Knee Joint Pain – An ‘All-age’ Health Problem

Posted by RR


Disorders with the knees are often associated with the elderlies. In fact, middle-aged people or even people who are in their 20’s or 30’s can also suffer from a diseased joint. Just as Dr. Sha Wai Leung, an orthopaedic specialist at Hong Kong Adventist Hospital – Stubbs Road, points out, knee injury can happen to any age.

Two Main Types of Injuries

Knee injuries can be categorized into two types, namely repetitive motion injuries and sports injuries.

Repetitive motion injuries refer to problems such as damaged ligaments, tendonitis, and IT Band syndrome that are caused by the long-term usage of the joints. It can happen to any joints in our body. On the other hand, the most common form of sports injuries is knee injury. Movements like jumping and sudden “stop-and-go” create immense pressure on the knees, causing wear and tear on parts like soft tissue, meniscus, anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments.

Our body is incredible at repairing damaged body parts, but our meniscus and cruciate ligaments require a lot of care and attention for healing after an injury. While most patients might think that when they hurt their knee joints, they can heal on their own without going to the doctor’s. However, Dr. Sha says it very much depends on the degree of wear and tear and if the injury area is large.

“If the meniscus tear is serious, tissue around could dislocate and fall into the empty space in between the joints. The knees will then be swollen and patients may experience difficulty in walking,” explains Dr. Sha.

Once the cruciate ligaments are damaged, knee stability might decrease gradually. And if patients do not seek medical help at this stage, it could lead to the development of knee arthritis.

Yet, thanks to medical advancement, both cases can now be solved by surgeries. “Meniscus tear repair surgery can help repair or remove the damaged meniscus by using a joint endoscope. As for the cruciate ligament surgery, the patient’s own tendon from their patella hamstring is used to connect the tibia and the femur, so as to replace the torn ligament and to regain knee joint stability.”


Seek Medical Help Early for Speedy Recovery

Because of the possible consequences that could be caused by a degenerative knee joint, going to the doctor’s early is the best way to achieve speedy recovery.

“People who injured their knees should seek medical help immediately after the accident,” suggests Dr. Sha. In fact, it is recommended by the medical sector that patients should undergo knee surgery within two days of the injury.

Prior to the surgery, anti-inflammation medicine or injection would be used on patients to prevent pain and the symptom of swollen knees. Different treatment methods have different benefits, side effects, and risks. It is always better for patients to check with their doctors for the best treatment plans. Patients should also follow doctor’s and physiotherapist’s instructions for a speedy recovery.

For further information on this condition, or to be tested, please contact the team at Adventist Hospital in Hong Kong.

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