The Marvelous Knee

Your knee is an engineering marvel, an intricate combination of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissue. The largest joint in your body, the knee is the juncture of your thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia). The two are connected to each other and to the front-facing kneecap (patella) by a complex network of muscle and connective tissue.

Although the knee is described as a "hinge joint," that image is a little misleading. The bones don't actually interlock with each other, but instead meet end-to-end, buffered by a cushion of smooth cartilage. Two rubbery discs called menisci also separate the femur and tibia. An oily fluid (called synovial fluid) lubricates the joint surfaces to help keep them friction-free. Ligaments and muscles control the joint's main motions, flexion (bending) and extension (straightening).

Common Knee Injuries

Two main types of knee injuries exist, acute and overuse injuries. Certain groups of people are more susceptible to knee damage, including older people as well as very athletic people. Common symptoms of knee injuries include locking, creaking sounds, pain in the knee joint, and instability. Onto Orthopedics uses some of the leading diagnostics and treatment technologies to help isolate and treat the cause of your knee injury symptoms.

  • Acute Knee Injuries- Acute injuries include meniscus tears, sprains and strains to the ligaments and tendons of the knee (such as ACL and MCL injuries), as well as fractures of any of the bones in the knee joint. These injuries are typically caused by hard blows to the knee, as well as unusual twisting of the joint, and falling on the knee. When ligaments and tendons are sprained or torn, stability can be lost.
  • Overuse Knee Injuries- Overuse injuries typically include bursitis (inflammation of the pockets of fluid that lubricate the knee), tendinitis (inflammation of the tendons) tendinosis, pain or inflammation in the tissue on the outer part of the thigh (iliotibial band syndrome), as well as pain in the front of the knee.

Other conditions such as Baker's cysts and infections can also cause pain or discomfort in the knee. If your knee is sore or you are experiencing any inflammation, contact us so that we may diagnose and help treat the source of your knee pain.

How We Can Help

When you arrive for your first appointment, Dr. Shawn Hayden will examine your knee for signs of common problems. If he is unable to provide you with an immediate diagnosis, he might request an X-ray or MRI scan for a better picture of your knee. Onto Orthopedics can now take in-office live video of your knee with our advanced Mi Eye 2 cameras. Our practice maintains a direct radiography in-house x-ray system and ultrasound machine for your diagnostic convenience.

Typically, a minor knee injury can be treated with proper rest to the joint. If necessary, Dr. Hayden will ask that you wear a brace to help stabilize your knee. Some injuries might benefit from innovative in-office reparative medicine. Severe injuries might require surgery. Fortuantely, Dr. Hayden is trained in some of the latest surgical technologies for the knee, including minimally invasive arthroscopic treatments. These new techniques often allow for a quicker recovery and smaller incisions. Furthermore, knee joint performance is frequently improved over traditional surgery. Contact us at 214-731-3008 and we will help get you back on your feet as quickly as possible!