Knee problems are one of the most common reasons people visit orthopaedic physicians. The knee is a vulnerable joint that absorbs a lot of pressure from everyday activities as well as high impact sports. And when children and adults are especially active, they become more susceptible to overuse injuries and acute injuries to the knee.
The knee joint works like a hinge joining the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). The ends of the bones are covered with cartilage which can become damaged or worn away over time. The patella, or kneecap, is the other main bone of the knee. The knee joint is held together by ligaments, connecting bone to bone, and tendons that connect muscles to bones. Most common sports injuries occur to one of the ligaments: anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and the medial and lateral collateral ligaments. These ligaments that join the knee bones work together to prevent the knee from sliding too far in any one direction.
Diagnosis of your knee injury or condition will begin with a discussion of your health history and a physical examination. X-ray and MRI diagnostic testing may also be needed to confirm a diagnosis or eliminate possibilities before a course of treatment can be decided between you and the doctor.
Care for the knee can include non-surgical options such as activity modification, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and steroid injections. If the case is acute or non-surgical treatments have not provided the desired results, many surgical options are available. Athroscopy is widely used for many knee surgeries, with the possible exception of total knee replacement.