Anyone who suffers from knee pain will tell you there is nothing fun about it. Everyday tasks like walking up and downstairs, driving or shopping for groceries can become difficult, not to mention the frustration you feel when your pain prevents you from participating in enjoyable activities like golfing or hiking with your friends and family. Unfortunately, most people will experience knee pain at some point in their lives. But while it is common, knee pain is not “one size fits all.” Here are five facts you may not know about knee pain.
Important Facts About Knee Pain
1. Anyone can have knee problems.
They occur in men, women and children, and people of all races and ethnic backgrounds. The main risk factor for knee pain is age; over time, wear and tear can cause pain, stiffness ad inflammation of the knee. However, people who are overweight are at increased risk, as are athletes and people whose work requires heavy lifting, kneeling or standing for long periods of time.
2. Knee pain can be divided into three major categories:
- Acute injury, such as a broken bone, torn ligament or meniscus tear
- Medical condition, such as arthritis or infections
- Chronic or overuse conditions, such as osteoarthritis, patellar syndromes, tendinitis and bursitis
3. One of the most common types of knee injuries in the U.S. is a torn meniscus.
Most people can still walk with a meniscus injury, but as time goes on, the knee will gradually become stiffer and swollen. Some common symptoms of a meniscus injury are the sensation that the knee is “giving away,” not being able to move the knee through its full range of motion and persistent pain.
4. Surgery is not the only option.
Many people assume that knee pain automatically means surgery. However, there are plenty of noninvasive treatments to try before surgery. Some of these include physical therapy, medications to reduce pain and inflammation, and injections such as cortisone and hyaluronic acid to lubricate the knee joint.
5. A new treatment option for meniscus pain is available in select European markets.
The NUsurface® Implant is the world’s first medial meniscus replacement. As an alternative to knee replacement, the implant – which is made of medical-grade plastic and inserted into the knee through a small incision. While it’s not meant to take the place of a total knee replacement later in life, it can serve as an opportunity to treat knee pain and keep patients active until much more invasive knee surgery is a viable option – while potentially reducing the need for second knee replacement surgeries later in life.
Consult a Physician for Chronic Knee Pain
Knee pain may occur for a short period of time and then resolve. Sometimes, it can return a few weeks or months later. If your knee pain becomes chronic, it is important to get it evaluated by a physician to avoid further damage and determine if a treatment plan is right for you.