Knee pain has different causes. It is quite common, the knee being a load-bearing joint. Knee pain may or may not be traumatic, articular, tendon, ligamentous or meniscal.
The knee osteoarthritis is caused by deterioration of cartilage in the knee joint, causing crippling events like pain and the impossibility of practicing certain physical sports activities or of daily life. For example, patellar femoral osteoarthritis (between the femur and the patella) causes difficulty in descending stairs. Mechanical pain is the main manifestation of osteoarthritis of the knee. They worsen during exertion and calm down at rest and interfere with the extension and flexion of the knee.
There is also stiffness and limitation of movement, episodes of knee failure, lameness and sometimes deformation of the affected knee. Osteoarthritis of the knee can occur in young people (with a history of meniscal or ligament trauma) in obese patients and increases with age. Thus, the aging of the population partly explains the more and more cases of people with osteoarthritis of the knee appear.
Knee trauma and meniscal injuries
Knee injuries, sprains and fractures have also become more and more frequent due to the development of unsupervised sports activities. Knee fractures most often occur following an accident on the public highway. The knee sprain corresponds to an attack of the ligaments allowing the stability of the knee joint and follows a trauma, caused most of the time during the practice of a sport, such as for example basketball, the rugby, football, and skiing which are responsible for a third of knee sprains. Ligament ruptures are more severe when the cruciate ligaments are affected.
The menisci, cartilage pads make the knee joint more stable. Their elasticity and shape allow better distribution of stresses. They absorb shocks from the knee joint. They can crack following an acute trauma and cause pain and joint effusion. In this case an arthroscopic gesture is sometimes proposed for a suture or a resection. It should be noted that the fact of surgically removing part of the meniscus carries a risk of developing osteoarthritis in one in 2 people within 10 years after the operation. You can make use of the review of Knee Active Plus and choose the item.
In contrast, non-traumatic meniscal lesions are very common when an MRI is performed after 40 years. This does not mean that knee pain is related to these lesions. These are most often the consequence of osteoarthritis and not the cause. It is therefore important not to touch it surgically.
Inflammatory rheumatism (rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, etc.) can affect the knees. In these cases, the knee swells and is accompanied by pain of inflammatory schedule.
X-ray of the knees
An X-ray of the knees is often sufficient: it must be performed standing face-on and in profile and with an axial view of the kneecaps at 30 ° flexion. A so-called Schuss X-ray, corresponding to a postero-anterior X-ray with 30 ° of flexion is always required.
MRI and scanner
An MRI or a CT scan may be requested but should not be too systematic, these examinations are often unnecessary. In fact, after 40 years, most of the knees show some degenerative signs without any pathological character that could lead to unnecessary arthroscopic procedures.