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Knee pain is common, especially among active adults. There are many causes for knee pain and numerous treatment options. Whether you are a weekend warrior, play in a sports league, go for a daily run or walk, or simply tripped and fell at home; knee injuries should be cared for as soon as possible to prevent any underlying issues from developing. The orthopedic surgeons at Washington Sports Institute understand how serious knee injuries and the subsequent physical therapy can be. Your orthopedic surgeon will listen to your concerns and can be counted on to deliver compassionate care, answer all your questions about your orthopedic treatment and ease your fears.



Arthritis is a general term covering numerous conditions where the joint surface or cartilage wears out. The joint surface is covered by a smooth articular surface that allows pain free movement in the joint. This surface can wear out for a number of reasons; often the definite cause is not known. When the articular cartilage wears out the bone ends rub on one another and cause pain. This condition is referred to as Osteoarthritis or “wear and tear” arthritis as it occurs with aging and use. It is the most common type of arthritis.

There are numerous conditions that can cause arthritis but often the exact cause is never known. In general, but not always, it affects people as they get older (Osteoarthritis). Other causes include:

  • Trauma (fracture)
  • Increased stress such as overuse and overweight
  • Infection of the bone
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Inactive lifestyle and Obesity
  • Inflammation (Rheumatoid arthritis)


The knee is one of the largest joints in the body, formed by the lower end of the femur, the upper end of the tibia, and the patella or knee cap. Several ligaments and muscles attach to the bones of the knee joint to maintain normal motion of the joint. Special cartilaginous tissues known as menisci are placed between the two articular ends of the joint. These act as a cushion between the articular surfaces and absorb the shock created during movement.

Some of the common causes of knee pain may include:

  • Arthritis
  • Knee ligament injuries
  • Torn meniscus
  • Patellar tendonitis
  • Chondromalacia patellae
  • Dislocated kneecap
  • Baker’s cyst
  • Knee bursitis
  • Plica syndrome
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease
  • Osteochondritis dissecans
  • Gout


Treatment options depend upon the underlying cause responsible for knee pain. Some of the common treatment options for knee pain include rest, ice and heat application, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, stretching, physical therapy, and cortisone injections.


Sometimes a knee arthroscopy may be performed. Knee arthroscopy is a surgical procedure in which the internal structures of the joint are examined to diagnose as well as treat the underlying problem. An arthroscope is a tube that has a light and a camera attached to the end of it. The tube is inserted into your knee through tiny incisions. The doctor will then be able to see the inside of your knee. The images from the arthroscope camera will be displayed on a screen. These images will show your ligaments, bones, muscles, cartilage, and areas impacted by arthritis in your body. Physical signs of trauma and knee pain should never be ignored. Schedule a visit at Washington Sports Medicine Institute at our office in Mclean, Virginia for knee replacement or other injuries today.


Meniscus tear is the commonest knee injury in athletes, especially those involved in contact sports. A suddenly bend or twist in your knee cause the meniscus to tear. This is a traumatic meniscus tear. Elderly people are more prone to degenerative meniscal tears as the cartilage wears out and weakens with age. The two wedge-shape cartilage pieces present between the thighbone and the shinbone are called meniscus. They stabilize the knee joint and act as “shock absorbers”.


Torn meniscus causes pain, swelling, stiffness, catching or locking sensation in your knee making you unable to move your knee through its complete range of motion. Your orthopaedic surgeon will examine your knee, evaluate your symptoms, and medical history before suggesting a treatment plan. The treatment depends on the type, size and location of tear as well your age and activity level. If the tear is small with damage in only the outer edge of the meniscus, nonsurgical treatment may be sufficient. However, if the symptoms do not resolve with nonsurgical treatment, surgical treatment may be recommended.


Knee arthroscopy is the commonly recommended surgical procedure for meniscal tears. The surgical treatment options include meniscus removal (meniscectomy), meniscus repair, and meniscus replacement. Surgery can be performed using arthroscopy where a tiny camera will be inserted through a tiny incision which enables the surgeon to view inside of your knee on a large screen and through other tiny incisions, surgery will be performed. During meniscectomy, small instruments called shavers or scissors may be used to remove the torn meniscus. In arthroscopic meniscus repair, the torn meniscus will be pinned or sutured depending on the extent of tear.