Knees

Knees Articles

Easing the ache

Osteoarthritis can be a debilitating condition, particularly when it affects the knee. People with this condition may not only have to limit their activity, but may need to restrict their social interaction because they are unable to walk and travel easily. Managing the condition can include a number of options, including medications to reduce pain; nondrug options, such as physical activity and physical therapy; and in severe cases, surgery to replace the affected joint. More »

ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) Injuries

Ligaments are tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect two bones. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) are inside the knee joint. These ligaments connect the thigh bone (femur) and the large bone of the lower leg (tibia) at the knee joint. The ACL and PCL form an "X" inside the knee that stabilizes the knee against front-to-back or back-to-front forces. An ACL injury is a sprain or tear, in which the ligament is stretched beyond its normal range. When the ACL is torn, it's almost always due to at least one of the following patterns of injury: (Locked) More »

Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injuries

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are two tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect the thighbone (femur) and the large bone of the lower leg (tibia) at the knee joint. Together, the ACL and PCL bridge the inside of the knee joint, forming an "X" pattern that stabilizes the knee against front-to-back and back-to-front forces. In particular, the PCL prevents the lower leg from slipping too far back in relation to the upper leg, especially when the knee is flexed (bent). A PCL injury includes a stretch or tear of the ligament. The PCL most often is injured when the front of the knee hits the dashboard during an automobile accident. During sports activities, the PCL also can tear when an athlete falls forward and lands hard on a bent knee, which is common in football, basketball, soccer and especially rugby. (Locked) More »

The far-reaching effects of a little bit of weight loss

Losing 5% of one’s total body weight can result in clinically significant physiologic changes. For example, losing a little weight can reduce heartburn, knee pain, blood pressure, and diabetes risk. Losing 5% of one’s body weight may also lead to better sexual function, more restorative sleep, extra energy, and more self-esteem. To reach a 5% reduction in total body weight, it helps to exercise; eat a healthy diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds; and get enough sleep. (Locked) More »

When is it time for a knee replacement?

Deciding whether knee replacement surgery is necessary depends on the symptoms, the extent of joint damage, how much the joint problems limit daily activities and how well other treatments are working. Consulting with an orthopedic surgeon or a rheumatologist can help people make the best decision. (Locked) More »

Helpful or harmful? Weighing last resorts before knee surgery

When trying to avoid surgery for knee osteoarthritis, one must be wary of certain treatments to relieve pain. Some treatments are ineffective or potentially dangerous, such as prolotherapy or ozone injections, stem cell treatments, and implanted shock absorbers. Other treatments—such as acupuncture or platelet-rich plasma injections—might work, but the evidence is mixed. Steroid or hyaluronic injections can provide pain relief. But the safest and most proven approaches for treating knee osteoarthritis are weight loss and muscle strengthening. More »

Oh, my aching knees

Many women experience knee pain, which is often caused by one of three common conditions: patellofemoral pain syndrome, chronic degenerative meniscal tears, and early osteoarthritis. These conditions are common in older women. Most often symptoms produced by these conditions can be relieved by modifying your activities and physical therapy. But in some instances, surgery is warranted, but it’s typically only an option if other strategies haven’t proven effective. More »

Moving away from knee osteoarthritis

An estimated 10% of men ages 60 and older having symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or aspirin, and steroid injections can temporarily soothe arthritis pain and inflammation. But an easier and safer way to manage symptoms is to be more active as bones and cartilage need the stimulation of regular movement to stay healthy and pain free. More »