problems.
As long as we can still amble on, we do; even through the pain. But, when is it time to see a doctor?
The knee joint is where the femur (thigh bone) and tibia bone (shin) are connected, making it a rather complicated joint. The knee joint, one of the largest joints in the human body, is comprised of four bones: femur (thigh) tibia (shin), fibula and patella (knee cap). The rest of the joint is basically made up of tendons, muscle and ligaments and a type of lubricating fluid (bursa). The knee joint is complicated, and pain in the joint could be an extension of damage to any of the aforementioned properties.
If you are experiencing any of the following, you should see a doctor:
Pain in the knee joint that is accompanied with swelling, redness or discoloration and is warm to the touch could be a sign of infection. See a doctor immediately to rule out sepsis.
Infection of the Bursa
Fluid that’s present in the knee to cushion the joint might be infected. The infection of the bursa sac could be caused by trauma to the knee that occurred recently or in the past. Ignoring the symptoms and soldiering on will only exacerbate the situation. An infection can become serious quickly and though it’s the knee that’s initially affected, gone untreated the infection may progress to the point that the patient will have chills, fever and even vomiting.
Chronic pain in the knee joint could also be a sign of osteoarthritis Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on the joints as cartilage begins to breakdown. Osteoarthritis becomes more prevalent with age as bones begin to scrape against one another without the cushioning of cartilage. The friction causes pain, which may also present with stiffness and inflammation in the joint. See a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
We often think of gout as affecting the feet, but painful gout can present in the knee joint as well. Gout is a metabolic disease that results in arthritis and is characterized by a build-up of uric acid crystals. If your knee pain came on suddenly and is accompanied with redness and extreme tenderness, then you may have gout. Don’t ignore symptoms and see a doctor right away.
When a tendon is overused and becomes inflamed and irritated, the result is tendonitis. The pain isn’t within the knee joint, but the surrounding area, since it affects the cords (tendons) attaching the bone and muscle around the joint. Jumper’s knee is a common name that doctor’s use to refer to painful tendonitis. See a doctor if you have persistent symptoms aligning with tendonitis: swelling around the knee area, pain with movement and constant tenderness.
A torn or sprained anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the painful result of an awkward pivot, tackle, or movement that twists the knee out of whack. Symptoms include hearing a popping sound, inflammation and pain to the touch, and loss of motion. If you believe you have torn your ACL, see a doctor right away. Letting it go without treatment could result in a torn meniscus, which will only prolong recovery.
There are a variety of reasons that you may experience pain in the knee joint. National Stem Cell Centers is acquainted with them all and can diagnose your symptoms and provide treatment for chronic conditions. Many knee conditions can be treated with regenerative medicine such as stem cell therapy. Don’t suffer needlessly or exacerbate your current painful situation. Call (646) 448-0427 (New York) or (516) 403-1457 (Long Island) today to find out if stem cell therapies are right for you. National Stem Cell Centers also has locations in Southampton NY, New Jersey, Dallas and Houston in Texas, and Atlanta GA.