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Knee Injuries and Osteoarthritis

(continued)

What are diseases and conditions that can cause knee pain, and how are they treated? continued...

Chondromalacia refers to a softening of the cartilage under the kneecap (patella). It is a common cause of deep knee pain and stiffness in younger women and can be associated with pain and stiffness after prolonged sitting and climbing stairs or hills. While treatment with anti-inflammatory medications, ice packs, and rest can help, long-term relief is best achieved by strengthening exercises for the muscles of the front of the thigh.

Bursitis of the knee commonly occurs on the inside of the knee (anserine bursitis) and the front of the kneecap (patellar bursitis, or "housemaid's knee"). Bursitis is generally treated with ice packs, immobilization, and anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or aspirin and may require local injections of corticosteroids (cortisone medication) as well as exercise therapy to develop the musculature of the front of the thigh.

Knee Pain At A Glance

  • The knee joint has three compartments.
  • Causes of knee pain include injury, degeneration, arthritis, infrequently infection, and rarely bone tumors.
  • Ligaments within the knee (cruciate ligaments) and on the inner and outer sides of the knee (collateral ligaments) stabilize the joint.
  • Surgical repair of ligament injury can involve suturing, grafting, and synthetic graft repair.
  • Routine X-rays do not reveal meniscus tears, but can be used to exclude other problems of the bones and other tissues.
  • The knee joint is commonly involved in rheumatic diseases, immune diseases that affect various tissues of the body including the joints.
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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on December 28, 2013
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