Today we will talk about knee pain. The second most common complaint in any Orthopaedic clinic. We won't discuss any surgeries or any treatment or any medicines. We will discuss the basics of knee pain, what is the physiology of the knee pain and what a common man should know about knee pain. The most common causes of knee pain are osteoarthritis, injury, synovitis or softening of cartilage. Now to understand all four things, I will explain to you what these 4 things are and how can you tackle them and how can you come to know that what these things represent.
A knee consists of the femur bone, tibia bone, these are the ligaments and these white cushion like the thing is a cartilage. Usually, in case of the softening of cartilage, there is softening of these white cushion like materials which is extremely common behind kneecap or patella. So usually the patient will present with patellofemoral pain which is more while climbing down stairs or when he or she is sitting for long and he starts walking, the first few steps would be extremely painful.
This is mainly because of the softening of cartilage behind the kneecap known as chondromalacia patella. The second cause is an injury. The injury will be of ligament or of this meniscus. A ligament injury or a meniscus injury will cause pain in ligament injury one will have extreme instability especially while running, climbing down steps or hopping. In meniscus injury, there would be a pain while long walks and extreme flexion of the knee. The third cause is synovitis. Synovitis is swelling in the knee which will be associated with extreme swelling, redness, and warmth usually associated with some viral infection or maybe the underlying cause.
The patient will have extreme pain associated with body aches for fever and he or she might proceed with a viral infection like the common cold and all. The fourth cause is osteoarthritis which is very well known and it is a degeneration of this white cartilage. Usually, this is a mild form of degeneration, you can see this and this is the severe form of degeneration. This cartilage when destroyed will cause extreme pain in all movements and might cause deformity in the knee as well.
So all these four common causes, they are not always in extreme form. They might start with a mild form, then go to moderate and severe form. So before they go to the severe form and they hamper your regular activities, one can start the prevention as soon as there is some knee pain. These are lifestyle changes, physiotherapy and some exercises. Lifestyle modification means if one is going to the gym, I would suggest cycling and swimming are the best exercises for knee. One can even walk in water if one does not know swimming and one should avoid treadmill and be climbing downstairs because a knee is a joint which accommodates all weight while walking. When a person is walking, suppose a 50 kg person is walking while climbing downstairs the knee joint will experience twice.