Knee pain or knee pain can be caused by an injury to the knee. Pain in the knee is often accompanied by complaints that the knee feels stiff, difficult to straighten, or the knee is swollen.
Knee pain usually feels more intense when the knee is moved. This condition can make it difficult for sufferers to stand up, because the knees become unstable and are not strong enough to support the body.
Causes of Knee Pain
One of the causes of knee pain is an injury to the knee. If the knee is injured, some of the tissues that make up the knee, such as cartilage or bone, can be disrupted. Disturbances in the tissues that make up the knee due to injury can be:
- A sprained ligament (tissue between bones) in the knee joint
- Torn knee ligaments, for example as a result of an anterior knee ligament injury
- Torn cartilage
- Dislocation of the kneecap
- Fractures of the kneecap, femur, or shin
- Patellofemoral pain syndrome
- Bleeding inside the knee joint ( hemarthrosis )
Apart from being injured, knee pain can also be caused by certain diseases, such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Uric acid disease ( gout )
- Knee infection
- Cancer that has spread to the knee joint
- Osgood-Schlatter disease
Given its function which is quite heavy in supporting the body's weight, the knee joint is prone to damage. Conditions that can increase a person's risk of experiencing an injury or disease to the knee that can cause knee pain include:
- Overweight or obesity
- Have had a knee injury
- Smoking habit
- Jobs that require frequent kneeling, lifting heavy objects, or doing strenuous physical activities, such as construction workers or sportsmen
Knee Pain Symptoms
Knee pain can appear immediately after an injury or it can appear gradually and get worse over time. The severity of pain can also vary, depending on the cause.
Some of the symptoms that can accompany knee pain are:
- Knees feel stiff
- The knee looks red, swollen, and feels warm
- The knee feels weak, unstable, and difficult to straighten
- Knee makes a crackling sound (a 'cretek-kretek' sound)
When to go to the doctor
Immediately consult a doctor if symptoms of knee pain appear with the following conditions:
- Knee pain does not get better in 3 days
- Unable to stand perfectly, because the knee feels unstable
- Knees feel weak when trying to stand or walk
- The knee is difficult to bend and straighten
- Knee pain accompanied by fever
- The knee appears to have changed shape.
It should be noted, obese people are more prone to experiencing knee pain. Therefore, consult with your doctor or nutritionist about a good diet to maintain ideal body weight.
Diagnosis of Knee Pain
The doctor will ask about symptoms of knee pain in detail, including when the pain appears, history of injury, and history of surgery or medical procedures on the knee. The doctor will also measure how severe the patient's pain is using a pain scale .
After that, the doctor will examine the sore knee by:
- Look at the condition of the knee, to look for swelling, redness or bruising around the knee
- Touching and feeling changes in the knee, for example the skin around the knee becomes warm or an abnormality in the shape of the knee joint
- Move the knee, to see how severe the difficulty of movement and stiffness in the knee is
Next, the doctor will do a scan with X-rays, ultrasound, CT scan , or MRI. Through scanning, doctors can see the condition of the patient's knee and find out the cause of knee pain.
The doctor will also do a blood test if knee pain is suspected to be caused by an illness, such as an infection or gout .
Knee Pain Treatment
Treatment for knee pain or knee pain depends on the cause. After knowing the cause of the patient's knee pain, the new doctor can provide appropriate treatment, including:
Medications aim to relieve knee pain and treat its cause. To relieve pain, doctors can give paracetamol or non -steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .
Physiotherapy aims to train and strengthen the muscles around the knee so that the knee joint is more stable. If needed, for example in patients with osteoarthritis , the doctor will recommend using a knee support to relieve knee pain.
injection Drug injection into the knee joint is done to relieve pain. The substance injected can be a corticosteroid, hyaluronic acid, or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) . However, ask in advance about the benefits and risks of this procedure.
If the knee pain is severe and the above treatment methods don't work to relieve your symptoms, your doctor may perform surgery, such as arthroscopy or knee joint replacement surgery .
To speed up the recovery of sore knees while preventing complications, there are several treatments that can be done at home, namely:
- Compress the knee with ice to reduce inflammation and pain in the knee
- Minimizing movement of the knee, for example by using knee support
- Positioning your feet higher than your knees, for example by placing your feet on a pillow, to reduce swelling in your knees
- Get lots of rest, to take less pressure on the knee so it can recover more quickly
Knee Pain Complications
Complications that arise depend on the cause of the knee pain. For example, osteoarthritis can cause damage to the knee joint and deformity of the limbs .
Knee pain can also interfere with movement, increasing the risk of falls and injury, limiting the ability to walk, and reducing quality of life.
Knee Pain Prevention
To maintain the health of the knee joint and prevent knee injuries, you can take the following simple steps:
- Warm up before exercising and stretching after exercising
- Wear shoes that fit the shape of your feet or that support your feet well when exercising
- Increase the intensity and frequency of exercise gradually, from light to heavy
- Adjust the type and intensity of exercise according to the ability and condition of the body
- Maintain ideal body weight