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Chủ đề: Knee Pain

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    Knee Pain

    Knee Pain

    Knee pain can be caused by a sudden injury, an overuse injury, or by an underlying condition, such as arthritis. Treatment will vary depending on the cause. Symptoms of knee injury can include pain, swelling, and stiffness.

    Knee Problems and Injuries - Topic Overview

    Most people have had a minor knee problem at one time or another. Most of the time our body movements do not cause problems, but it's not surprising that symptoms develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or injury. Knee problems and injuries most often occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks, or home projects.

    The knee is the largest joint in the body. The upper and lower bones of the knee are separated by two discs (menisci). The upper leg bone (femur) and the lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) are connected by ligaments, tendons, and muscles. The surface of the bones inside the knee joint is covered by articular cartilage, which absorbs shock and provides a smooth, gliding surface for joint movement. See a picture of the structures of the knee camera.

    Although a knee problem is often caused by an injury to one or more of these structures, it may have another cause. Some people are more likely to develop knee problems than others. Many jobs, sports and recreation activities, getting older, or having a disease such as osteoporosis or arthritis increase your chances of having problems with your knees.
    Sudden (acute) injuries

    Injuries are the most common cause of knee problems. Sudden (acute) injuries may be caused by a direct blow to the knee or from abnormal twisting, bending the knee, or falling on the knee. Pain, bruising, or swelling may be severe and develop within minutes of the injury. Nerves or blood vessels may be pinched or damaged during the injury. The knee or lower leg may feel numb, weak, or cold; tingle; or look pale or blue. Acute injuries include:


    • Sprains, strains, or other injuries to the ligaments and tendons that connect and support the kneecap.
    • A tear in the rubbery cushions of the knee joint (meniscus).
    • Ligament tears. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the most commonly injured ligament of the knee.
    • Breaks (fracture) of the kneecap, lower portion of the femur, or upper part of the tibia or fibula. Knee fractures are most commonly caused by abnormal force, such as a falling on the knee, a severe twisting motion, severe force that bends the knee, or when the knee forcefully hits an object.
    • Kneecap dislocation. This type of dislocation occurs more frequently in 13- to 18-year-old girls. Pieces of bone or tissue (loose bodies) from a fracture or dislocation may get caught in the joint and interfere with movement.
    • Knee joint dislocation. This is a rare injury that requires great force. It is a serious injury and requires immediate medical care.

    Overuse injuries

    Overuse injuries occur with repetitive activities or repeated or prolonged pressure on the knee. Activities such as stair climbing, bicycle riding, jogging, or jumping stress joints and other tissues and can lead to irritation and inflammation. Overuse injuries include:

    • Inflammation of the small sacs of fluid that cushion and lubricate the knee (bursitis).
    • Inflammation of the tendons (tendinitis) or small tears in the tendons (tendinosis).
    • Thickening or folding of the knee ligaments (Plica syndrome).
    • Pain in the front of the knee from overuse, injury, excess weight, or problems in the kneecap (patellofemoral pain syndrome).
    • Irritation and inflammation of the band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the thigh (iliotibial band syndrome).

    Conditions that may cause knee problems

    Problems not directly related to an injury or overuse may occur in or around the knee.

    • Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) may cause knee pain that is worse in the morning and improves during the day. It often develops at the site of a previous injury. Other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and lupus, also can cause knee pain, swelling, and stiffness.
    • Osgood-Schlatter disease causes pain, swelling, and tenderness in the front of the knee below the kneecap. It is especially common in boys ages 11 to 15.
    • A popliteal (or Baker's) cyst causes swelling in the back of the knee.
    • Infection in the skin (cellulitis), joint (infectious arthritis), bone (osteomyelitis), or bursa (septic bursitis) can cause pain and decreased knee movement.
    • A problem elsewhere in the body, such as a pinched nerve or a problem in the hip, can sometimes cause knee pain.
    • Osteochondritis dissecans causes pain and decreased movement when a piece of bone or cartilage or both inside the knee joint loses blood supply and dies.

    Treatment

    Treatment for a knee problem or injury may include first aid measures, rest, bracing, physical therapy, medicine, and in some cases surgery. Treatment depends on the location, type, and severity of the injury as well as your age, health condition, and activity level (such as work, sports, or hobbies).

    Use the Check Your Symptoms section to decide if and when you should see a doctor.

    Knee Problems and Injuries - Home Treatment

    Home treatment may help relieve pain, swelling, and stiffness.
    • Rest and protect an injured or sore area. Stop, change, or take a break from any activity that may be causing your pain or soreness. When resting, place a small pillow under your knee.
    • Ice will reduce pain and swelling. Apply ice or cold packs immediately to prevent or minimize swelling. Apply the ice or cold pack for 10 to 20 minutes, 3 or more times a day.
      • For the first 48 hours after an injury, avoid things that might increase swelling, such as hot showers, hot tubs, hot packs, or alcoholic beverages.
      • After 48 to 72 hours, if swelling is gone, apply heat and begin gentle exercise with the aid of moist heat to help restore and maintain flexibility. Some experts recommend alternating between heat and cold treatments.
    • Compression, or wrapping the injured or sore area with an elastic bandage (such as an Ace wrap), will help decrease swelling.
      • Don't wrap it too tightly, since this can cause more swelling below the affected area. Loosen the bandage if it gets too tight. Signs that the bandage is too tight include numbness, tingling, increased pain, coolness, or swelling in the area below the bandage.
      • Don't expect the bandage to protect or stabilize a knee injury.
      • Talk to your doctor if you think you need to use a wrap for longer than 48 to 72 hours. A more serious problem may be present.
    • Elevate the injured or sore area on pillows while applying ice and anytime you are sitting or lying down. Try to keep the area at or above the level of your heart to help minimize swelling.
    • Reduce stress on your sore knee (until you can get advice from your doctor):
      • Use a cane or crutch in the hand opposite your painful knee.
      • Use two crutches, keeping weight off the leg with the sore knee. You can get canes or crutches from most pharmacies. Crutches are recommended if a cane causes you to walk with a limp.
    • Gently massage or rub the area to relieve pain and encourage blood flow. Do not massage the injured area if it causes pain.
    • Try the following exercises to maintain flexibility:
      • Hamstring stretch
      • Knee-to-chest exercise
    • Avoid high-impact exercise, such as running, skiing, snowboarding, or playing tennis, until your knee is no longer painful or swollen.
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