Knee Pain

Report estimates over 100 million Americans suffer with joint pain

Billions of dollars have been spent in research and development in attempts to curb this pain. After careful study and several trials the FDA cleared a non-surgical treatment aimed at helping those with knee pain. This new treatment is a high tech answer for all those who think that knee joint replacement, surgery, dietary supplements and prescription medications are the only option to eliminate knee pain.

Don’t put yourself through surgery if it can be avoided! We have helped hundreds of people who were told that surgery was the only answer.

At The Knee Institute, we specialize in diagnosis of knee pain and creating individualized non-surgical knee pain relief treatments. Below are some common causes for knee pain that may be affecting your mobility and driving you to seek lasting relief.


There are TWO types of osteoarthritis:

Primary Osteoarthritis is mostly related to aging. As we age, repetitive use of the joints leads to wear and tear of the cartilage. The cartilage begins to flake setting off an inflammatory reaction causing pain. Loss of the cartilage cushion causes friction between the bone and eventual loss of the joint space. Osteoarthritis is commonly found in multiple members of the same family implying a heredity or genetic factor.

Obesity is the primary cause of secondary arthritis increasing load forces will cause any joint to deteriorate and eventually fail. Each extra pound overweight causes an added four-pound per square inch of force to the knee joint.

Another cause of secondary arthritis is repeated trauma to the joint. Football players who run and take repeated blows to the knees would be an example of a class of individuals with repeated trauma but this is not limited to the sports related activity. Chronic job related kneeling, kicking, jumping, or knee stress would also qualify for related trauma. Multiple surgeries is also repeated trauma. Abnormally formed joints from birth would also be prone to the development of secondary osteoarthritis. Diabetes and growth disorders are causes of cartilage wear and osteoarthritis these deposits are uric acid and calcium pyropitosphate, the etiology of gout and pseudogout.

There are several other minor causes of secondary osteoarthritis.

Meniscus Pain And Tear

There are two meniscuses in your knee. The menisci are made of tough cartilage and acts as if it were a shock absorber between the femur and tibia. They also act as smooth articulating surfaces that help the joints glide during the normal flexion and extension of the knee joint.

The meniscus also helps distribute weight evenly across the knee joint. The menisci are C shaped and wedged in profile. It also cups the rounded end of the femur to keep the femur stable on the flat tibial surface.

The two most common cases of meniscus tear are traumatic injury and degenerative process. Most common mechanism of traumatic meniscus tears occur when the knee is bent and twisted. This is often seen in professional athletes. Degenerate tears are seen in older patients when the cartilage becomes brittle. Pain and swelling are the common symptoms of meniscus tears.

Joint locking is also common as pieces of torn cartilage block the normal mechanism of knee movement.

Common symptoms of a meniscus tear

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Locking
  • Popping and clicking
  • Loss of normal motion

Diagnosis of meniscus tear

  • Physical exam
  • X-Rays
  • MRI
  • Arthroscopic surgery

Treatment of meniscus tears

  • Rest
  • Therapy
  • Platelet rich plasma
  • Surgery
  • Bracing and support

Knee Clicking

There are many reasons that our knees “click”. Some of these causes are severe and require medical attention although others are not so severe. Our knees support our entire body weight at all times while ambulation and sounds coming from our knees certainly can be alarming.

How do you know if the clicking is a serious problem or not?

The most important associated symptom to knee clicking would be pain. If pain is present there is a potential of a more serious underlying process and a further medical evaluation is needed. Small fractures, torn cartilage, and arthritic disease are examples of some of the possible causes for clicking.

“Pop”, as opposed to clicking, with no associated pain could be change in pressure within the capsule that surrounds the joint much like when we crack our knuckles.

Crunching has more of an ominous association. This noise may be the result of bones grinding against each other and one should be concerned.

Hyperextension Of The Knee

A common mechanism of knee injury is hyper-extension. This occurs with an extreme, forceful, straightening of the joint. Hyper-extension of the knee may cause damage to ligamentous tissues, specifically the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and or the PCL (posterior cruciate ligament).

The severity of the injury and to whom it occurs will dictate care. Strains and sprains may be rectified with physical therapy to reduce inflammation and pain. Ultimately, strengthening of the surrounding musculature is the long-term goal. Stability bracing may also be used. In the event of a tear surgical intervention may or may not be necessary depending upon the candidate. Upon clinical presentation the physician and diagnostic tests will determine the extent of the injury and the care plan warranted.

Knee Tendinitis

Tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendon fibers, which attach muscles to bones. In the upper extremities common sites are the shoulders and elbows. In the lower legs, the Achilles and the patellar area are the common sites.

Pain is the most common symptom and in knee tendons the area between the kneecap and the shinbone is usually the primary area.

Tendonitis is caused by repetitive stress on the tendon. Repeated jumps are commonly associated with knee tendonitis (patellar tendonitis). This problem can occur in professional athletes as well as the “weekend warrior”. Excessive and repetitive flexion and extension of the knee causes the tendon fibers microscopically tear and inflame. The risk of getting knee tendonitis increases with age as the muscles and tendons get more brittle and lose their elastic properties. Poor technique in any motion can overload these tissues and increase the risk for tendon inflammation.

Most cases of knee tendonitis are self-limiting and do not require medical intervention. Rest is normally enough to allow the tissue to repair itself. However if the pain persists and proper diagnosis and care is not given, this tendon can tear and ultimately lead to complete rupture where surgical reattachment is the only option.

Chronic tendonitis is a problem caused by continued use of an already inflamed area. This is a very difficult problem to treat and will take a long time if ever to fully recover.

Locked Knee

Lock knee is a generic term used to describe the inability to either flex or extend the knee. The normal flexion of the knee is about 135 degrees. The normal straightening (extension) of the knee is a fully locked position or zero degrees.

There are two primary causes of the inability to fully flex or extend the knee.

First, severe pain will cause a person to have a locked knee no matter what the cause. The pain is so severe that one can no longer use the knee medical help should be sought out immediately.

The second cause of locked knee is mechanical block of the normal knee motion. If there is something caught in the mechanism of the knee such as a large piece of torn cartilage the knee will not be able to flex or extend which will cause the knee to “lock up” until the blockage is removed.

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  • Michigan’s Only Accredited Facility with the OsteoArthritis Centers of America
  • Non-Surgical Treatments
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  • Specialize in Relieving Joint Pain
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