The knee is a complex joint that relies heavily on ligaments and muscles for stability. When pain is perceived as coming from the knee, all the anatomical components need to be examined, and in addition to the knee joint, the low back, pelvis, hip, ankle and foot need to be examined due to the direct influence they have on the knee, and vice versa.

Our approach to assessing and treating the knee includes the evaluation of the other joints and muscles relating to the knee. This is for several reasons:

  • Pain can often be referred from other structures in the low back, pelvis and hip into the knee.
  • If other joints in the lower limbs are not working correctly they can put increased stress on the knee joint, resulting in injury over time. Therefore to resolve the knee pain, we may also treat other areas, to maximize long-term improvement.

Arthritis

Arthritis most often causes problems with the knee joint, but can affect other structures like muscles, tendons and ligaments. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis in the knee, is caused by the gradual degradation of the cartilage in the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis causes the joint to become inflamed and can often cause destruction of the surrounding cartilage. A deformity often leads to arthritis in the knee, but more often, obesity or excess weight, or repetitive stress injuries from sports are the culprits. Symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness or locking joints.

 

Cartilage Injuries

Chondromalacia patella, a softening of the knee cap cartilage, occurs most often in runners, skiers, cyclists and soccer players.

 

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Inflammation of a tendon and its subsequent rubbing over the outer knee bone is most often caused by stress of long-term overuse, such as sports training. Symptoms include aches or burning sensations at the side of the knee, sometimes the pain can radiate up the side of the thigh.

 

Ligament Injuries

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) can become sprained and cause a great deal of pain. Injury to the cruciate ligaments is sometimes referred to as a “sprain.” The ACL can become stretched or torn by a sudden or direct impact, such as in an auto accident or football tackle. Injuries to the medial collateral ligaments are often caused by a blow to the outer side of the knee that stretches and tears the ligament on the inner side of the knee.