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Introduction

If you can’t bend your knee without pain, you may be suffering from a knee injury. Knee injuries can be very debilitating, and can keep you from doing the things that you love.

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common knee injuries, and what you can do to treat them. We will also provide tips on how to prevent knee injuries from occurring in the first place. Stay safe and healthy!

Knee Joint Anatomy

The knee joint is a complex joint that is made up of four bones: the femur (thigh bone), the tibia (shin bone), the patella (knee cap) on the front of the knee, and the fibula (smaller bone in the lower leg). The soft tissue around the knee joint includes the tendons, muscles, and cartilage.

The knee joint is held together by ligaments, which are strong. Connective tissues attach the bones to each other. The knee joint is also surrounded by a tough, fibrous tissue called the capsule, which provides stability and protection for the joint.

Knee Movements

The knee is a hinge joint, which means that it can move in one plane, (flexion and extension). The knee also has a small amount of rotation. Rotation at the knee is limited to less than five degrees. The knee joint allows for three main types of movement:

– Flexion, which is when the knee is bent

– Extension, which is when the knee is straightened

– Hyperextension, which is when the knee is extended beyond its normal range of motion

Shock Absorber

The knee joint acts as a shock absorber for the body. Every time we take a step, our knees absorb the impact of our body weight. This can put a lot of stress on the knee joint, which can lead to injuries.

The main shock absorber of the knee is the meniscus. The meniscus is a crescent-shaped piece of cartilage that sits between the femur and tibia.

Common Knee Injuries

There are many different types of knee injuries that can occur, but some of the most common include:

ACL tear: The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a ligament that stabilizes the knee joint. The cruciate ligaments are located in the center of the knee. An ACL tear can occur due to a sudden change in direction, or from landing awkwardly after a jump. ACL tears can be very painful, and can often require surgery to repair.

MCL tear: The MCL (medial collateral ligament) is a ligament that stabilizes the knee joint. An MCL tear can occur due to a direct blow to the outside of the knee, causing a valgus force on the joint.

This injury can also occur as a non-contact injury to the knee, commonly injured in addition to the ACL. MCL tears can be very painful but rarely require surgery to repair unless the torn ligament blocks the movement of the joint.

Meniscus tear: The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that cushions the knee joint. A meniscus tear can occur due to a sudden or acute injury or a more chronic issue.

Patellar dislocation: The patella is the kneecap. A patella dislocation occurs when the knee cap pops out of place. This can be a very painful injury, and can often require surgery to repair.

Tendon Injuries

The quadriceps tendon and patellar tendon connect the muscles of the thigh to the bones of the lower leg. These tendons can be injured from overuse, or from a sudden force being applied to the knee.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition that can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. There are many different types of arthritis, but the most common form affecting the knee joint is osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Severe Cases of Knee Pain or Injury

In some cases, a knee injury can be a serious injury and are so severe that they require surgery to repair. Some of the most common surgical procedures include:

ACL reconstruction: This surgery is performed to repair a torn ACL. The surgeon will remove the damaged ligament and replace it with a healthy autograft or allograft.

Meniscus surgery: This surgery is performed to repair a damaged or torn meniscus. The surgeon will remove the damaged tissue and either sew the remaining tissue back together or replace it with an artificial disc.

Can’t Bend Knee Without Pain?

If you can’t bend your knee without pain, it is important to see a doctor or orthopedic specialist. They will be able to diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend the best course of treatment.

Treatment for knee injuries can vary depending on the severity of the injury but may include physical therapy, rest, ice, and/or medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

Knee Pain

Pain from a knee injury can range from mild to severe pain. It is important to rest the knee and ice the area to reduce inflammation. You can also take over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to help relieve pain. If the pain is severe, you may need to see a doctor or orthopedic specialist.

KeagenHadley-child-squating-playing-in-dirt

Knee Pain Prevention

There are several things you can do to help prevent knee injuries or knee pain:

Wear proper shoes: Wearing shoes that provide support and cushioning can help reduce the risk of knee injuries.

Warm-up before exercise: Warming up before participating in any physical activity can help prepare your muscles and joints for activity, and can reduce the risk of injury.

Exercise regularly: Keeping your muscles and joints strong can help reduce the risk of knee injuries.

Stretch: Stretching can help improve range of motion, and can also help reduce the risk of injury.

Use proper form: Using proper form during physical activity can help reduce the stress on your knees, and can also help reduce the risk of injury.

Take breaks: If you are participating in any activity that puts stress on your knees, be sure to take breaks often to allow your knees to rest.

Treatment Options

If you have a knee injury or persistent knee pain, it is important to see a doctor or orthopedic specialist. They will be able to diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend the best course of treatment. Treatment for knee injuries can vary depending on the severity of the injury but may include physical therapy, rest, ice, and/or medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can be an important part of the treatment of knee injuries. A physical therapist can help to improve the range of motion, strength, and flexibility. They can also help to reduce pain and swelling.

Rest

Resting the injured knee is often recommended as a part of the treatment for knee injuries. This can help to reduce pain and swelling.

Knee Brace

A knee brace can be helpful in the treatment of some knee injuries. A knee brace can help to stabilize the joint, and can also help to reduce pain and swelling.

Ice

Applying ice to the injured knee can help to reduce pain and swelling. It is important to wrap the ice in a towel or cloth so that it does not come into direct contact with the skin. Ice packs can be applied for 15-20 minutes at a time, and can be done several times a day.

Medication

There are several different types of medication that can be used to treat knee injuries. These include over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, and prescription medications, such as corticosteroids. Surgery

Healthcare Professionals

If you can’t bend your knee without pain, it is important to see a health care provider. They will be able to diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend the best course of treatment. Treatment for knee injuries can vary depending on the severity of the injury but may include physical therapy, rest, ice, and/or medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

Orthopedic Surgeon

An orthopedic surgeon is a doctor who specializes in the treatment of bones, joints, and muscles. They can diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend the best course of treatment whether it is conservative or surgical.

Surgery

If nonsurgical treatments don’t relieve your symptoms or if you have a serious knee injury, you might need surgery. Surgery for a knee injury can involve repairing or replacing damaged cartilage, ligaments, or tendons. It can also involve realigning bones or removing loose fragments of bone or cartilage.

Types of Surgery

There are several different types of surgery that can be used to treat knee injuries. These include:

Arthroscopic surgery: This type of surgery is used to repair damage to the knee joint. It is often used to repair torn ligaments or cartilage. Small incisions are used to repair the meniscal tear and prevent future cartilage injury or severe knee pain.

Joint replacement surgery: This type of surgery is used to replace a damaged joint with an artificial joint.

Ligamentous reconstruction: This type of surgery is used to repair damage to the ligaments.

Osteotomy: This type of surgery is used to realign bones around a damaged joint.

Arthrodesis: This type of surgery is used to fuse bones together around a damaged joint.

Types of Knee Replacement Surgeries

In some cases, knee replacement surgery may be necessary. This type of surgery is used to replace a damaged joint with an artificial joint. Knee replacement surgery can be performed as a partial or total knee replacement.

Partial Knee Replacement

In a partial knee replacement, only the damaged portion of the joint is replaced. The healthy bone and tissue are left in place.

Total Knee Replacement

In a total knee replacement, the entire joint is replaced. The damaged bone and tissue are removed and replaced with an artificial joint.

KeagenHadley-woman-bending-knees-cleaning

Recovery

The recovery time for knee surgery can vary depending on the type of surgery that is performed. For most people, it takes several months to fully recover from knee surgery.

Daily Activities

After knee surgery, you will likely need to use crutches or a walker to help you get around. You will also need to avoid putting weight on your leg.

As you recover, you will be able to gradually put more weight on your leg and return to your normal activities. It may take a long time to recover based on the cause of your knee pain.

Conclusion

If you can’t bend your knee without pain, it is important to see a healthcare provider. They will be able to diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend the best course of treatment. Treatment for knee injuries can vary depending on the severity of the injury but may include physical therapy, rest, ice, and/or medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

After knee surgery, you will likely need to use crutches or a walker to help you get around. You will also need to avoid putting weight on your leg. As you recover, you will be able to gradually put more weight on your leg and return to your normal activities.

If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to talk to your health care provider. They can help you understand your individual situation and what to expect as you recover from your knee injury.

About the Author

Hi there! I’m Dr. Keagen Hadley, OTD, OTR/L. Straight out of the University of Mary, I’m all about blending my know-how in knee health, well-being, and medical technology. As a licensed occupational therapy doc, I’m here to translate complex concepts into clear, actionable insights – whether it’s knee care or groundbreaking healthcare tech.

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