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Knee Trouble FAQ

Physicians specializing in this field will answer your questions related to the knee.

Question

Several months ago, I fell and consulted a physician. At that time, I was told: "Your meniscus has cracks but it is not serious." Since then, I have been receiving conservative therapy (muscular training and wet compresses). Pain of the entire knee appears to be resolving, but during muscular training I feel some impact of the weight on the knee and the lumbar region. Is anything wrong with my training method? Do other patients also have similar experiences? Furthermore, as I told my doctor at the beginning, my heel is swollen and causes discomfort. During my last visit to the hospital, blood tests, X-rays, etc., revealed no abnormalities. Is lack of exercise responsible for my problem?
(Female, 47 years old)

Answer

Open to see answer

As far as conservative therapy for meniscus injury is concerned, exercise is considered to be a basic method of treatment for reasons including the maintenance of knee flexibility, knee-supporting muscles, etc. If you feel intolerable pain, consult a physician instead of attempting to endure the pain. You say you have received blood tests, X-rays, etc., for the heel symptoms. If you have pain involving joints other than the knee, etc., factors other than osteoarthritis of the knee may be responsible, and it is advisable for you to consult an orthopedic surgeon in this case.

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Question

I have osteophytes on the anterior parts of the right and left knees. I was told that the knee space on each side was almost free of narrowing and that there was no need to use supporters. But, I occasionally feel pain. Could you tell me how to alleviate this pain?
(Female, 65 years old)

Answer

Open to see answer

Osteophytes formed by bone deformation can cause pain. If a supporter is used when you feel pain, it would be useful for protecting the knee. When you do not feel pain, it is essential to practice stretching and muscular training. Methods for alleviation of pain with the use of drugs include oral pain relief agents (anti-inflammatory drugs, etc.), the use of a wet compress and intra-articular injection of hyaluronic acid. Other methods available include the use of a supporter designed to reduce the load on the knee, the use of a plantar plate, knee splint, etc. It is advisable for you to select a method tailored to your symptoms through consultation with an orthopedic surgeon.

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Question

When I climb a mountain and then begin walking down for a while, I have a tingling feeling in the lateral nerves of the left knee and am unable to walk. This symptom does not resemble the so-called "knee shaking ". The uncomfortable, sharp sensation is immediately followed by pain. This sensation is milder when I walk backwards. I have been experiencing this for about 10 years. Because I go mountaineering on holidays, the medical facility is closed when I experience the uncomfortable, sharp sensation and knee pain, and it is difficult to obtain understanding of my symptoms from the physician when I visit a clinic the following day. Is this a sign of osteoarthritis of the knee?
(Male, 60 years old)

Answer

Open to see answer

Knee pain after age 40 is mostly attributable to osteoarthritis of the knee. For precise diagnosis, tests need to be done by orthopedic surgeons. Interview, palpation and X-ray assessment of the degree of knee deformation are necessary. It is also possible to check for the involvement of other factors. It is advisable for you to receive tests at a nearby orthopedic surgery clinic to identify the cause of the knee pain. At the consultation, you need to tell the physician in detail when and in which part of the knee you feel pain, as you have done when placing this question.

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Question

I developed osteoarthritis of the knee a few years ago. The disease later healed after I received treatments such as removal of fluid. One or two days ago, however, fluid began to pool again, causing discomfort when I start to walk. Is it possible to cure this disease by exercising, etc., as I learned before? During the previous treatment sessions, swelling occasionally persisted toward the end of each treatment, but later healed. During the subsequent approximately two-year period, I felt as if osteoarthritis of the knee had healed completely.
(Female, 57 years old)

Answer

Open to see answer

Pain and other symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee occasionally heal in response to treatment, exercise, etc. However, unfortunately, once damaged cartilage of the knee does not return to normal. At early stages of the disease, the symptoms are likely to be alleviated in response to training (stretching, exercise, etc.). What is essential is to continue exercise not only during painful periods but also during pain-free periods. If your pain has recurred, it is advisable for you to consult your orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible.

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Question

A few days ago, I began to feel pain at one point on the medial side of the right knee. I feel pain at the start of walking or while walking sideways (i.e., when I walk as if the knee is positioned medially), or when this point is pressed. Should I visit a medical facility?
(Female, 39 years old)

Answer

Open to see answer

What you need to do first is to consult an orthopedic surgeon to identify the cause of your problem and to receive treatment, as necessary. In general, the body weight loading is likely to be placed on the medial side in bow-legged and stimulates the progression of osteoarthritis. At early stages of osteoarthritis of the knee, symptoms are often alleviated in response to exercise therapy, splint therapy (use of the plantar splint or knee splint), etc. It is essential that you consult an orthopedic surgeon before the disease advances and causes further destruction of knee cartilage.

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Questions on causes and symptoms of knee pain

Question

I have been suffering from knee pain since my 40s. During approximately the past 6 months, I received hyaluronic acid injections into the knee at an orthopedic surgery clinic, but the pain has not subsided. The muscles of the thigh, crus, etc. are rigid and painful. Now, I am receiving lumbar traction. Is there any other disease which causes knee or muscle pain?
(Female, 67 years old)

Answer

Open to see answer

You seem to be suffering from persistent knee pain. Considering that you have been suffering from knee pain for 2 decades, since your 40s, it seems that lack of exercise due to knee pain has resulted in loss of elasticity and hardening of the muscles, causing intensification of knee pain. Other factors directly related to the knee itself, the lumbar and spine, etc., can also cause knee pain. It is advisable for you to consult your family doctor, explaining the persistent and disturbing pain. (Answer given in April 2010).

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Question

I feel severe pain when I extend the knee to sit cross-legged or bending my knee. An X-ray taken at an orthopedic surgery facility revealed no bone abnormalities. The pain is quite disturbing.
(Male, 42 years old)

Answer

Open to see answer

You say no abnormalities were identified in your knee bone itself. If the cartilage in the space between the bones has decreased, you may be at an early stage of osteoarthritis of the knee. Because abnormalities of the cartilage, meniscus, etc. are not visualized on X-ray, we cannot rule out pain arising from the ligament, meniscus, etc. One option for you is to receive MRI, CT scan, etc. at a medical facility.

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Question

For several weeks, I have been feeling pain at one site on the medial side of my left knee. I feel pain while going upstairs/downstairs, walking and even during sleep, and I feel rigidity in my legs when they are extended. I have no problem with bending or stretching the legs while sitting on a chair. When standing up, I feel pain at certain angles. I have no problem while bathing. Wet compresses and fixation with a supporter are ineffective.
(Female, 54 years old)

Answer

Open to see answer

Considering that you feel knee pain, there may be abnormalities in some functions of the knee joint. As far as osteoarthritis of the knee and other knee diseases are concerned, an early visit to a medical facility and early start of treatment are essential. You should receive detailed tests at a medical facility.

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Question

For 20 years, fluid has been pooling in my knee and I have been receiving removal of the pooled fluid. Fluid pooling has ceased and I now use a knee supporter. I cannot sit upright but can walk without a cane. Since one or two years ago, I have felt as if the right knee dislocates when getting up in the morning, causing pain severe enough to make walking impossible. What is the cause?
(Female, 72 years old)

Answer

Open to see answer

We cannot identify the cause from the information you provided. You seem to have been suffering from knee problems for a long time. Your muscles seem to have become hardened due to lack of exercise. Identification of the cause of the severe pain of the right knee requires detailed examination. You should visit a medical facility and select a method of treatment tailored to your situation upon consultation with a physician.

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Question

I feel discomfort in my knee, although not actual knee pain. Every time I walk, there are noises that seem to arise from contact between the bones. Is this attributable to any known disease?
(Male, 49 years old)

Answer

Open to see answer

The knee noises you are experiencing are referred to collectively as the "clicking sound." This sign is often without significance. However, considering that you feel discomfort, it is advisable for you to visit a medical facility.

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Question

I visited a hospital because of knee pain and was diagnosed as having osteoarthritis of the knee. I have not sustained any prior knee injuries. What is the cause?

Answer

Open to see answer

Osteoarthritis of the knee develops after long-term loads on the knee joint. It is more likely to develop in individuals with bad posture, obesity, weakening of leg muscles due to lack of exercise, and so on. It does not develop suddenly after injury, etc., but rather as a result of gradual deterioration of the knee cartilage due to a combination of multiple factors, such as aging and habits.

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Questions on methods of treating and dealing with knee pain

Question

Fluid (synovial fluid) tends to pool in my left knee, making it difficult for me to bend the knee. This condition is alleviated by removal of the pooled fluid. I feel as if the fluid has pooled after walking for 5-6 km. Is it better for me to remove the fluid repeatedly to deal with this condition? Or will repeated removal make it difficult for me to be weaned from this medical intervention?
(Male, 78 years old)

Answer

Open to see answer

The repeated fluid pooling after removal suggests that the underlying inflammation has not been alleviated. Control of the inflammation is important in treating your condition. Repeated removal of fluid will not make you dependent on removal. If you feel discomfort, you should request removal of the pooled fluid.

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Question

My mother, 80 years old, has difficulty due to lack of knee cartilage. She cannot make up her mind whether to undergo surgery and has been receiving acupuncture and massage instead. She was advised to undergo surgery, involving insertion of metal. Is there any new or novel treatment better than metal prosthetic joint insertion surgery?
(Female, 51 years old)

Answer

Open to see answer

For the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee, no methods other than exercise, drug therapy and surgery, as presented on this website, are currently available. However, prosthetic joints used for surgery have undergone modifications and the operative procedures have been advanced. Although your mother may be resistant to surgery, it is advisable that an optimal method of treatment be selected through comprehensive talks with the attending physician.

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Question

Fluid has pooled in my joint. I hear that it is better to avoid removal of the fluid from the joint. Is this true?

Answer

Open to see answer

Fluid is pooled in the inflamed joint. This fluid contains substances causing inflammation and/or destroying the cartilage. It would be better to remove the excess pooled fluid at intervals of one week or more, as a rule.

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Question

When I feel knee pain, I always cool my knee with a cold compress or ice. Is this OK?

Answer

Open to see answer

If pain is caused by inflammation, cooling the knee is a right way to deal with the problem. However, if the knee is free of inflammation, it is better to warm the joint to facilitate blood flow. Thus, how to deal with knee pain differs depending on the cause of the pain. It is advisable for you to consult an orthopedic surgeon and to receive assessment of your knee condition.

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Other questions

Question

I often encounter the term "hyaluronic acid" as a component of food supplements. Is it effective to take this substance orally instead of injecting it into the affected region? To what extent can we expect efficacy?
(Male, 56 years old)

Answer

Open to see answer

There is no evidence for the efficacy of oral intake of food supplements containing hyaluronic acid for osteoarthritis of the knee. At present, it is medically unknown whether or not oral intake of hyaluronic acid can alleviate the symptoms of this disease.

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Question

Four years ago, I underwent surgery for resection of the meniscus and was discharged from the hospital without postoperative rehabilitation and training. After discharge, I felt knee pain (while sitting or when standing up from bed), accompanied by the sensation of bone rubbing against bone or dislocation. Are there any other exercise methods, in addition to those listed on this website? I surfed before the knee operation.
(Male, 51 years old)

Answer

Open to see answer

There are other exercise therapies. Additional methods of exercise will be listed on this website at the time of periodic updates, so please keep checking back. After surgical treatment, it is very important for you to train your muscles when you do not feel pain in the knee. You should consult your doctor about your symptoms.

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