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Knee Doctor in Santa Ana

There are about 10 million visits to doctors because of knee issues each year. As the largest joint in the human body, the knee is susceptible to injury and damage from a variety of sources, including sports-related injuries, natural wear-and-tear, and chronic conditions like arthritis. Injuries typically involve the three main bones of the knee (femur, tibia, and fibula), discs (menisci) between these bones, and supporting tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Here are some of the reasons why you may be referred to a knee doctor in Santa Ana.

Knee Fractures

A fracture is a break in one or more bones of the knee joint. Falling, twisting, and sustaining a hard hit or impact are among the reasons why a knee may become fractured. Specially, fractures may affect the patella (kneecap), the upper portion of the fibula or tibia, or the lower part of the femur. Pain, tenderness, swelling, redness, bruising, a change in leg shape, and difficulty moving the knee or leg are symptoms often associated with knee fractures.

X-rays and other image tests will confirm that a knee fracture has occurred and where it's located. A knee doctor in Santa Ana may recommend surgery to put the broken pieces back into the correct position may be necessary for severe fractures. Immobilization of the knee is often required to allow the fracture to heal, which typically takes about 4-6 weeks.

Knee Doctor in Santa Ana - Knee Doctor in Santa Ana

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ACL Injuries

ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries are among the most common type of injury that can affect the knee. Athletes participating in high-demand sports such as soccer and football are more susceptible to ACL injuries. Nearly half of all ACL injuries include damage to nearby structures in the affected knee.

With minor injuries, the ligament is only stretched but still able to provide support to the knee. With severe injuries, the ACL is usually partially or completely torn. A knee doctor in Santa Ana may recommend the following treatments:

  • Physical therapy
  • Temporary bracing
  • Rebuilding the ligament surgically

Kneecap Dislocation

Occurring most often in teenage girls, kneecap dislocation (patellar dislocation) may be caused by an abnormal structure in knee joint, although the most common reason for dislocation is sudden trauma. Dislocation may result in the kneecap moving to the outside of the knee. Severe pain associated with movement, swelling, excessive or abnormal movement of the knee, and a visible deformity are symptoms typically indicating a dislocation.

Surgery may be necessary if dislocation has resulted in damage to one or more of the bones of the knee and cartilage. A knee doctor in Santa Ana can perform an arthroscopy to look inside of the affected area of the knee to determine the extent of any damage related to a dislocation. Such a procedure is often recommended if there is still persistent pain after the kneecap has been put back into place (reduction). Damage to the articular cartilage is usually able to be treated arthroscopically. A donor tendon may be used to reconstruct the patellofemoral ligament.

Meniscal Tears

Usually associated with sports-related activities, tears in the meniscus typically occur from movements that include sudden twists or pivots or a hard impact. Damage from arthritis or age-related wear may also lead to a meniscal tear. These two wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage typically become increasingly stiff and swollen after injury, especially when athletes continue to play after a tear has occurred. In addition to pain and swelling, symptoms of a tear may include "catching" (locking) of the knee and instability in the knee.

Initial treatment usually involves non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method. If such treatments aren't effective, the doctor may recommend an arthroscopic procedure. Surgery may involve a partial meniscectomy to trim away the damaged tissue or meniscus repair to surgically sew the torn pieces back together.

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Knee Rehabilitation

If surgery is necessary for any type of knee injury, the doctor often makes rehabilitation recommendations. The purpose of this type of follow-up treatment is to increase the flexibility and function of the affected part of the knee, often with bracing and a customized physical therapy plan.

Part of the treatment plan a knee doctor in Santa Ana may recommend often includes preventive measures to minimize the risk of sustaining another knee injury, especially for active patients who perform repetitive knee motions. Naturally functioning artificial knee joints and less-invasive surgical procedures involving smaller incisions and less disruptions to nearby structures are among the important advancements that have allowed many common knee problems to be successfully diagnosed and treated for patients seeking relief.