Knee pain is caused by trauma, misalignment and degeneration, as well as conditions like arthritis. Disorders such as weakening of the tissues around the knee can occur from aging, as well as frequent pain due to osteoarthritis. It is common during sports that place great pressure on the knees, especially with twisting forces, to tear cartilage or one or more ligaments.
Some of the most common knee problems occur on the medial side, or the inside of your knee. The ligaments and cartilage located in your knee that are vulnerable to sprains and tears are the medial and lateral menisci (plural of meniscus), Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) and Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL).
Ligaments can become sprained when they are overworked or overstretched. When they stretch to the point of tearing, a ligament tear occurs and will need to be treated by an orthopedic surgeon. The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage that sits between your femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) to protect the bones from rubbing together. The meniscus can tear from forceful twists or awkward rotations of the knee. You will often feel or hear a popping sound if the meniscus tears from trauma to the knee.
Another common injury – especially in sports – is an ACL tear. The ACL connects the bottom part of the femur to the top part of the tibia and prevents hyperextension of the knee. This short ligament can tear with a sudden change of direction or pivoting while your foot is planted. A pop is usually heard or felt during an ACL tear. If you suspect you’ve torn your ACL, you should visit an orthopedic surgeon right away who will help you determine the best course of action for recovery.
Hyaluronic acid injections help to return proper cushioning and lubrication function to the knee joint when osteoarthritis is the cause of your knee pain. ORTHOVISC® (High Molecular Weight Hyaluronan) is an FDA-approved, non-drug therapy made from ultrapure natural hyaluronan, anaturally-occurring lubricant found in healthy knee joints.
Arthroscopic surgery can be used to diagnose and treat knee injuries. This minimally-invasive approach to surgery can help speed recovery, reduce pain and minimize scarring, compared to traditional open surgery.
Orthopedic surgeons can use arthroscopic surgery to perform a variety of procedures, including:
– Removal of small bits of bone or cartilage
– Repair or removal of torn tendons
– Removal of inflamed synovium (the membrane that lines the cavity of a synovial joint and produces synovial fluid) and the removal inflamed bursae.