What is Knee Arthroscopy? – Procedure & Benefits

If you suffer from knee pain or have had an injury to the knee, your doctor may suggest knee arthroscopy to see what is going on. This procedure is an evaluation of the knee without making a large incision. It will permit your doctor to see exactly what is going on in your knee and what is causing your pain without a huge invasive procedure being done. Your doctor may suggest this less invasive procedure if you have torn a meniscus, have inflamed tissue that needs removed, have an infection in the knee, or if you have kneecap issues that can be repaired.

How Does It Work?

Very tiny incisions are made into the knee where your surgeon can insert the arthroscope to see what is injured or going on in the knee. This camera will portray pictures on the monitor your doctor is watching to let them see exactly what may be causing your knee ailments at the time.

During the procedure, your doctor may repair problems they find through other tiny incisions in the knee. There are special tools they can use that do not require the larger incisions of most surgeries that are performed. Your knee can be repaired while you’re in the procedure during the knee arthroscopy and it can help you heal faster.

Benefits

There are many benefits to having a knee arthroscopy done instead of major surgery. One of the major benefits is this is less invasive than most other knee surgeries out there. There are only tiny incisions made so the scarring is also reduced.  This also keeps the infection risk down as the incisions are smaller, and you do not have a huge wound to recover from.

Using knee arthroscopy also helps to reduce the recovery time that is needed after knee surgery. If your knee has been completely opened or replaced, your recovery time will be much longer than with this procedure. You can typically return to normal activities within six weeks of this procedure and only be restricted from driving for about one to three weeks depending on the severity.

You will still experience some pain as you have had a surgical procedure done. Your doctor may prescribe something for pain and also for inflammation to keep the swelling down. You’ll also be taught how to care for your wound before you leave the hospital and how to dress it as well.

All in all, this procedure is a much better route to take, if possible, when you are experiencing injuries or knee problems.

Jumper’s Knee (Patellar Tendonitis): Symptoms & Treatments

Whether you like to run for sport or just for fun, there is an injury that accounts for just less than 5% of all running injuries. Patellar Tendonitis, or jumper’s knee, is an injury to the patellar tendon that connects you knee to your tibia bone. This area takes on a huge load in any type of running or jumping movements and it can become injured quite quickly. This typically happens in men more than women but both are susceptible to this type of injury.

Symptoms

There are a few different stages of jumper’s knee and depending on what stage you’re in will determine the symptoms you are showing. The first stage of patellar tendonitis is classified as pain after a certain exercise or movement. There is no true stopping of movement in this stage, just pain in the knee once the activity is finished.

Those who are in stage two of the injury will deal with pain both after and during the activity they are participating in. In stage three, however, the pain is all the time and the activities that can be participated in are limited. The final stage of this injure is a tendon rupture and that requires the use of surgery to repair the knee injury.

Treatment Options

For those who are dealing with stage one of jumper’s knee, simple ice therapy typically does the trick. Make sure to use ice packs or even ice massage after the activity to help reduce inflammation and pain. Those in stage two will typically have physical therapy due to the pain interrupting normal everyday life. They may lose sleep because of the pain and by working with a physical therapist they can reduce the pain and get back to normalcy.

Those who have reached a stage three injury should also work with the treatments above while adding in significant rest. This can be a period of three to six weeks depending on the injury and how physical therapy is working. You can also take prescription medication in any of these stages to help relieve pain if your doctor has prescribed it.

Strengthening exercises and being careful about alternating your exercise regimen can help to prevent these patellar tendonitis injuries. They can cause severe pain in any level of the injury and it is imperative not to push your body too far. Be sure to talk with your doctor if you’re experiencing continuous pain during or after activity to rule out jumper’s knee.

 

3 Common Injuries From Weight Lifting

Everyone wants to be healthier and stronger. One way to do that is with a healthy diet plan and exercise, combining both cardio and strength training. While strength training is a great method of toning and getting stronger, there are some very common weight lifting injuries that you should be aware of before getting started. They range from shoulder injuries to knee and back injuries. Learning what they are and how to avoid them to be safe when lifting is key in making the type of progress you wish to make.

Shoulder Injuries

When you are performing such tasks as overhead lifting like bench presses or shoulder press, you can run into an injury called shoulder impingement. This injury is when you have inflammation and swelling in the rotator cuff area. At first you may only notice pain in the shoulder when you’re lifting your arms, but eventually the pain can be felt no matter what you’re doing as it progresses. If you’re not cautious, then this shoulder impingement injury can also lead to a tear in the rotator cuff itself.

Back Injuries

Lifting heavy weights with your back instead of your legs can result in serious back strains or sprains. If you’re lifting with your back, you may also experience a herniated disc which is quite painful. Sprains are typically caused by acute injuries or trauma to the back making the ligaments stretch to far or even tear. Strains typically affect the muscles instead of the ligaments in the back. Most of these weight lifting injuries can be treated with medication and relaxation. The herniated disc however may require physical therapy or even surgery to correct the problem.

Knee Injuries

Remember to also protect your knees as you’re lifting weights. The knee joint or patellar tendon can be injured by repetitive squatting motions, deep knee bends, and extension of the knee.  As you are bending and squatting during your weight lifting, the tendon can start to get tiny tears in it. Then you may start to feel pain below the kneecap. It is important that you keep an eye on this and get treatment as soon as you can. Some cases are helped with patellar tendon strap or physical therapy. In extreme cases, surgery may be needed to repair the knee.

Lifting weights is a great way to get your body into shape and to help you feel and be stronger. While you’re lifting, it’s very important that you take the necessary safety steps and precautions to prevent yourself from having any weight lifting injuries.

5 Daily Activities To Reduce Risk of Knee Injury

The knees are so essential for our mobility but often times, we tend to overwork them or neglect to take care of them. Athletes are more prone to knee injuries and the injuries that they incur might be more severe. It could be an acute injury from accidents or overuse injury from excessive stress on the knees for long periods of time.

However, it is possible to prevent knee injury. There are simple things you can do every day to protect your knees, reduce the risk of twisting them and cutting down on the stress you put on them.

1) Stand on one leg

This stance helps to improve your balance and knee stabilizing strength. Simply stand on one leg, but avoid pulling your other leg all way up in a tight grip. Keep it bent loosely and spread your arms out to balance if needed. To increase the difficulty, you can slowly rotate your upper body left and right.

2) Stretch your hamstring

This exercise can be done anywhere, whether you’re taking a walk from your desk or watching TV. It strengthens your hamstring to give you more balance and reduce stress on your knees. Position one foot on a chair or a high step while keeping the other leg and your back straight. Then lean forward and hold the position for 20 seconds, feeling the stretch down the back of your leg.

3) Wear comfortable shoes

Avoid high heels and shoes that are too tight. Choosing a good fit helps maintain a proper leg alignment and balance, which takes pressure off the knees. You can choose to wear running or tennis shoes as those give more cushion and support. Shoe orthotics that you can buy at drugstores would also be a good alternative to give more stability and comfort.

4) Use a knee brace

Especially when engaging in sports, fabric sleeve brace provides support for the knee and prevents injury. If your daily activities involve bending, squatting and frequent changing directions, using a brace would prevent acute injuries or wearing your knees out.

5) Keep a healthy diet

To keep your knees strong, you need to keep your bones strong with a healthy diet. Take more dairy and dark green, leafy vegetables. It is especially important for elderly people and women that have gone through childbirth to replenish the calcium lost in old age and labour.

Knee Cartilage Injuries: Cause & Symptoms

Located in our knee are cartilage tissues that act as shock absorbers. These shock absorbers are tough but yet flexible tissues that are located throughout our body, covering all the surfaces of our joint in order to facilitate the smooth gliding motion of our bones. It is because of these cartilage tissues that we are able to jump and run without experiencing pain. One downside of it is that the tissues do not have their own blood supply. This means that once they are injured or damaged, the healing process is extremely slow. Someone who has a damaged cartilage tissue will then experience pain during periods of motion. One of the most common places of injury is the knee and we will look into the causes and symptoms in this article.

Causes:

Knee cartilage injuries are usually articular cartilage damages. The articular cartilage is a soft and springy type of cartilage located between the joints and is a common yet serious form of damage. The result is swelling, pain and loss of mobility in the knee. Injuries can occur mainly from three main forms – osteoarthritis, osteochondritis dissecans and a sudden trauma. Osteoarthritis is a form of long-term damage and is especially targeted towards patients who have had their knee meniscus removed or are overweight. Osteochondritis dissecans occur when a part of the cartilage and a piece of attached bone breaks away from the joint. Lastly, trauma occurs during high impact activities such as sports. Sports players are at a higher risk due to the high levels of risk they face.

Symptoms:

The symptoms for a damaged knee cartilage are pretty similar to most forms of knee injuries. The first and foremost symptom is the onset of pain. This pain is increased when an attempt to straighten the knee is made, resulting in the inability to walk properly and bear full body weight on the knee itself. Swelling will also happen due to the increase in blood flow to the knee in order to combat infection. There may also be a creaking or cracking sound when you are moving the knee joint.

Cartilage damage is common among people and most people with mild damages do not seek medical help. The number of patients with this form of injury is most prevalent in patients under the age of 35 as that age group leads the most active lifestyle, with men at a much higher risk than women.

Symptoms And Treatments For Osteoarthritis Of The Knee

Knee osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of musculoskeletal pain and disorder. Our knee is one of the most used joint in the whole body. Every single action of us will require the use of it. Like all well used joint, the knee requires constant lubrication of the joint. Have you ever experienced an old hinge that creaks when you use it? The remedy action taken by you would be to lubricate it with oil. The same theory applies to the knee as well. However, it is lubricated automatically with a fluid known as the synovial fluid. This is aided by the fact that the femur and tibia are covered with a smooth surface and a shock absorber known as the menisci. When these natural protective features are gone due to wear and tear or injuries, the knee will start to experience problems and one of it is osteoarthritis.

Symptoms

The most common symptom of osteoarthritis is the experiencing of pain in the knee during periods of activity and inactivity. This is aggravated after long periods of rest such as upon waking up where the pain will be the most severe. Swelling might also is present in some patients. During simple activities such as walking, there may be a decrease in the mobility of the knee causing actions such as climbing over a low wall difficult to accomplish. In serious cases, creaking sounds may be heard from the knee.

Treatment

There are several treatment options for osteoarthritis classified mainly into surgical and nonsurgical means. Different patients will be assigned different forms due to factors such as the cost, age and health condition.

Nonsurgical treatment

The most effective way of nonsurgical treatment is weight loss and exercise. One of the contributing factors is excessive weight on the knee and this is amplified when you jump. By losing weight, you are lessening the load on the knees. Exercising the knee and strengthening it will increase the load bearing capabilities of the knee. Doctors will also prescribe medication to reduce inflammation and ease the pain. In serious cases, corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid may be injected directly into the knee to reduce inflammation and provide lubrication to the joint.

Surgical treatment

Chondroplasty is a technique that smoothens the articulate cartilage. A smooth surface will help to reduce friction and reduce pain and swelling.  This is often done in conjunction with hyaluronic acid injection, which provides lubrication to the joint.

How To Prevent And Treat Runner’s Knee?

What is Runner’s Knee (PFPS)?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) or commonly known by its nickname as Runner’s Knee is a common problem among runners. Due to the extended hours of pounding on the asphalt, the patella can be irritated when it rests on the thighbone. The pain experienced can be sudden and is often on and off. It can be felt before and after running, but not during the run itself. In this article, we’ll look at how to prevent and treat Runner’s Knee.

Causes of Runner’s Knee

One of the main causes of Runner’s Knee is due to the hard surface that runners run on. Most runners choose to run on pavements along the roads instead of stadiums or on grass surfaces. Although running on the roads may seem less boring and make the run more enjoyable, the hard surface is extremely bad on the knee.

Preventing PFPS

To prevent PFPS, you should run on softer and natural surfaces like turf. Running shoes also play an important role in the prevention of PFPS. A pair of cushioned and stability shoes provide great support to the knee, calf and ankles during the run and helps to absorb any shocks experienced by the leg. Recently, barefoot running has been the craze but this is still being debated. When we run barefoot, the foot can run naturally instead of being forced to in a direction when wearing shoes. This way, the load of the patellofemoral joint is reduced but instead, it creates additional stresses on the calf and Achilles tendon. So, instead of PFPS, runners may now suffer from calf or tendon Achilles pain.

Runner’s Knee Treatment

In order to treat Runner’s Knee, the simplest way is to cut back on your running mileage when you first experience pain and start to avoid activities that will involve working out the knee. As the pain subsides, strengthening exercises on the knees, quadriceps and hips should be performed in order to increase strength and flexibility to better support the knee. During the transitional period, you should still continue to work out your body using equipments that are less damaging to the knee such as the usage of a stationary bike or swimming.

Final Thought

To be honest, PFPS is not exactly a serious condition and it’s simply a chronic failure of tissues in the knee. Plenty of rest is required in order to prevent any further aggravation to the knee. If the pain gets unbearable, you may request for pain relief medication from your doctor to provide temporary relief.

Causes and Symptoms of Knee Arthritis

Our knee joint is where the femur and tibia meets. This unique combination allows a wide range of motion for the knee under undisturbed conditions. However due to certain complications such as injuries, the surface of the knee joint is damaged and mobility is hindered as a result. There are basically 3 kinds of arthritis affecting the knee: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Post-trauma Arthritis. In this article, we will be looking at the causes and symptoms of knee arthritis.

Causes

We must first understand the differences between the 3 kinds of knee arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of knee arthritis and is a degenerative disease that is often accompanied by ageing. Due to wear and tear, the joint cartilage starts to wear off and this results in pain and inflammation when the knee joint rubs against each other. On the other hand, unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which our body’s immune system attacks the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis can happen to anyone from any age group. Last but not least is post-trauma arthritis which is essentially caused by direct trauma to the knee. This direct trauma causes damage to the cartilage and changes the joint mechanics, accelerating wear and tear.

Symptoms

Pain

Pain is the body’s way of telling you that something located somewhere in your body is wrong. Pain is due to the secretion of chemical signals to your brain which are then recognised as pain. Knee arthritis causes inflammation to the affected joint. This inflammation causes swelling and damages the surrounding soft tissues. In an attempt to reduce stresses on the injured part, the surrounding muscles will try to overload themselves but this will cause muscle soreness after a period of time, contributing to the pain experienced.

Crepitus

Crepitus is characterised by a creaking and grinding sensation when you attempt to move your injured joint.  This is due to cartilage wear down in the spaces between the knee joints. Crepitus can be painful or painless depending on individual conditions.

Knee giving way

Some patients may experience sensations of their knee giving way. This is due to the joint being unstable and the surrounding muscles being fatigued from having to take over the duties of the injured joint. Patients may require walking aids such as a walker or crutches and may use knee braces to stabilise and provide support to the knee joint.

There are various methods of managing arthritis ranging from oral supplements to surgery. However, these do not effectively heal the patient. Scientists are looking at cartilage transplants in the future which could lessen the amount of pain.

Top 3 Most Knee Damaging Activities

Living an active lifestyle is great and the health benefits associated are undisputable. Exercising regularly is important to strengthen our muscles and better support our joints. Weak joints will increase the chances of misalignment for the bones, ligaments and tendons. However, it may also cause problems for your knee. Our knee has to bear the brunt of our body weight and activities such as running and jumping will cause a lot of compressive stresses on the knee and wearing out the cartilage. Although our knee is designed to take all these things thrown at it, it will give way eventually. There are some activities that are especially damaging towards the knee and let’s explore them further.

Activities are classified into 2 different groups, namely low-impact and high-impact. Low impact exercises as the name suggests does not cause much problems for the knee. They include yoga, swimming, cycling and walking. These activities ensure that the knee is properly supported even though it’s being used extensively. Another group is the high-impact group which includes jumping, running and weightlifting.

Jumping

Jumping is a high-impact activity that places tremendous stresses on the knee whenever you land. Your body weight is amplified through jumping and landing awkwardly places even more stresses, leading to a weight of roughly twice your original weight. Activities that require jumping as core such as basketball should be avoided by people with bad knees.

Running

Running is another high impact activity that is bad for knees. However, running methods and surfaces can be changed to allow a lesser impact on the knees. For example, striking the floor with your mid-foot is less damaging compared to a heel strike. Also, there is a push towards barefoot running which supposedly reduces injuries. The running surface can be changed to a softer one such as natural grass or stadium tracks. The soft surface can help to cushion and absorb some of the impact.

Weightlifting

Weightlifting requires flexing of the knee joint and your knees not only have to bear your body weight, it now has to take both your body weight and the free weight into consideration. This places an absurd amount of stress on your knee and this is further intensified when you attempt to bend and stand up.  Not only does your knee get damaged, the surrounding tissues such as the tendons and ligaments can easily tear.

Knowing what are the activities that causes huge stresses on your knee is important so that you can make an informed decision on what to do and what not to do. You need a functional knee every day and you do not wish to be inconvenienced by a knee injury that you can easily avoid.