Common Conditions that Cause Knee Pain

Do you know that the knee is the largest joint in the body? Similarly, knee injuries are among the most common causes of pain due to weight bearing and constant movement. Therefore, healthcare practitioners strongly recommend regular consultation with a knee doctor in Pleasant Grove to rule out irreversible knee injuries.

Osteoarthritis

This is a chronic, degenerative disorder that often occurs in the elderly population. This condition is characterized by the loss of cartilage that cushions the two major bones that comprise the knee joint. It occurs due to repetitive “wear and tear” that occurs as you age, which is associated with the increased inflammatory response of the body. As a result, patients with osteoarthritis experience pain and swelling in the knee joint and limitation in range of motion.

This condition can be diagnosed based on your clinical history and a physical examination by a rheumatologist. Knee radiographs and other imaging tests are crucial to clinch the diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Based on the X-ray findings, your rheumatologist will determine the appropriate plan of management depending on the severity of knee cartilage loss.

Gout

This is a common cause of knee pain in the United States. This disease is characterized by elevated uric acid levels, which causes increased crystal deposit in the affected joint. During gout attacks, individuals may experience acute episodes of focal joint pain, tenderness, and swelling. The pain intensifies if triggered by intake of alcohol, red meat, processed food, organ meat, and soda. Individuals with other non-modifiable risk factors such as positive family history, gender, and age also develop a higher risk of having gout.

After an acute episode of gout, your rheumatologist will start you on uric acid lowering drugs to maintain healthy levels within the bloodstream. Anti-inflammatory medications are also crucial to reduce joint swelling and prevent recurrence of episodes. In refractory cases, steroids may be injected to control severe pain and inflammation.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

This is a chronic, progressive disease that often causes multiple joint pain among young adults. It more commonly occurs among women who have other autoimmune disorders, as well as among individuals with a family history of rheumatoid arthritis. This condition is characterized by constant fatigue, joint pain, tenderness, swelling, and warmth over various joints of the body. Since this condition causes irreversible joint damage if left untreated, it is crucial to visit a rheumatologist at the earliest signs of the disease.

Septic Arthritis

Knee with kinesiotape

This is another cause of severe, debilitating knee pain. This type of arthritis occurs due to direct invasion of microorganisms in an open wound. It may also occur due to the dissemination of bacteria into the knee joint, which causes an inflammatory response that damages the framework of the knee.

The knee is one of the most active joints in the body by preserving the overall musculoskeletal framework for walking, running, and jumping. It is also responsible for maintaining the structural stability of the body during movement. Therefore, it is crucial to visit a physician to receive immediate medical management for your knee injury.

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