Being the largest joint in the human body and having an essential role in movement, the knee is protected by articular cartilage which has the purpose of protecting it from mechanical shocks and ensuring that the movement is always smooth. However, several conditions can cause knee problems, which manifest as discomfort or pain when walking, swelling or the feeling that the knee is weak. Throughout their lives, most people experience some form of knee discomfort, even at early ages, but they usually postpone seeing a doctor because they think it’s something minor and it will pass on its own. Unfortunately, the smallest pain can indicate serious underlying conditions and seeing Sydney knee specialists is the best way of making sure that the knee is healthy. There are many causes behind knee problems. Sometimes, they develop due to old age or manifest as symptoms of complex medical conditions. Other times, they are caused by injuries. |
First of all, injuries are the main reason why patients seek the help of a knee specialist Sydney. The knee may be damaged by a strong blow, twist or fall and this is especially common among athletes or people whose jobs involve the manoeuvring of heavy objects. In most cases, pain settles in immediately and the injured area changes into a blue or yellow colour. However, there are also occurrences when the knee feels cold and numb and the patient does not realise the seriousness of the accident until after several hours. Sprains and strains are more common and involve lower recovery time, but fractures and knee joint dislocation, which occur when extreme force is applied, are more serious and require complex treatments or surgery.
Secondly, knee problems can occur without injuries, as a symptom of degenerative or infectious diseases: osteoarthritis, gout and lupus are some of the best known examples. Also, Baker’s cyst can cause the knee to swell and a problem with the hip can manifest at the level of the knee. In such cases, it is essential for the doctor to accurately pinpoint the root of the problem and work towards the treatment of the cause, not only of the problem. As for treatment methods and procedures, these may vary depending on the age and physical condition of the patients and range from first aid to total knee replacement or reconstruction.
Last, but not least, knee problems are caused by old age or by daily wear and tear. Some patients are more prone than others to developing such conditions, especially if their jobs or hobbies include a lot of climbing, running, lifting heavy weights or other such activities that put a strain on the knee ligaments. “Runner’s Knee” is the popular term for a condition called patellofemoral malalignment and it was thus named because its symptoms are usually experienced by athletes. This is not to say that all athletes will have to put an end to their careers for fear of such conditions, but that they should use proper gear and constantly assess the difficulty and intensity of their training.
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