Knee pain can be a debilitating or chronic hindrance to a normal lifestyle, but a visit to a knee doctor in Costa Mesa can help you get active again. Contact our clinic today to schedule an appointment with a top knee doctor in Costa Mesa.
- Your doctor will help you to manage and potentially eliminate pain
- Get in touch with your knee doctor for any type of knee issue
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How the Knee Works
The knee is considered one of the most complex joints in the entire body. It joins the shin bone to the thigh bone. The joints move through tendons that connect the knee bones to leg muscles. There are a pair of C-shaped cartilage pieces that act as shock absorbers between the shin and thigh bones. A series of sacs filled with fluid ensure the knee can move smoothly. Ligaments provide stability to the entire knee area. Any disruption to the carefully constructed knee area can lead to pain and an inability to use the joint effectively.
Injury to Knee Ligaments
Ligaments hold bones together and are instrumental in the knee’s stabilization. Tears and sprains in knee ligaments are actually quite common, especially among individuals active in sports. The majority of knee injuries can be categorized in three general areas: the medial collateral ligament (MCL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment for pain can be something as simple as rest or could require surgery. Only an experienced knee doctor in Costa Mesa can counsel on the best ways to manage a knee problem.
Cartilage Tears in the Knee
Tears in cartilage can lead to serious knee issues. The cartilage is a flexible and tough tissue that protects connecting bones. Knee cartilage is made up of two menisci on sides of the joint. Positioned on the outside of the knee is the lateral meniscus. The medial meniscus can be found on the inside of the knee.
Tears in knee cartilage are fairly common and usually require surgery.
A chronic degenerative condition, arthritis can be the cause of severe disability and pain in the knee. Besides pain, arthritis in the knee can lead to swelling and stiffness. Common arthritis conditions include rheumatoid, post-traumatic and osteoarthritis. Arthritis is a “wear-and-tear” condition. While it can occur in anyone, the possibility of arthritis increases as we and our muscles age. In fact, knee arthritis is found mostly in people 50 or older.
Knee Pain Diagnosis
While no one should try to manage severe knee pain long term without seeing a knee doctor, you can look for symptoms to get an idea of what’s wrong. If you’re experiencing any sort of instability or pain in the knee when you walk or run, sit or stand for prolonged periods, or find it difficult to perform simple acts like climbing stairs without discomfort, you should consult with a knee doctor. You should be aware of stiffness, buckling, bruising, swelling, redness or kneecap sliding, especially after an accident that left the knee in pain. Waking in pain is a definitive sign as immobility can aggravate injured joints. Other things to look out for is popping or snapping sounds when bending the joint, the feeling something is floating in the knee, tenderness to the touch and visible deformity.
Doctors who specialize in knee problems will look at an array of factors to help determine and treat pain. They will want to know if any home treatments were implemented and if they helped, or if you have taken any non-prescription medications. They will look at your lifestyle to see what impact regular activity could have had. The doctor will need to know if there has been previous injury or surgery.
There will be a thorough examination of the knee(s) as well. X-rays and MRIs are some of the fastest ways to see what condition the knee is in, but the knee doctor is unlikely to rely solely on images. While the knee is bent, the doctor may push or pull the lower leg to check stability. The Valgus stress test consists of putting outward pressure on the calf to check the MCL. Arthrocentesis is a process where a needle is used to draw fluid to be tested. An endoscope is a device used in an arthroscopy, a surgical procedure engineered to conduct a thorough exam of the knee.
Once your knee doctor in Costa Mesa has isolated the problem, they will design a treatment program to help alleviate or eliminate pain. This can entail surgery, rest, medication, or physical therapy. They will want consistent visits to monitor the situation