Whenever we have knee discomfort we rarely think about joint damage. Beyond the age of 40 once the joints begin to hurt you should not worry about it. However, it is still important that you find out on time where the pain originates from. It can be a sign of injury, disease or even problems related to the nervous system.
What could be damaged in the knee?
The knee is one of the largest joints in the human body. It consists of:
- End of the femur and tibia
- Joint bag
All these parts can be damaged although not everyone may fall sick as there are no nerve endings in the bones.
Some of the damages that may occur include dislocation of the joint or rupture of the meniscus, which may reduce mobility. Damage even to small vessels may cause hematoma and inflammation, which will bring about discomfort as you move the leg. The joint beg is prone to infections especially viral and bacterial. Patients will thus complain of complications and joint pain. Withy diseases of the nerves, the patient will experience acute shooting pain in the knee even if the joint is completely healthy.
Knee pain due to injuries
The most common causes of knee pain are injuries. Knees can be injured after a bad fall, exercise, sharp movement as well as wearing uncomfortable shoes.
- A bruised knee is weak and is a common injury. The knee will swell and may increase in temperature. You may require a knee massage in case you have a bruised knee.
- The rupture of ligaments happens when the shin or hip is turned too strongly in an unusual direction. A complete rupture of ligaments will cause severe pain and excessive joint immobility.
- The meniscus rupture is caused by high load, staying in an unnatural position, a blow to he leg or tightening of the shin. This is a common injury that usually disrupts normal foot movement.
- Fractures of the knee joint, shin or hip usually happen together with soft tissue damage. It causes intolerable pain, excessive immobility and deformity of the knee.
Such injuries are usually diagnosed by a surgeon or traumatologist. It is done using a visual examination but you can be referred for X-rays or if there is suspicion of fracture or dislocation, or tomography if the doctor suspects damage to the ligaments or meniscus.
What joint diseases can cause pain?
Any joint lesion whether it is a cartilage damage, infection of the joint bag or inflammation of the bones, it will cause pain and reduction in movement. The diseases is not always localised in the knee but can affect the whole body. Knees will be destroyed at a faster rate due to high load.
- Arthritis – This is an inflammation of the joint that can develop after injury, infection or metabolic problems.
- Bursitis – This is an inflammation of the joint bag, which leads to severe discomfort when trying to move in the joint.
- Periarthritis – It inflames the tendons, muscles and ligaments that surround the knee joint. Pain is felt when the pressure on the bent leg is increased, for instance when walking down the stairs.
- Chondropathy – This is the gradual destruction of cartilage surrounding the joint and softening friction and stroke.
- Tumours – They compress blood vessels and can deform the joint bag, which will cause pain and limit mobility.
- Osteoporosis – It is where calcium is gradually washed out of the bones and joints, the tissues become weak and fragile. The disease is accompanied by pain and increased trauma.
- Osteomyelitis is an inflammation of the bone. Swelling is visible on the affected area, the temperature rises and the patient experiences severe acute pain.
- Diseases of different natures, such as influenza and tuberculosis, can cause complications due to an infection in the joint bag. In such cases, there is an increase in temperature, weakness and pain in several joints.
These diseases are diagnosed using X-rays, magnetic resonance imagine or computed tomography, which will show all the parts of the affected joint. If there is suspicion of inflammation, the doctor will recommend general and biochemical blood tests as well as examining the synovial fluid. You may undergo additional tests and fluorography to eliminate the chances of infectious diseases.
Knee pain due to nerve damage
In rare cases knee pain appears due to impaired neural tissue. It is often accompanied by sharp pains, numbness and even tingling of the leg.
- Neuritis is nerve inflammation in one or more areas. The patient feels throbbing pain and loses sensitivity, reduced mobility and the leg begins to involuntarily contract in the knee.
- Nerve pinching is a frequent consequence of inflammation, growth and injury. Because of the physical pressure on the nerve roots in the knee there is searing pain, numbness and loss of mobility that may lead to paralysis.
MRI and CT scans are used in the diagnosis of nerve disease depending on the patient’s contraindications. Is the pain is due to nerve pinching, a blood and synovial test will be done so as to determine the cause of the joint deformity.
Is it possible to determine by symptom why there is pain in the knee joint?
The exact cause of the pain can only be told after a specialist performs the appropriate tests. However, one can identify the affected region from the following symptoms:
- If in addition to pain there is numbness or tingling because the nerve is damaged.
- Elevated knee temperature and swelling which are signs of inflammation.
- General weakness, fever and ill-health because of joint diseases.
- Pain is felt not only in the knees, but also in other joints, for instance in the shoulder or fingers: it can be both osteoporosis and the effects of an infectious disease.
- Sharp joint pain when trying to bend or bend the leg, and very weak at rest. This can be signs of bursitis or neglected chondropathy.
- Impaired mobility in the joint without loss of sensitivity is a sign of joint destruction, growth or arthritis.
- Fractures, dislocations and bruises will be preceded by a blow or fall, which you are unlikely to leave unattended. In this case, dislocation of the joint, ligament and meniscus damage will be accompanied by excessive immobility in the knee.
To determine the cause of the pain, you can visit the doctor and undergo the necessary tests. You should not try and do treatment by yourself as you can make mistakes when it comes to the cause of the disease and this will further aggravate the condition. Severe pain can be relieved using analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, chondroprotectors, bandages and physiotherapy.