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Knee pain can be caused by a sudden injury, an overuse injury, or by an underlying condition, such as arthritis. Treatment will vary depending on the cause. Symptoms of knee injury can include pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Most people have had a minor knee problem at one time or another. Most of the time our body movements do not cause problems, but it’s not surprising that symptoms develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or injury. Knee problems and injuries most often occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks, or home projects.
The knee is the largest joint in the body. The upper and lower bones of the knee are separated by two discs (menisci). The upper leg bone (femur) and the lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) are connected by ligaments, tendons, and muscles. The surface of the bones inside the knee joint is covered by articular cartilage, which absorbs shock and provides a smooth, gliding surface for joint movement.
The causes of pain can be very complex. The following test procedures are used to test and evaluate the cause of pain:
X-RAYS X-rays can be very effective in diagnosing traumatic bone and joint injuries such fractures and dislocations. An X-Ray provides images that can be used to evaluate bones, joints and degenerative lesions in the spine.
MYELOGRAM A myelogram uses X-rays and a special dye called contrast material to make pictures of the bones and the fluid-filled space between the bones in your spine. A myelogram may be done to find problems with the spine such as a herniated disc, or narrowing of the spinal canal caused by arthritis.
MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI) An MRI is a common test to evaluate the lumbar spine. MRI’s can be used to evaluate vertebral bones, discs, joints, nerves, and soft tissue
CAT SCAN (CT) CT scans may be requested when problems are suspected in the bones or when a patient is unable to obtain an MRI
DISCOGRAPHY A discography is a medical procedure that involves injecting a dye into the jellylike center of a spinal disc to help diagnose back problems. During discography, a doctor looks at the amount of pressure needed to inject the dye into the disc, whether it causes pain that is the same as your regular pain, how much dye is used, and how the dye appears on X-ray once it is inside the disc.
EMG An electromyogram (EMG) measures how well and how fast the nerves can send electrical signals. If you have leg pain or numbness, you may have these tests to find out how much your nerves are being affected. These tests check how well your spinal cord, nerve roots, and nerves and muscles that control your legs are working.
BONE DENSITY Bone mineral density (BMD) testing generally correlates with bone strength and is used to diagnose osteoporosis
BONE SCAN A bone scan is a test to help find the cause of your back pain. It can be done to find damage to the bones. A bone scan can often find a problem days to months earlier than a regular X-ray test.