Knee joint pain is a common condition at any age. Injury, arthritis, osteoarthritis and bone spurs are among the common causes of knee pain. The exact location and severity of your pain may vary, depending on the cause.
More people in Louisville and Southern Indiana choose Norton Orthopedic Institute for nonsurgical or surgical care for their knee joint pain than any other provider.
Treatment options range from physical therapy and medication to surgical repairs to partial or total knee replacement. Our skilled providers will listen to you and use their experience to recommend the best solution.
Seek treatment if you can’t walk or your knee feels unsteady, you have swelling or redness, or have a recent injury to the knee area.
Knee Pain Causes
- ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear
- Fracture in the knee bones, including the patella (kneecap)
- Bursitis, tendinitis or arthritis, which cause inflammation or irritation of the ligaments, tendons and surrounding tissue of the knee joint
- Loose body such as a piece of bone or cartilage floating in the joint space and preventing the joint from working correctly or causing irritation
- Hip or foot pain causes you to change how you walk, which can stress the knee and cause pain
Knee Pain Treatment
A common knee sprain can respond well to rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE), but some conditions may require more treatment or, as a last resort, surgery. Our fellowship-trained orthopedists will provide a customized treatment plan that starts with conservative, nonsurgical approaches when appropriate.
Your diagnosis typically will include an examination of your knee to locate the source of the pain, swelling, tenderness or visible signs of your knee issue. Checking how far you can move the leg comfortably also provides valuable information.
Imaging tests such as X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scan, ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can provide detailed insight into your condition.
Typical nonsurgical treatments for knee pain treatments include:
- Addressing the underlying cause of the pain, such as arthritis
- Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the knee
- Injections such as corticosteroids.
Surgery may be an option, especially if the joint is badly damaged or all other treatments have been considered or tried.
- Your orthopedist may use arthroscopy to insert a tiny camera into your knee to more precisely diagnose the condition and perhaps treat it at the same time. This minimally invasive procedure allows the orthopedist to trim damaged cartilage, remove loose debris, irrigate the inside of the knee and even reconstruct a damaged ligament such as the ACL — a common injury.
- Either the top of the shinbone or the bottom of the thighbone is cut and reshaped to shift weight off the side of the joint damaged by arthritis.
- Partial knee replacement. The surgeon removes either the inside or outside of the knee joint and replaces it with artificial parts.
- Total knee replacement. The surgeon will replace the ends of the femur (both inside and outside parts of the joint) and tibia with metal and plastic pieces. The surgeon may place a plastic button on the back of the kneecap to replace worn-out cartilage.