Cartilage, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones all help the knee provide stability while standing, bending, walking, jogging, and running. If anything goes wrong with any of those parts, you may find yourself seeking the best knee surgeon in Costa Mesa for relief from pain. Contact our office today to learn more.
- This type of specialist can provide the assistance you need, including making an initial diagnosis
- Our specialist will also look into a wide range of treatment options.
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Possible Causes of Knee Pain
A direct blow or a movement that extends beyond a knee’s normal range-of-motion can result in sudden, sharp pain or discomfort when tendons of the knee become stretched or torn, with the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) being a common source of pain from injury.
A type of “wear and tear” arthritis caused by progressive degeneration of tissues, osteoarthritis can also be a source of knee pain that develops slowly over time, as can rheumatoid arthritis and related conditions like lupus. Instability can also be caused by fractures of the femur and tibia that meet to form the knee joint or dislocation of the patella (kneecap).
Diagnosing Knee Pain
The best knee surgeon in Costa Mesa will use knowledge of a patient’s medical history and results from a variety of diagnostic tests to determine the extent of a knee injury the source of pain to any of the bones and tissue making up the knee. In addition to X-rays and CT scans, an MRI may be performed to get a closer look at soft tissues. If pain is relegated to bones and joints, an arthroscopy, involving the use of a small camera, may be done to determine what’s going on internally. Diagnosis may also include describing what movements seem to trigger the pain.
Non-surgical Treatments for Knee Pain
If there is no pressing medical urgency, a knee surgeon may recommend non-surgical remedies. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), COX-2 inhibitors (Celebrex), and corticosteroid injections are among the medications frequently prescribed to manage knee pain. An injection of hyaluronic acid (visco-supplementation) may help lubricate the knee joint.
Once an accurate diagnosis is made, a knee surgeon may recommend another attempt at physical therapy. PT can be highly personalized and adjusted to match your diagnosis. There may also be techniques such as TENS electrode placement that you haven’t considered yet. Non-surgical treatments for knee pain may also include:
- Low-impact exercise
- Temporary bracing
- Heat and cold therapy
- Weight management
- Avoidance of certain activities and movements
When to Consider Knee Surgery
Knee pain from a damaged meniscus is a perfect example of how this complex joint can be affected by an injury. While non-surgical options will be recommended, pain may reach a point where it affects quality of life. A type of arthroscopic surgery called a meniscectomy may be performed to remove the damaged cartilage. A meniscus repair is sometimes done when the damage isn’t extensive enough for complete removal.
Plica surgery is performed to correct damage to a fold in the lining of the knee joint (plica). Surgical options to relieve knee pain may also include a lateral release to relieve pressure on the kneecap, uni-compartmental or full knee replacement, tendon repair, ACL reconstructive surgery, and microfracture surgery to fix cartilage damage.
Preventing Knee Injuries/Pain
The best knee surgeon in Costa Mesa is one who will take time to discuss how you can minimize your risk of experiencing knee pain in the future. Overuse is a leading cause of many knee injuries and pain. Doing a proper warm-up prior to engaging in vigorous activities such as jogging or running can prevent injuries from tense muscles that support the knee. Repetitive motion injuries can be reduced by knowing when to take a break and making an effort to exercise knee-supporting muscles. Risk factors for knee injuries include:
- Playing high-impact sports
- Having underlying conditions such as diabetes or arthritis
- Being at an age where you’re at an increased risk of falling
Should you find yourself dealing with some type of knee problem, whether it’s from an injury or a progressive condition like arthritis, take comfort in knowing you’re not alone. It’s one of the top reasons patients seek medical care. Some degree of knee pain, which is often a temporary inconvenience, can affect anyone of any age at any time in life. The best knee surgeon in Costa Mesa will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and work with you to put together a treatment plan tailored to your immediate needs and eventual goals.