The number of cases of chronic knee pain has greatly increased in the last 20 years. As the knee is the main joint people use for walking, New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer wants you to have a good understanding of long-lasting knee pain.
There are many things that can contribute to knee pain. Though the outcome is the same, the causes are very different. Knowing what is causing chronic knee pain can help your orthopedic surgeon properly treat it.
Long-lasting knee pain can be caused by injuries such as bone fractures and torn ligaments. The common causes of chronic knee pain include trauma, degenerative tissue disorders, Infections, connective tissue disorders, and metabolic disorders.
Trauma: Traumatic knee injuries are usually caused by accidents, falls and physical activities and typically happen because the knee has been put under extreme strain. Falling from a height, being hit directly on the knee, or making a sudden change in direction are all causes of traumatic knee injuries. Common traumatic knee injuries that your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon sees include bone fractures, dislocated kneecaps, and torn ligaments.
Metabolic disorders: These are illnesses that affect how the cells of the body convert food to energy. There may be a metabolic connection to chronic knee pain. People with metabolic disorders like gout may often experience knee pain. This is because gout causes uric acid crystals to build up in the joints. The result can be painful inflammation, which can also affect how the knee moves.
Degenerative tissue disorders: According to Dr. Meyer, osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition of the joints. It is a degenerative disease, caused by the wear and tear of the joints over time. Common symptoms are pain and stiffness after long periods of rest. Osteoporosis is another common disorder that damages the cartilage and connecting tissues of the knee because the supporting bone is lost.
Bacterial infection: According to your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon, bacterial infections such as cellulitis can also cause sudden knee pain. Cellulitis occurs when bacteria that are normally on the surface of the skin make their way underneath the skin’s protective surface. Cellulitis around the knee can cause the joint itself to become infected if left untreated. This causes redness, swelling, pain, and stiffness. In turn, this can produce chronic knee pain.
Connective tissue disorders: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common connective tissue disorder that causes knee pain. It is a disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack its own tissues. In the case of knee pain, RA attacks the tissues of the knee and causes pain, joint inflammation, fatigue, fevers, and appetite loss.
Symptoms Of Chronic Knee Pain
In addition to the pain caused by a chronic knee injury, your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon finds that there are usually other accompanying symptoms. These symptoms may include:
- Weakness of the knee;
- Inability to stand properly or fully lengthen out the knee;
- Popping sounds as the knee flexes or straightens out;
- Swelling and stiffness around the knee;
- Redness or warm sensations throughout the knee
Treatment for chronic knee pain may come in the form of prescription drugs or an exercise plan. In the case of injuries and serious degenerative conditions, surgery may be needed.