Knee Pain

Frequently Asked Questions

At Barrington Orthopedic Specialists, we strive to provide our patients the specialized orthopedic care you deserve.

Please use the links provided to access answers to frequently asked questions about orthopedics, orthopedic specialists, and common tests and treatment definitions.

What causes a knee fracture?

Fractures of your kneecap or patella usually occur from a direct blow, such as sports-related trauma, a fall, or a car accident. Your knee can also be affected when the upper shin bone fractures, extending into the knee joint.

What soft tissue injuries occur in your knee?

Muscle strains occur when any activity stretches the muscle beyond its tolerance, causing small tears that become inflamed and painful. Soft tissue injuries often treated by the Barrington Orthopedic physicians include:

  • Patellar tendon rupture
  • Quadriceps tendon rupture
  • Ligament sprains and tears

Ligament injuries frequently involve the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), but you can also damage your posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and lateral collateral ligament (LCL).

What is the meniscus?

The meniscus consists of cartilage that cushions the space where your upper and lower leg bones meet in the knee joint. Cartilage absorbs shock, distributes the weight load evenly across your knee, and allows the bones to move smoothly.

Meniscus tears often occur when you twist your knee, but they can also develop gradually due to degeneration. The severity of the tear determines the type of treatment.

Minor tears may heal and regain strength with physical therapy. Severe tears, or those that don’t respond to conservative treatment, may need arthroscopic surgery to perform meniscus repair or meniscectomy, a procedure to remove damaged tissue.

What types of arthritis affect your knee?

Your knees are vulnerable to osteoarthritis due to stress and degeneration from repetitive movement while supporting your body weight.

Osteoarthritis, the most common type of knee arthritis, occurs as wear and tear erode cartilage. Your knees can also develop rheumatoid arthritis or post-traumatic arthritis.

What is patellofemoral pain syndrome?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome refers to pain that originates where your kneecap attaches to your thighbone. Your knee normally glides through a groove in the thighbone, but it can be thrown off track by an imbalance in muscles or body movement. Activities like running, tennis, basketball, and skiing increase your risk for patellofemoral pain syndrome.

What is a knee replacement?

A total knee replacement is a surgical procedure in which your doctor replaces the damaged bone and cartilage, replacing it with implants that restore motion. A partial knee replacement targets only the damaged portion of your knee while protecting unaffected tissues.

Knee replacements can fail over time. When that happens, revision knee replacement is performed to replace the original prosthesis with a new one.

Don’t let knee pain impact your quality of life — call Barrington Orthopedic Specialists today.

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