Knee pain is a very common condition, with more than 20% of the world’s population suffering from it. It is an emerging problem for sportsmen, athletes and especially postmenopausal women. Although the knee is a small part of our body, it is a complex joint that maintains normal body posture, and plays a vital role in walking and running. A lot can go wrong with your knee, starting with mild signs of pain due to overuse or prolonged intense pain due to several bone conditions and autoimmune diseases. Here are some most common causes of knee pain:
Arthritis is a general term used for inflammation of joints. More than 100 types of arthritis have been reported, with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis as the most common forms. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body makes certain antibodies that destroy the inner lining (synovium) of the knee joint, causing inflammation and stiffness. On the other hand, osteoarthritis is the name given to a condition in which articular cartilage becomes worn, leading to inflammation and rubbing of the bones.
Ligaments are the bundles of dense fibrocartilage that provide cushion and protect our knees against jerks and jolts. Often during sports, ligaments tear as a result of sudden changes in position or twisting movements. Over-stretching of the knee joint results in a torn ACL, torn PCL, torn MCL, torn LCL or meniscus tear.
Fluid filled sacs present in the skin, especially under where joints rub overlying surfaces, are called called bursae. There are bursae present anterior and posterior to the knee joint that cause pain and swelling upon constant bending, kneeling, or falling forward. Repetitive kneeling leads to a well known condition called prepatellar bursitis, more commonly referred to as “housemaid’s knee” and “preacher’s knee”.
Putting your whole weight on one foot and twisting or a quick change in direction often results in patellar dislocation. Normally, the patella resides in a deep notch, bound medially and laterally with ligaments and skin; however, in this condition it typically moves toward the lateral side. This painful condition is cured manually by a physician or through surgery.
The knee joint is the most complex and durable joint of the body involving four bones femur (thigh bone), tibia, fibula and patella. As weight-bearing, strong bones of the body, these are not easily fractured. But conditions like T.B, osteoporosis, tumors or sustained infection can cause easy fractures of these bones. Fractures of the femur, patella and tibia will lead to swelling and pain.