Our knees are the largest joints in our bodies. We use them for nearly everything we do from grocery shopping to checking the mail and walking around the block. We put them through so much wear and tear that they’re in danger of getting injured. This is even more true for athletes and weekend warriors. If you have a serious knee injury, Dr. Steven E. Nolan in our Sugar Land, Texas, office, can help. Here are five common knee injuries treated with arthroscopic surgery.
1. Torn meniscus
The meniscus is a piece of cartilage in the knee that often gets partially or fully torn. This injury can be quite painful, and you may also have immediate swelling and hear a popping sound. It’s caused by rough twisting or pivoting of the knee joint. People who play football, tennis, and basketball are at a higher risk of tearing their meniscus. Arthroscopic surgery and a physical rehabilitation program are often needed to get back to a normal activity level.
2. Torn anterior cruciate ligament
The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is another common knee injury. It occurs when the ACL is torn or sprained. The symptoms are similar to those of a torn meniscus, so it’s best to let Dr. Nolan perform an exam and order any necessary diagnostic tests like an MRI to determine exactly what’s going on. Those who play soccer, football, basketball, tennis, or ski are at a high risk of a torn ACL If you play sports, try not to:
- Slow down, stop, or change direction suddenly
- Land awkwardly after jumping
- Pivot with your knee firmly planted on the ground
3. Baker’s cyst
A Baker’s cyst is also known as a popliteal cyst. It’s a collection of fluid behind your knee. It may feel tight or like you have a lump back there. It’s caused by a problem with your knee joint like arthritis or an injury that causes your knee to make too much synovial fluid. You may have pain or swelling and feel pain when you use your knee. If the cyst bursts, you may have symptoms that mimic a blood clot in your leg, which can be life-threatening. The symptoms include calf swelling, redness, and pain.
4. Swollen synovium
The synovium is soft tissue that lines and protects the knee joint. The synovial fluid helps lubricate the knee so it can move smoothly. If the soft tissue gets inflamed or irritated, it may swell from an accumulation of fluid. This condition is caused by joint injuries or inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
5. Patellar tracking disorders
This is a fancy way of saying there’s a problem with how your kneecap moves. It can move in the wrong direction or be dislocated. It can be caused by overuse, a sports injury, or other trauma like a car accident.
You’re at risk for this type of injury if you’re overweight or have tight or weak leg muscles. A dislocated kneecap causes severe pain and other symptoms, including:
- Swelling in the front of your knee
- A popping, grinding, or slipping sensation when you try to bend your knee
- A feeling like your knee is giving out
Have you already tried conservative treatments at home like resting, icing, and taking over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications? If your knee isn’t getting any better, it may be time to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nolan. He’s a trusted and experienced orthopedic surgeon who helps people like you get back on their feet fast. Book an appointment online or call 281-720-6910 today.