Written in collaboration with Rosana Beechum
Many knee problems are treatable. Whether that’s through physiotherapy and natural healing, or surgical procedures, difficulties with one or both knees can be medically handled. Here are five types of knee ailments where treatment is possible.
1. Cartilage damage or deterioration
Cartilage loss can occur for many reasons including excessive exercise in the younger years, impact damage on the knee joint through road cycling or running on concrete, or even damage from a car accident. The role of cartilage is to cover the knee and provide cushioning between the bones that prevent their rubbing painfully together. When cartilage is reduced or no longer present, considerable pain results due to joint movement.
An orthopaedic centre can provide x-rays and look at how it might be remedied. There are various surgical options available through One Orthopaedics, like osteochondral grafting, microfracture, or grafting in replacement cartilage. Consultation and medical tests can confirm the best approach to take.
2. Kneecap instability
A kneecap can become unstable which is more noticeable when you walk on it. This is caused by either a reduced force during knee movements or an extra force that sometimes pulls the kneecap out of position. A muscular imbalance might occur when one muscle becomes stronger than another. The push and pull effect may lead to the knee moving irregularly. Also, poor form, irregular movement, or even one hip being shorter than the other can cause kneecap instability difficulties given enough time.
There are both non-invasive and surgical procedures available to help fix unstable knees. What’s essential is the correct diagnosis of the root cause of knee instability. This way, it can sometimes be fixed through the best treatment option.
3. Anterior (external) knee discomfort
Pain at the front of the knee is very noticeable when it happens. While it isn’t necessarily indicative of a specific knee issue, it does suggest underlying medical problems. The causes can include weakened cartilage at the rear of the knee causing strain at the front. It could be patellar tendonitis due to the tendon becoming weaker. Another cause may be tissue irritation on the interior of the knee too. Various non-invasive and therapeutic treatments as well as injections can be assistive.
4. ACL injury
A partially or fully torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is frequently caused through athletic exercise. However, it can also occur due to sudden forced movement, hyperextending the knee, or in other ways. Physiotherapy can be beneficial to decrease swelling and work through the issue. Other options include ACL reconstruction surgery when physiotherapy hasn’t resolved the injury.
5. Meniscal tears
A meniscal tear is where one or both of the menisci – cartilage on both sides of the knee – becomes torn. The damage can happen due to twisting when you are crouched, leaving the knee more exposed. It’s also possible that the cartilage degenerated with age making it more vulnerable to tearing through regular movement too.
Various treatment options include physiotherapy, arthroscopy, and/or full meniscal repair. Tears can sometimes self-repair when they’re not full tears and the body heals itself. Other times, surgical intervention is required to rectify the medical problem.
Many knee problems have effective treatment protocols that can partially or fully rectify them. None are instant solutions, but not all require surgery either. This is great news if you’re suffering from bad knees and have been wondering what to do.