Which Conditions Can a Westchester Knee Specialist Treat?

Brandon J. Erickson, MD January 29th, 2019

Do You Have a Knee Condition? Find Out With Our Help.

When you develop a knee injury, getting through your daily routine becomes a challenge. But what level of pain warrants a doctor’s visit? How do you know when it’s time to see a Westchester knee specialist?

Even if you aren’t positive your symptoms reflect a severe knee condition, you can find out for sure by receiving a diagnosis from a specialist. The knee specialists at Rothman Institute can alleviate your concerns by using the most advanced diagnostic tools. Furthermore, if something is functionally wrong, our doctors will map out and offer individualized treatment options fit for your medical needs and lifestyle. If you live in Scarsdale, Rye, White Plains or the surrounding areas, excellent orthopaedic care is now available in your area!

Below is a list of knee conditions and key information about each one. Remember: do not implement any of these treatment methods without a doctor’s approval.

Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments: Five Conditions to Consider

  1. Condition: Ligament Injury

    Causes: Sports injuries typically cause ligament sprains. Those who ski or play basketball, football, soccer, tennis, or baseball are especially vulnerable to developing a ligament injury from running, jumping, or twisting unnaturally.

    Symptoms: Many experience pain, swelling, loss of motion, and discomfort while walking or trying to move.

    Treatments: After a thorough examination by either a knee specialist or a Sports Medicine specialist, the doctor will develop the treatment gameplan. Ligaments do not heal well on their own, so athletes will likely need reconstructive surgery if they want to return to playing competitively. Non-operative treatment for non-athletes involves some combination of ice, elevation, physical therapy, and a knee brace to stabilize the area.

  2. Condition: Knee Arthritis

    Causes: There are three main causes and categories of knee arthritis: genetic degenerative joint disease (or osteoarthritis,) traumatic events that cause a related injury, and inflammatory arthritis. Generally, arthritis is classified as damage to the cartilage, whether from gradual wear and tear, inflammation, or a blow to the knee.

    Symptoms: Those with knee arthritis may have stiff and swollen joints, pain after resting for a long period of time, loose fragments of cartilage that cause noise (pops, snaps, or clicks when moving,) and weakness in the area.

    Treatments: A knee specialist will evaluate a patient’s symptoms and possibly order imaging tests to determine the type of arthritis. Some non-surgical treatment methods include  physical therapy, injections, and making lifestyle modifications, such as losing weight if necessary or avoiding high-impact activities. If arthritis is causing the patient extreme pain or disability, and is unable to be sufficiently treated with non-surgical methods, then the doctor may recommend surgery.

  3. Condition: Meniscal Tear

    Causes: The meniscus acts as a shock absorber for the knee and protects the cartilage of the joint. Older patients may have degenerative meniscal tears, while more athletic patients can develop a tear by squatting or twisting, or by direct contact during activity.

    Symptoms: A knee doctor will ask if the patient heard a pop when the injury occurred. He or she will also look for swelling as a result of blood accumulation and difficulty with flexing or bending the knee without pain. Mechanical symptoms such as locking or catching are concerning for a meniscal injury.

    Treatments: Your knee specialist will evaluate the type, size, and location of the tear before determining which treatment plan will fit best. Non-surgical options include following the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation), taking prescribed medications, and possibly an injection. If symptoms persist despite these treatment efforts, the doctor may suggest arthroscopic surgery.  

  4. Condition: Cartilage Injury

    Causes: An acute injury or a condition such as arthritis can damage the articular lining cartilage in the knee joint. As a result, the damaged cartilage or bone may detach and “swim around” within the joint.

    Symptoms: Many patients with a cartilage injury have swelling and pain in the knee joint.

    Treatments: After evaluating the area, the doctor may want to transfer cartilage from an uninjured part of the knee/a donor knee or insert cartilage cells— because new cartilage cannot grow on its own. Both of these processes are types of cartilage restoration, which is an option for patients who are typically under 50 and have an active lifestyle, although every patient is evaluated on a case by case basis.

  5. Condition: Runner’s Knee

    Causes: For runners, if the knee joint is not aligned or one or both hips have weakened, the iliotibial band can rub across the outer part of the knee, the quadriceps can become weak, and the hamstring can tighten up which causes pain and inflammation. This condition is also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome.

    Symptoms: Patients with runner’s knee often feel a dull, aching pain in the front of the knee. Additional symptoms may include pain during exercise, after sitting for long periods of time, and when the patient makes a change to her or his activity level, playing surface, or equipment.

    Treatments: This condition may improve simply with homecare. Decreasing your activity level, implementing the RICE method, and using medication prescribed by your doctor can ease some of the pain. Shoe inserts and physical therapy exercises may also be recommended as well as injections.

Call a Westchester Knee Specialist Today

Still wondering if you need to get your knee pain checked out? It certainly doesn’t hurt to call and schedule an appointment with a Westchester knee specialist. For more information, please visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.

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