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Knee Pain: Diagnosis and Treatment

Knee pain is a common issue that affects people of all ages. Injuries, mechanical problems, arthritis, and other issues can cause it. Understanding the source of your knee pain is crucial for effective treatment.

Symptoms of Knee Pain

Symptoms of Knee Pain

Common symptoms include:

  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Redness and warmth to the touch
  • Weakness or instability
  • Popping or crunching noises
  • Inability to fully straighten the knee

Causes of Knee Pain

Causes of Knee Pain

Knee pain can be caused by various factors, including:

Injuries:

  • ACL Injury: Damage to the anterior cruciate ligament, often seen in athletes.
  • Fractures: Broken bones can occur from falls or accidents.
  • Torn Meniscus: A rupture in the cartilage that acts as a cushion between the bones.
  • Knee Bursitis: Inflammation in the bursae, tiny sacs of fluid that cushion knee joints.
  • Patellar Tendinitis: Inflammation of the tendons that connect muscles to bones.

Mechanical Problems:

  • Loose Body: A bone or cartilage that breaks off and floats in the joint space.
  • Dislocated Kneecap: The kneecap slips out of place.
  • Hip or Foot Pain: Changes in walking pattern (gait) due to pain in other areas.
  • Malalignment: Varus (o) or Valgus (x) alignment of the knee joint increases load

Arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis: arthritis that develops as a result of the natural aging process and the cumulative wear and tear on the joints.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: An autoimmune condition affecting the joints.
  • Gout: Build-up of uric acid crystals in the joint.
  • Pseudogout: Calcium-containing crystals develop in the joint fluid.
  • Septic Arthritis: Infection in the knee joint.

When to See a Doctor

Seek medical attention if you experience:

  • Severe pain or swelling
  • Noticeable deformity
  • Inability to bear weight on the knee
  • Significant instability or weakness
  • Fever, in addition to knee pain
  • Sudden, severe pain related to an injury

How to Diagnose Knee Pain

Your doctor will conduct a physical examination and may suggest the following tests:

  • Imaging Tests: X-rays, CT scans, MRI, and ultrasound to view the bones and soft tissues.
  • Lab Tests: Blood and joint fluid analysis to identify infections or other conditions.

Treatment Options for Knee Pain

Treatment Options for Knee Pain

Lifestyle and Home Remedies:

  • Rest and Activity Modification: Avoid activities that exacerbate knee pain, especially high-impact exercises. Incorporate low-impact activities like swimming or cycling.
  • Ice: Apply ice packs to the knee for 15-20 minutes several times a day to reduce inflammation and numb the pain.
  • Heat Therapy: Using heat packs to relax muscles and soothe stiffness.
  • Compression: Use an elastic bandage or knee sleeve to provide support and reduce swelling.
  • Elevation: Keeping the knee elevated to reduce swelling and improve blood flow.

Therapy:

  • Physical Therapy: Exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee and improve flexibility.
  • Occupational Therapy: Techniques to perform everyday activities safely.

Medications:

  • Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Topical Pain Relievers: Creams and ointments applied to the skin.

Surgical Options:

  • Arthroscopic Surgery: Minimally invasive surgery to repair damaged structures.
  • Partial Knee Replacement Surgery: Replacing part of the knee with a prosthetic.
  • Total Knee Replacement: Replacing the entire knee joint with an artificial one.

Innovative Treatment For Knee Ostheoarthritis: Apos®

For knee osteoarthritis, you can consider Apos®, a revolutionary approach to treating chronic knee pain. Apos® is an FDA-cleared, non-drug, non-invasive treatment that involves wearing a personalized foot-worn device for about an hour daily during everyday activities.

How does Apos work?

  • Shifts pressure away from painful areas
  • Retrains muscles for healthier movement
  • Treats symptoms and the root cause of pain

Benefits of Apos®:

  • Significant Pain Reduction: A published medical study found that Apos® patients achieved 70% reduction in knee pain on average1.
  • Improved Function: Significant improvement in daily function and quality of life1.
  • Avoids or delays surgery: 87% of Apos®-Treated Patients With Knee OA Did Not Pursue Further Surgical Treatment at 5 Years2
  • Convenient: Use at home during daily activities.
  • Low Effort: Does not require physically challenging work, simply wear the device for an hour per day in your home while doing your normal daily routine.
  • Insurance Coverage: This is covered by many insurance plans

Apos® is recommended in the guidelines of NICE, the UK’s national health plan; more than 70 clinical research papers supporting its performance have been published, and more than 150,000 patients have been treated worldwide.

Conclusion

Understanding the cause of your knee pain and seeking the appropriate treatment can significantly improve your quality of life. Consider innovative treatments, like Apos®, to manage knee pain effectively and avoid or delay invasive procedures.

1.Reichenbach A, Felson DT, Hincapi CA, Heldner S, Butikofer L, Lenz A, da Costa BR, Bonel HM, Jones RK, Hawker GA, Juni P. Effect of Biomechanical Footwear on Knee Pain in People With Knee Osteoarthritis. The BIOTOK Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA 2020;323(18):1802-1812. 

(3)Shema-Shiratzky S, Mor A, Elbaz A. Non-Invasive Biomechanical Intervention Leads to Low Rates of Total Knee Replacement and Reduced Utilization of Healthcare Resources among Older Adults with Chronic Knee Pain: A 5-Year Follow-Up study. Journal of Musculoskeletal Disorders and Treatment 2023, 9(1):121. DOI: 10.23937/2572-3243.1510121.

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