Knee pain is a common issue with many different causes, including medical conditions and injuries, and can affect people of any age.
What is knee pain?
Knee pain is a general term for pain that you experience in and around your knee.
What are the symptoms of knee pain?
The symptoms of knee pain can vary depending on what is causing it.
Some symptoms associated with knee pain include:
- Trouble standing or putting weight on the knee
- A popping, clicking, or crunching sound
- Giving way
- Not being able to straighten or bend your knee
What causes knee pain?
In addition to injuries, there are a number of possible causes for knee pain, including:
- Cartilage injuries
- Bleeding into the joint
How is knee pain diagnosed?
If you are experiencing knee pain, you should speak to your consultant to determine the cause. As well as questioning you about your symptoms, they will also conduct a physical examination to check your knee (e.g. for tenderness and swelling) and assess your range of movement.
Your consultant might also recommend that you undergo specialist imaging to determine the cause of your pain, including:
- Ultrasound scan
- MRI scan
- CT scan
You might also need to have blood tests.
How is knee pain treated?
The treatment will of course depend on the underlying cause. There are usually both surgical and non-surgical options for you and your consultant to consider.
Non-surgical options include:
- Over-the-counter or prescription pain medications – can help manage pain
- Injections to the knee joint – can reduce symptoms and the pain associated with them
- Physiotherapy – this can help you build strength in your knee and/or teach you proper exercise and movement techniques
Surgical options include:
- Arthroscopic surgery – using a small telescopic camera (arthroscope) your consultant can inspect your knee joint and treat certain conditions (e.g. meniscal (shock absorber) tears, remove loose bodies)
- Compartmental knee replacement surgery e.g. partial knee replacement – only the damaged parts of the knee are replaced with a prosthesis
- Total knee replacement surgery – the entire knee joint is replaced with a prosthesis
If you are unsure what treatment options are available for your knee, or are having difficulty deciding on a treatment course, our team of expert specialists are here to help.