Knee pain can be caused by sudden injury causing meniscal and ligament tears or ruptures. Overuse injury, gait dysfunction and medical conditions such as arthritis cause the degeneration of joint space and can present with joint pain and stiffness, decreased function of the joint, swelling and cracking or grinding noise with movement. X-ray or other imaging tests can show specific changes in the affected joint, such as space narrowing or bony spurs.
Treatment focuses on relieving the symptoms and improving the function of the joint. For best results, a combination of patient education, weight control, physical therapy and use of medications is often used. Also helpful are assistive or support devices like canes or braces. Another treatment that focuses on slowing down the progression of the disease is joint injections. Knee injections include; steroid injections or Viscosupplementation. These include Supartz, Hyalgan and Euflexxa. A new technique that is being utilized is stem cell injection utilizing the patient’s own blood to extract stem cells. The cells are then injected into the knee to repair the ligaments in the knee.