Knee Pain in Young Adults

Knee Pain in Young Adults

Symptoms

Symptoms can include:

  • At or around the joint line
  • Locking when knee is bent a lot then popping on active extension
  • Fluid build up inside the joint
  • Loss of confidence in the knee for giving way easily on walking or weight bearing

Causes

  • Sports trauma: knee in flexion adduction internal rotation such as while playing soccer or martial arts.
  • A lot of high knee bending associated with social practices (floor tilers, gardening, lunch or dinner for Asians…)

Pathology

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament complete tear which is one of the main stabilizers of the knee from anterior dislocation
  • Meniscal tears: meniscus is a triangular structure on cross-sectional cuts responsible of anterior or posterior stability of the knee. When torn the fragment gets jammed between the femur and tibia and could cause blockage of movement.

Management

  • Contact your doctor as soon as possible to avoid any cartilage loss by meniscal material scraping it off or any further meniscal damage following loss of ACL.
  • MRI is usually needed to determine the injuries.
  • Treatment of stable meniscal injuries or ACL tear would begin with oral medication and physiotherapy rehabilitation.
  • Unstable meniscal tears such as “bucket handle” or radial tears would need arthroscopic repair or removal of the damaged pieces to free the joint from blocking events: Keyhole procedure with two very small incision, one to introduce a small camera similar to the one in the cell phone and another to introduce the suturing device or very small grasper to remove the damaged pieces.
  • ACL tears for active young adults: ligament repair did not yield good results; a reconstruction is recommended. It consists of harvesting a ligament from around the knee (that would not affect knee function in the future) which will be introduced using very small holes in the joint then fixed to bone.

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