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.

 

Common Causes for Meniscus Tear & Prevention Tips

Your knees bear the brunt of a lot of your movement. They are where your legs bend to be able to walk or run properly, they bear the weight of your body, and they are how you can make fast or quick turns and movements when you’re in motion. What happens when your knee is injured? There are a couple of common injuries found in the knee region and one of the main ones is a meniscus injury. This can vary in pain levels and treatment options depending on how bad the meniscus tear is. Here are a few things to know about the injury and treatment/prevention tips out there.

Common Reasons for a Meniscus Tear

Some of the most common reasons for this type of injury is due to sports or heavy lifting. It occurs when you turn very quickly or you twist your knee when your foot is firmly planted on the ground. This can happen in baseball as you’re trying to make that out or it can happen when you’re lifting furniture to move into a new home. It all happens as you twist your knee while it’s slightly bent and you do not move your foot. No matter what causes the meniscus tear, it can vary in levels of injury and pain.

Levels of Meniscus Injury

With just a minor injury you typically experience pain and slight swelling, but it will go away after a few weeks or so. You can make sure to ice it and give it a lot of rest to help speed the process. A more moderate level of tear or injury will cause pain at the side of the knee or middle of your knee. You will notice that the swelling gradually gets worse and it can be quite painful to bend your knee or squat.

For those with a major tear in the knee you may find that your meniscus has torn off pieces and it is now moving into the joint area. You may find your knee gives way when you’re walking and the pain and swelling continue to get worse.

Treatment and Prevention

Treating your meniscus injury is usually done with rest, elevation and with ice to keep swelling down. In severe cases surgery and physical therapy are also required. To prevent the meniscus tear, be sure you are cautious of how you move and take care to not turn quickly on your knees. Be sure to always have help when lifting items that are too heavy by yourself. Try to pick up your foot to maneuver instead of keeping it on the ground so that your entire leg can turn with you.

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.

Knock Knees: Symptom and Treatment

When your children are learning to walk it is a fun and exciting adventure. It can also be a little overwhelming as you learn to let go and let them do it on their own, stumbling and falling along the way. As your children continue to grow and go off on their own walking adventures, you may start noticing some differences in the way they stand or how their legs fit together. One fairly common sight in children under the age of around 6 or 7 is Genu Valgum, or what you know as knock knees. While in most cases of knock knees, the knees will eventually spread out further apart as your child matures. If you’re concerned with the way your child’s knees or legs are developing, here are some signs and knock knee treatments you should know about to make sure everything is developing as it should.

Symptoms of Knock Knees

Take a look at how your child stands. If you notice that when they stand with their knees together their ankles are much farther apart than they should be, this could be a sign of knock knees. If the angle their knees are turned inward is larger than a 15-degree angle, you should seek out a consultation. They may complain of pain or other problems with their knees as well. They may have difficulty walking on a regular basis, have one leg that is turned in more than the other, or instead of getting better the problem is getting worse.

Knock knees, Genu Valgum, is caused by a variety of things. Rickets, excessive weight such as in an obese person, or weak knee ligaments can all be culprits of this condition. There are ways to treat it if you get to your pediatric physician or your pediatric orthopedic doctor.

Treatment

Typically, treatment for this condition does not take place unless the child is around 10 years old or older. That is because your child is still growing and the condition usually fixes itself with time. If there’s an underlying cause of the problem, then that will be treated first. Things such as losing weight if the problem is due to being overweight, strengthening ligaments, and getting in your Vitamin D and calcium if rickets is the cause, are just a few ways they can be treated.

As a general rule, surgery is the very last resort for knock knee treatments. There are two types generally used that include guided growth and an osteotomy. Both of these are held off as long as possible to help the child to develop normally.

4 Causes of Your Knee Pain

When it comes to aches and pains, they can be quite bothersome. Some are just dull aches because of overuse but others can be more painful and have different root causes. Pain in your knees can vary from just a bothersome ache to excruciating depending on the cause. You could have knee injuries or you could have pain resulting from a different condition altogether. Here are a few of the different varying causes of your knee pain and what you should know about them.

Osteoarthritis

This cause of your knee pain is typical after age 50. It’s your basic “wear and tear” type of pain from years of use. The main cause of this pain is when you’re using the knee and it causes your joint to swell or become achy. You may also notice stiffness in the joint when you’re getting up from bed early on in your day.

Patellar Tendinitis

When you overdo it on exercise or running, this is the condition that may pop up. This knee pain is centered around the swelling in the tendons of your knee joint. The tendons that actually connect your shin and kneecap become inflamed and cause the pain you’re feeling.

Dislocated Kneecap Pain

This happens when your kneecap slips out of place due to an injury. You may have injured your knee in sports or other events and this can cause quite a bit of pain.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease

This knee pain is caused by irritation at the bottom of the knee when you’re younger. This condition is usually started or aggravated when you’re overdoing during sports or exercise. It causes a bump below your kneecap where the tendon connects to the shinbone. This is usually only seen in younger people who are still growing and their bones are still shifting and changing.

What to Do with Knee Pain

There are a few things to keep in mind with your knee pain or knee injuries. Depending on the cause of the pain, these few tips can help you keep the pain reduced. Consider taking an anti-inflammatory to help reduce the swelling in your knee joints. You can ice the knee as well to help reduce inflammation. Make sure to rest the knee properly between exercising. Take some time off so that your knee can heal and recuperate. Also keep your knees elevated and consider adding in stretching exercises to help with the pain.

Basic First Aid for Fractured Knee

The knee is one of the largest joints in the body and it consists of the femur, patella, tibial, tibial tuberosity and the fibula. Knee fractures are usually injuries caused by trauma and often incurred in traffic accidents and sports activities. While dealing broken bones requires professional medical attention, basic first aid care can help contain the injury and lessen the discomfort of the wounded.


Symptoms

You can identify a fracture by certain observations of the wound and the person. The first sign is when you see the person grimacing in intense pain and the pain worsens when the affected leg is moved. If it is a closed fracture, you would see swelling in the area and a bluish tinge in the skin which indicates internal bleeding caused by broken bones. However, for an open fracture, the bones have pierced through the skin and would protrude from the leg in an awkward angle with profuse bleeding from the open wound.


First Aid

  • The first thing to do is to check whether the person is conscious and breathing. If there is no sign of life, start CPF immediately and get someone to call the ambulance.
  • For any open wounds, stop the bleeding by applying pressure. This is an important step as major loss of blood may cause the person to go into shock. Some of the signs of shock are paleness and shortness of breath.
  • If the scene of the accident is on an open road, immobilize the injury before moving the person by making a splint out of a stiff material such as cardboard. Place it under the knee and tie it in place with cloth.
  • Once the person is in a safe environment to rest while waiting for medical help, prop up the injured leg to elevate it and keep the body warm with a blanket or jacket.
  • If it is possible to get ice, wrap it in plastic or a piece of cloth and apply to the parts of the skin that are not torn.

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.

Top 4 Badminton Overuse Injuries

Overuse injuries are commonly experienced by badminton players. Due to overtraining and improper use of techniques, stress is constantly impacted on the same parts of the body, leading to tendon tears and chronic pain over time if left untreated. The pain comes gradually and may not affect the performance of players immediately. As such, many ignore the symptoms until the condition worsens.

  1. Tennis Elbow

Also called the Lateral Epicondylitis, Tennis Elbow is caused by the repetitive motion of using backhand to hit the shuttlecock. Patients would feel pain in the elbow and arm, especially when raising the hand or gripping an object. Other causes that contribute to the injury could also be the high tension of the strings and unsuitable racket grip size. While the backhand move is necessary for all racket sports, it is important to use the correct techniques and warm up before every training session.

  • Jumper’s Knee

Another name for Jumper’s Knee is Patellar Tendonitis. It is called the Jumper’s Knee as the condition is usually caused by the action of jumping during sports, with the impact striking the knees upon landing. Patients complain of pain and aching on the front side of the knee though they have never had an injury in the area before. It may not be felt significantly in the early stages but eventually, if left untreated, can result in tendon rupture.

  • Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s Elbow, or Medial Epicondylitis, is the damage to the elbow muscles and tendons that control the wrist and fingers. It is caused by the repetitive flicking motion of the wrist required in badminton. Usually due to compensation from inadequate use of arm strength, the force used with the wrist might be more than the muscles can take. Patients would feel pain and tenderness on the inside of the elbow and along the forearm, with stiffness and difficulty to grip. Tape and elbow guard can be worn to give more support to the arm. However, it is best to stop all activities and allow the arm to rest once pain is felt during or after training.

  • Shoulder Injuries

One common shoulder injury is a shoulder strain. Due to the nature of the sport which requires impactful swinging of the shoulders, the rotator cuff of the shoulder is often strained or damaged over time. Symptoms to look out for are pain and stiffness that gradually worsens with activity. Injury could be avoided by using the correct techniques and getting plenty of rest to allow the muscles to recover.

Home Treatments – Knee Sprains

A knee sprain is a painful but relatively mild leg injury that can be treated at home. However, if the pain is moderate to severe, seek medication advice as there could be more serious problems than just a sprain. Otherwise, for minor sprains, these are the ways you can manage the pain and accelerate recovery.

R.I.C.E

For most leg and ankle injuries, the first step you should do is to apply the R.I.C.E method – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.

Rest: Stop all activities that would put stress on the knee and try to find a place to rest as soon as possible.

Ice: Use an ice pack or a pack of frozen vegetables to ice the wound for 10 to 20 minutes to reduce pain and swelling. Do not apply heat pack or take hot showers within the first 48 hours after injury as the heat might increase swelling.

Compression: Wrap the injury tightly with a bandage but ensure that it is not too tight that it cuts off circulation.

Elevation: Use a pillow to prop up the injured leg through the whole treatment. After these steps are completed, let the wound rest for 20 to 30 minutes and repeat the process for at least 3 times.

Massage

A light massage on the wounded area would promote blood circulation and ease the pain. However, do not rub with too much force as this would aggravate the injury. Stop the massage if there is too much pain.

Stretching

Doing light stretching exercises helps to regain flexibility and prevent the muscles from stiffening up. Stretch the hamstrings by lying down with one leg on a wall or a stable support. Make sure your knee is straight and hold it there for a minute. There should be a slight tension running down the back of your leg.

Another exercise is the knee-to-chest stretch. Lying down and keeping knees bent while the feet are flat, bring one knee towards the chest with your hands and hold for half a minute before switching to another knee.

Do not carry out any of these exercises if they cause too much pain. Limit to just a light stretch.

Things to avoid

During the course of injury, keep off alcohol as it would increase swelling. Also, avoid smoking as it decreases blood supply and slows tissue repair. Try to avoid activities that would aggravate the injury until the pain and swelling have completely subsided.