How does the knee work?
Knee is actually two joints. The first joint is the one connecting your femur (thigh bone) and your tibia (shin bone). This joint is the primary weight-bearing portion of your knee.
The second joint is the one that connects your patella (knee cap) and your tibia. This joint allows for movement in your knee that enables the joint to swing backward and forward.
The medial and lateral collateral ligaments in your knee protect the joint from side to side motion. The cruciate ligaments protect the knee when it’s moving forward, backward, and rotating. The meniscus is a kind of cartilage that assists with cushioning your knee, provides support, and creates a smooth surface in the joint.
Several large muscle groups control most of your knee’s functions. The quadriceps at the front of your thighs straighten your knee, while the hamstrings at the back of your thighs bend your knee.
Your knees are vital for lowering your body downward, standing back up, and propelling your body forward.
What conditions can cause knee pain?
The knee is susceptible to wear-and-tear injuries, such as osteoarthritis. knee is also a joint prone to injury when playing sports, especially ones like football that involve running, rapidly changing direction, and stopping and starting quickly.
Some of the conditions seen most often by Dr. Raghu Nagraj include:
Common sports injuries affecting the knees include:
- Strained muscles and tendons
- Sprained ligaments
- Meniscal tears
- Arthritis and bone spurs
- Failed knee replacements
- Patellar dislocations
- Complex trauma
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries
- Collateral ligament injuries
- Combined knee ligament injuries
- Patellar tendon tears
Posterior cruciate ligament injuries
- Quadriceps tendon tear
Runner’s knee (patellofemoral pain)
- Stress fractures
- Unstable kneecap
Pes anserine (knee tendon) bursitis
- Prepatellar (kneecap) bursitis
To find the cause of your knee pain, Dr. Raghu needs to perform a physical exam. He also reviews your medical history and asks you about your symptoms and your current health.
You might need to have X-rays or a CT or MRI scan to see what’s going on inside the joint, or he might recommend these imaging procedures so custom, patient-specific instruments can be manufactured prior to knee replacement surgery.