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Sports Injuries

Back Clinic Sports Injuries Chiropractic and Physical Therapy Team. Athletes from all sports can benefit from chiropractic treatment. Adjustments can help treat injuries from high-impact sports i.e. wrestling, football, and hockey. Athletes that get routine adjustments may notice improved athletic performance, improved range of motion along with flexibility, and increased blood flow. Because spinal adjustments will reduce the irritation of the nerve roots between the vertebrae, the healing time from minor injuries can be shortened, which improves performance. Both high-impact and low-impact athletes can benefit from routine spinal adjustments.

For high-impact athletes, it increases performance and flexibility and lowers the risk for injury for low-impact athletes i.e. tennis players, bowlers, and golfers. Chiropractic is a natural way to treat and prevent different injuries and conditions that impact athletes. According to Dr. Jimenez, excessive training or improper gear, among other factors, are common causes of injury. Dr. Jimenez summarizes the various causes and effects of sports injuries on the athlete as well as explaining the types of treatments and rehabilitation methods that can help improve an athlete’s condition. For more information, please feel free to contact us at (915) 850-0900 or text to call Dr. Jimenez personally at (915) 540-8444.


Volleyball Injuries: Chiropractic Treatment and Rehabilitation

Volleyball Injuries: Chiropractic Treatment and Rehabilitation

Around a half-million high school students in the U.S. play volleyball. Whether the parent of a volleyball player or part of a recreational league, the goal is to be ready for the season, which means preventing and addressing volleyball injuries. It is a highly demanding sport with quick movements, jumping, twisting, diving, spiking, etc. Despite being fit and healthy, extensive training along with match play takes a toll on the body. Chiropractic can benefit volleyball players.

Common Volleyball Injuries

Volleyball Injuries: Chiropractic Treatment and Rehabilitation

Why Chiropractic Works

Chiropractic treatment and rehabilitation, especially by a sports chiropractor, is recommended for volleyball injuries because it addresses acute and chronic injuries to all areas of the body. Chiropractic treats the entire musculoskeletal system. Proper joint alignment from chiropractic adjustments in the spine and throughout the body maintains the biomechanic integrity. This reduces high-impact forces in the joints. Soft tissue treatments like instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization can help resolve injuries by providing the tissues with more blood flow into the affected area allowing for faster healing. Most volleyball injuries result from overuse to the joints and muscles, resulting in repetitive strain. In volleyball, repetitive/overuse injuries are common in the knees, ankles, and shoulders. This comes from all the jumping, serving, and spiking.

Player Benefits

Body Soreness Is Reduced/Alleviated

Many athletes, including volleyball players, do not get the proper recovery time from training or playing.

  • Reduced recovery periods cause body soreness and stiffness that can overlap into an injury.
  • Chiropractic can reduce and alleviate body soreness.
  • Chiropractic promotes faster recovery.

Optimal Performance

Studies show that athletes that receive regular chiropractic care found speed and mobility performance enhanced.

  • Athletes require fast reflexes and optimal hand-eye coordination.
  • Speed, mobility, reflexes, and coordination depend on a healthy nervous system.
  • 90% of the central nervous system travels through the spine.
  • Spinal alignment can either allow for proper nerve flow or disrupt nerve flow.
  • Even when just one spinal segment is misaligned and out of place, the nervous system can impact reflexes, speed, mobility, and hand-eye coordination.
  • A properly functioning spine and nervous system will ensure the player is at their best.

Faster Injury Recovery Time

Healing the body properly takes time. Just like the body needs sleep/rest to function properly, so it is with injuries.

  • The issue for athletes is how much time healing takes.
  • Individual athletes receiving chiropractic care have been shown to heal faster.

Mobility and Strength

A chiropractic doctor can reduce the pressure around the nerve roots that exit the spine, which will help improve player performance. This includes:

  • Range of motion
  • Mobility and flexibility
  • Strength
  • Endurance

To find out how chiropractic can help, contact Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic. We will perform a thorough musculoskeletal and nervous system examination.


Ankle Sprain Treatment


How Many Calories Over 24 hours

Myths that offer strategies that avoid the hard work and commitment that diet and exercise demand should be avoided. Individuals cannot expect to experience healthy body composition changes by increasing/decreasing meal frequency if they are living a sedentary lifestyle. It is not important how often or what time an individual takes in calories (has a meal). What is important is how many calories an individual has over a 24-hour period. A study looked at healthy individuals that ate one large meal a day for two weeks and then later ate the same meal but spread out over five smaller meals for another two weeks. It was concluded that there was no statistical difference in body weight gain or loss between the two eating methods. 2000 calories over 3 meals is the same 2000 calories consumed over 5 meals. There is no substitute for proper diet and exercise. The focus should be on what and how much you eat.

References

Eerkes, Kevin. “Volleyball injuries.” Current sports medicine reports vol. 11,5 (2012): 251-6. doi:10.1249/JSR.0b013e3182699037

Gouttebarge, Vincent et al. “Preventing musculoskeletal injuries among recreational adult volleyball players: design of a randomized prospective controlled trial.” BMC musculoskeletal disorders vol. 18,1 333. 2 Aug. 2017, doi:10.1186/s12891-017-1699-6

Kilic, O et al. “Incidence, etiology, and prevention of musculoskeletal injuries in volleyball: A systematic review of the literature.” European journal of sports science vol. 17,6 (2017): 765-793. doi:10.1080/17461391.2017.1306114

Seminati, Elena, and Alberto Enrico Minetti. “Overuse in volleyball training/practice: A review on the shoulder and spine-related injuries.” European journal of sports science vol. 13,6 (2013): 732-43. doi:10.1080/17461391.2013.773090

Wolfram, G et al. “Thermogenese des menschen bei unterschiedlicher mahlzeitenhäufigkeit” [Thermogenesis in humans after varying meal time frequency]. Annals of nutrition & metabolism vol. 31,2 (1987): 88-97. doi:10.1159/000177255

Bowling Injuries: Chiropractic Care and Rehabilitation

Bowling Injuries: Chiropractic Care and Rehabilitation

Bowling is a fun physical activity that is enjoyable for all ages. Today, there are college bowlers, recreational bowlers, amateur, semiprofessional, professional leagues, and tournaments worldwide. Although it might not be the first sport that comes to mind when thinking of injuries and chronic pain conditions, it can place significant stress on the muscles and tendons of the upper and lower body. It is important to know and understand how to avoid injuries.

Bowling Injuries: Chiropractic Care and Rehabilitation

How Bowling Injuries Happen

There are two main causes of injuries and chronic pain related to bowling. The first is poor mechanics, and the second is repetitive over-use. Both cause/develop painful symptoms that can turn into injuries that become chronic conditions. Many injuries are caused by:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Players dropping the ball on their feet
  • The majority of injuries come from overuse/repetition and improper body mechanics.
  • Overuse injuries result from repetitive and/or strenuous actions/movements that place profound stress on the body’s musculoskeletal system.

For example, a semi-pro and professional bowler will play fifty or more games a week. This means throwing a sixteen-pound ball for ten frames per game. When consistently repeated over and over, this can cause serious wear and tear to the body. With amateur and recreational bowlers, they don’t play as much, so they don’t experience overuse injury as much, but what they do experience is improper/poor form techniques that shift the body in non-ergonomic ways, wrong equipment like oversized/too-small shoes that can cause awkward postures and body motions, a ball that is too heavy causing an individual to overthrow and strain their arms, backs, hips, and legs. Or a ball with small finger holes that get stuck or too large, causing finger, hand, arm, shoulder pulls strains, and sprains.

Common Bowling Injuries

The most common injuries and conditions associated with bowling include:

Many of the injuries can lead to tendonitis or arthritis later in life.

Trigger/Bowler’s Finger

Symptoms include:

  • Hand pain after bowling, specifically in the fingers
  • A clicking or popping when moving the fingers
  • A finger gets locked in a bent position

Rest, and no bowling is recommended. How long a rest depends on how long the symptoms have been presenting. Physical therapy, along with chiropractic exercises, can help improve finger strength. Splinting the finger could be required to improve the condition. If all fails or does not generate adequate relief, hand surgery could be optioned with a trigger finger release. The surgery allows the finger to move more freely.

Bowler’s Thumb

This usually happens to bowlers that want to generate a lot of spin on the ball. If the thumb’s hole is too tight, it can pinch the ulnar nerve inside the thumb. If the thumb injury is not serious, rest and getting the correct ball size can correct the issue. This is where purchasing a personal bowling ball can help.

Finger Sprain

This is an injury to one or more of the ligaments in the fingers. It most often takes place in the collateral ligaments along the sides of the fingers inside the ball. The ligament/s gets stretched or torn when the finger is forced beyond its normal range of motion. Common symptoms of a finger sprain include swelling, tenderness, stiffness, and pain in the affected finger. This usually occurs from:

  • The weight of holding the ball with the fingers alone
  • A poor release
  • Using a ball that doesn’t properly fit the fingers
  • A finger sprain falls into grades on the severity of how much the ligament is stretched or torn:

Grade 1

Stretching or microscopic tearing.

Grade 2

Less than 90% of the ligament is torn.

Grade 3

More than 90% of the ligament is torn. Grade three sprains can be accompanied by joint instability and immobility.

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc is when the discs get injured/damaged from overuse, wear, and tear, or a traumatic injury to the spine. The disc can dry out, become less flexible, bulge out, or rupture. Bowlers are constantly:

  • Bending during the final approach and throw
  • Carrying a heavy ball
  • Shifting, twisting, and releasing, increasing the pressure within the discs

In bowling, the majority of herniated discs happen in the low back. The most common symptom is backaches and back pain. Lumbar herniated discs left untreated can cause sciatica.

Avoid and Prevent Injury

The best way to prevent injury is to stay aware of body position, mechanics, equipment, and what the body says.

Stretching

Stretching is one of the best things to avoid injury before practicing, competing, or just playing. Stretching will increase flexibility, especially in the wrist, hand, arm, and low back.

Improving technique

Continually using poor techniques over and over is a perfect set-up for injury. Working with a coach will ensure the proper form. This is important when it comes to generating spin on the ball, as well as, making sure the grip does not place too much strain on the hands.

Using the right ball

The ball being used might not be the right fit for your hand or strength. The holes could be too far apart, causing strain on the fingers. Get as much information as possible and try out different styles and weights to get a comfortable feel for the right ball.

Bowling less

Hard-core bowlers could be overdoing it. Cutting back, and creating a balance will allow the body to recover thoroughly and not cause flare-ups.

Getting in shape

Studies show that individuals who bowl and do not exercise significantly increase the risk of a back injury than those who exercise their back and core. Bowling is not as strenuous as other sports, but it still requires the body to be able to handle the stress.


Body Health


Test Body Composition

Testing body composition regularly is the best way to ensure the body stays healthy. Tracking body composition tracks Lean Mass and Fat Mass gain or loss. The information provided allows the individual to make the necessary changes to ensure they stay fit and healthy.

Diet adjustment

Diet needs to be adjusted to match the individual’s current activity level, or risk running a caloric surplus. A great way to optimize diet is to use Basal Metabolic Rate which will make sure the body is getting enough nutrients to fuel muscle growth, and lose belly fat.

Physical activity that fits the new lifestyle

Increase physical activity levels that work with current lifestyle. This does not mean performing at high levels every day. Be active on a schedule that works for you. Two days of strength training a week offer great physical and mental benefits. The key is to maintain the balance between food consumption and exercise/physical activity that fits your current lifestyle.

References

Almedghio, Sami M et al. “Wii knee revisited: meniscal injury from 10-pin bowling.” BMJ case reports vol. 2009 (2009): bcr11.2008.1189. doi:10.1136/bcr.11.2008.1189

Kerr, Zachary Y et al. “Epidemiology of bowling-related injuries presenting to US emergency departments, 1990-2008.” Clinical pediatrics vol. 50,8 (2011): 738-46. doi:10.1177/0009922811404697

Kisner, W H. “Thumb neuroma: a hazard of ten pin bowling.” British journal of plastic surgery vol. 29,3 (1976): 225-6. doi:10.1016/s0007-1226(76)90060-6

Miller, S, and G M Rayan. “Bowling related injuries of the hand and upper extremity; a review.” The Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association vol. 91,5 (1998): 289-91.

Acute and Cumulative Soccer Injuries

Acute and Cumulative Soccer Injuries

Although many soccer injuries involve the legs and lower extremities, other body areas are susceptible to injury/s as well. Acute or cumulative is how soccer injuries are generally described. Acute injuries are traumatic. They are usually caused by a slip, trip, and fall, getting hit, and crashing into other players. Cumulative injuries involve repetitive stress on a muscle, joint, or connective tissue. This triggers progressive aches, pain, and physical impairment that gets worse with time. Understanding how and why they happen is the first step in injury prevention. The more common injuries experienced among soccer athletes include.

Acute and Cumulative Soccer Injuries

Concussion

This is a form of mild traumatic brain injury mTBI caused by a sudden hit/impact to the head. Players are trained to head the ball; however, concussions can happen if not ready for impact or heading at an awkward position.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are when there is stretching and tearing of ligament/s that surround the ankle joint.

  • Lateral ankle sprains or outside of the ankle can happen when a player kicks the ball with the top of the foot.
  • A medial ankle sprain or inside of the ankle can happen when the toes are turned out when the foot is flexed up.

Achilles Tendonitis

This is a chronic injury that occurs from overuse with pain in the back of the ankle. Players are constantly performing repetitive and sudden movements that, over time, can cause this type of injury.

Achilles Tendon Rupture

A rupture involves a partial or complete tear of the Achilles tendon. Often players say with a popping sound. This happens when players perform fast, explosive movements. Rapid stopping, starting, shifting, jumping can all contribute.

Groin Pull/Strain

This is a type of strain that happens when the inner thigh muscles are stretched beyond their limit. As a result, a player can pull the groin when kicking and/or resistance from an opponent trying to take the ball or kick in the opposite direction.

Hamstring Injury

These injuries involve the three back muscles of the thigh and can vary from minor strains to complete ruptures/tears. This comes from running, sprinting, jumping, and stopping, leading to these types of injuries.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

This is an overuse/repetitive injury that involves a tendon known as the IT band. This is the connective tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh. Constant running can create friction as the band gets pulled along the outside of the knee, which can cause tendonitis.

Plantar Fasciitis

This causes foot pain caused by inflammation of the tissue bands that run from the heel to the toes. Several factors can cause the condition. This could be players using inappropriate or not correctly fitting shoes, shoes that do not provide proper arch support or playing on a hard surface.

Calf Muscle Pull

This is when one of the muscles of the lower leg gets pulled from the Achilles tendon. Again, quick and spontaneous sprinting, running, or jumping is usually the cause.

Knee Injuries

The most common soccer injuries are those that involve the knee. This is because of the stopping and shifting directions quickly and suddenly. The explosive, spontaneous movements place extreme stress on the knees and the supporting ligaments. When the stress goes beyond the ligament’s limits, it can cause a sprain or tear in the joint. When there is an injury to the knee/s, it is diagnosed using a grading scale.

  • Grade 1 Mild sprain
  • Grade 2 Partial tear
  • Grade 3 Complete tear

Runner’s Knee

Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee, is a condition where the cartilage under the kneecap gets damaged from an injury or overuse. This happens when there is a misalignment in the knee and/or strained tendons.

ACL Injury

The anterior cruciate ligament or ACL is at the front of the knee. These are the most common knee injuries. This is because the ligaments are less retractable than muscles or tendons. And those in the knees are highly vulnerable to damage.

Cruciate Ligament Injury

This type of injury does not always cause pain but often causes a popping sound when it happens. Pain and swelling develop within 24 hours. This is followed by the loss of range of motion and tenderness around and along the joint.

Meniscus Injury

The Meniscus involves a C-shaped piece of cartilage that cushions the space between the femur and the shin bone. These tears are painful and are often the result of twisting, pivoting, decelerating, or quick/rapid impact.

Shin Splints

The term describes a variety of painful symptoms that develop in the front of the lower leg. This often happens from over/intense training, or the training gets changed. Players can also develop shin splints from training while not using appropriate shoes.

Stress Fractures

These types of fractures are usually the result of overuse or repeated impact on a bone. The result is severe bruising or a slight crack in the bone.

Tendonitis

When tendons get inflamed, it is referred to as tendonitis. This comes with repetitive overuse but can also develop from a traumatic injury that causes micro-tears in the muscle fibers.

Soccer Injuries Prevention

Many of these injuries result from overuse, overtraining, improper conditioning, and/or not warming up properly. Here are few tips to help reduce the risk.

Warm-up for at least 30 minutes before playing

Pay special attention to stretching the:

  • Groin
  • Hips
  • Hamstrings
  • Achilles’ tendons
  • Quadriceps

Wear protective gear

This includes:

  • Mouthguards
  • Shin guards
  • Kinesio tape
  • Ankle supports
  • Eye protection
  • Ensure they are correctly sized and maintained.

Check the field

Check for anything that could cause injury/s. This includes:

  • Holes
  • Puddles
  • Broken glass
  • Stones
  • Debris

Avoid playing in bad weather

Or immediately after heavy rain when the field is especially slick and muddy.

Allow enough time to heal after an injury.

This also goes for minor soccer injuries. Trying too fast to get back increases the risk of worsening the injury, re-injury, and/or creating new injuries.


Body Composition


Athletes and Carb Loading

Carb loading is a strategy that athletes use.

Endurance athletes

Utilize carb-loading to help them increase energy storage for long runs, bike rides, swims, etc. When timed effectively, carb-loading has been shown to increase muscle glycogen, leading to improved performance.

Bodybuilders and fitness athletes

Use carbo-loading to build size and mass before competitions. The timing and efficacy of carb-loading vary from person to person. Make sure to experiment before the next big competition.

References

Fairchild, Timothy J et al. “Rapid carbohydrate loading after a short bout of near maximal-intensity exercise.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise vol. 34,6 (2002): 980-6. doi:10.1097/00005768-200206000-00012

Kilic O, Kemler E, Gouttebarge V. The “sequence of prevention” for musculoskeletal injuries among adult recreational footballers: A systematic review of the scientific literature. Phys Ther Sport. 2018;32:308-322. doi:10.1016/j.ptsp.2018.01.007

Lingsma H, Maas A. Heading in soccer: More than a subconcussive event?. Neurology. 2017;88(9):822-823. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000003679

Pfirrmann D, Herbst M, Ingelfinger P, Simon P, Tug S. Analysis of Injury Incidences in Male Professional Adult and Elite Youth Soccer Players: A Systematic Review. J Athl Train. 2016;51(5):410–424. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-51.6.03

Chiropractic Treatment For Tennis Injuries

Chiropractic Treatment For Tennis Injuries

Tennis is an intense sport that requires strength, agility, flexibility, stamina, endurance, and conditioning. And it’s a great way to stay in shape. However, with all of this intensity is the risk of injuries. Although they are lower compared to other sports injuries, injuries are more cumulative/repetitive based and wear and tear over time type. Tennis injuries can be painful and impair daily life. They can be treated and prevented with chiropractic medicine and strength training. Chiropractic can help the body heal quicker, and address underlying issues that led to the injury. This will help to worsen and prevent re-injury. The most common tennis injuries include…Chiropractic Treatment For Tennis Injuries

Wrist Tendonitis

This is an injury that can happen to beginner players that don’t have a great deal of arm/wrist strength, use a racquet that is too heavy, and begin developing an improper form to compensate. But it can also be caused by repetitive/overusing the wrist instead of the whole arm.  Symptoms are chronic stiffness and pain in the area surrounding the wrist joint. Chiropractic sports massage, physical rehabilitation, and learning proper form will help alleviate the pain and prevent worsening or developing new injuries.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is a condition that is caused by inflammation of the outside muscles in the forearm and tendons. This is usually an overuse injury from all the swinging and hitting, but using the improper technique could also be a cause. Chiropractic adjustments are highly recommended instead of steroid injections and other anti-inflammatories. The adjustments and massage relieve the discomfort and pain by naturally relaxing, stretching, and strengthening the muscles and tendons.

Shoulder Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

The rotator cuff belongs to a group of tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder joint. This allows the shoulder to perform 360-degree arm circles and is what stabilizes the shoulders. Tendonitis happens when the tendons inside the rotator cuff become inflamed. The inflammation causes pain with movement, especially overhead motions decreasing the range of motion in the shoulder. This injury is often caused by serving and hitting overheads with an improper technique. Chiropractic adjusting, heat and ice therapy, and electro-muscular stimulation loosen and stretch the muscles/tendons back to their proper form.

Knee Sprains and Strains

The knee goes through a lot in sports. And tennis is no exception, much like basketball and volleyball with all the jumping, pounding, shifting, twisting, losing balance, or extending beyond the normal range of motion causes injuries that result in:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Loss of the ability to move ​

Chiropractic will help relieve that pain and relax the damaged muscles. It also speeds the healing process by addressing the underlying issues.

Ankle Sprain

An ankle sprain also known as a twisted ankle happens when the ligaments attached to the joint become over-stretched or partially tear. These sprains happen from the:

  • Quick start and stop movements
  • Changing direction rapidly
  • Quick sprints all around the court
  • Causing the ankle to roll and/or twist.

A chiropractor will realign the ankle and provide physical therapy massage to allow the ligaments to heal properly and faster. Chiropractic treatment will allow the player to return to play quicker and prevent reinjury that if not treated correctly can become chronic. Having the proper personalized treatment plan will ensure the body heals correctly, prevent misalignments, loss of functionality, and/or range of motion.


PUSH Fitness


Aerobic Training

Aerobic exercise is a cornerstone for weight loss. Having the heart rate elevated for a continuous amount of time is the key. This is how calories are burned. Research has found that individuals involved in aerobic training lose more weight overall, including more fat mass than resistance training alone. When combined, aerobic and resistance training individuals gain more fat-free mass, including lean muscle. Aerobics causes the cardiorespiratory system to adapt. Maintaining heart function and health and keeps the body’s energy metabolism system running at optimal levels. Aerobic exercise for fitness and weight loss is a key element of maintaining the body’s health.

Disclaimer

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG*
email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com
phone: 915-850-0900
Licensed in Texas & New Mexico

References

Dines, Joshua S et al. “Tennis injuries: epidemiology, pathophysiology, and treatment.” The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons vol. 23,3 (2015): 181-9. doi:10.5435/JAAOS-D-13-00148

Minghelli, Beatriz, and Jéssica Cadete. “Epidemiology of musculoskeletal injuries in tennis players: risk factors.” The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness vol. 59,12 (2019): 2045-2052. doi:10.23736/S0022-4707.19.09842-6

Stuelcken, Max et al. “Wrist Injuries in Tennis Players: A Narrative Review.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 47,5 (2017): 857-868. doi:10.1007/s40279-016-0630-x

Willis, Leslie H et al. “Effects of aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight or obese adults.” Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md.: 1985) vol. 113,12 (2012): 1831-7. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.01370.2011

Golf Injuries and Prevention

Golf Injuries and Prevention

The most common causes of golf injuries are playing and practicing too excessively, improper swinging mechanics, and little or no physical conditioning. Pain meds either over-the-counter or prescribed, bracing, and surgical procedures are how symptoms are treated instead of the root cause/s. If the cause/s are addressed then injury prevention comes naturally.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Golf Injuries and Prevention

Overuse

Driving requires a great deal of effort and power that puts tremendous stress on the body. When done too frequently, injuries can result. The body can take all kinds of forces thrown at it. But there is a limit as to how much it can take before an injury occurs.

Too many swinging reps while playing and practicing could cause trauma to the muscles and connective tissues, which leads to inflammation and pain. Swinging and hitting with bucket after bucket of balls to improve performance will raise the risk of injury. Try practicing swinging without hitting any balls through imagery/imagination. This has become a standard tool utilized by athletes. Practice the perfect swing mentally without the risk/threat of overusing your arms and back.

Mechanics

Improper body and swinging mechanics can lead to injury. The constant swinging, bending, squatting, and walking places added stress on muscles that can lead to a shoulder sprain/strain, elbow pain, and rib fractures. Back injuries can happen when bending far too forward while in swinging motion. Common swing mistakes that can contribute to low back pain.

S-Posture

This can happen when golfers are told to stick out their rear but what happens is that they over arch their lower backs which cause hyperlordosis. This is known as an S-Posture and it inhibits the abs and glutes. Or this also happens with a lower crossed syndrome. �

curve disorders M

Early Extension

This is a term that comes from a forward swinging movement where the lower body does not rotate from the top of the backswing to follow-through. The hips and pelvis do not turn with the body. Spinal posture is extended, the head rises up and the pelvis moves toward the ball’s position. When this happens the spine’s muscles over-activate and force the spine into a fast extension. Forward movement of the lower body toward the golf ball can be a sign of early extension. �

Early Extension

 

Ideal Position

Reverse C

This happens at the swing’s finish being in a full hyperextension position. It places added compression on the lower back right facet joints. �

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Golf Injuries and Prevention

Overextending, Flexing, and twisting excessively, awkwardly, and improperly increases chances of injury. A bit of advice is to have your swing analyzed by a golf pro/instructor to make sure you have proper form and technique. Preventing back injuries can be achieved through proper body mechanics by properly lifting the golf bag and properly teeing the ball.

Conditioning

Muscles will be weak and inflexible when there is no conditioning. This causes them to become highly susceptible to injury. The spine is exceptionally vulnerable to increased pressure during a golf swing. This happens from rotating while leaning forward. When the low back and abdominal muscles do not have adequate strength or flexibility the high reps of swinging will eventually cause pain.

With a golf-specific strength and flexibility program, the risk of injury is lessened along with improved performance. Programs like these don’t have to be complicated or take a long time. Stop potential golf injuries from happening by avoiding excessive practice sessions, swinging correctly, and regularly practicing golf-oriented strength and flexibility exercises.


Sports Injury Chiropractic Treatment

 


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*

Chiropractic Athletics: Athletes, Sports Injuries, Optimal Performance

Chiropractic Athletics: Athletes, Sports Injuries, Optimal Performance

Chiropractic athletics is a natural treatment focused on athletes and sports injuries. It is a non-surgical, non-drug option that can help individual athletes prevent injury/s from happening, maintain optimal athletic performance, and relives sports musculoskeletal injuries. Athletes of all types can benefit from chiropractic athletics.

Sports leagues and professional athletes including Major League Baseball and the National Football League have full-time chiropractors on their teams. Athletes from all over the world utilize chiropractic medicine. With the advancement in sports technology, intense training and superb athleticism come injuries that can turn into game-ending conditions. Because of this, there is a wide variety of treatment needs and is where chiropractic athletics comes in.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Chiropractic Athletics: Athletes, Sports Injuries, Optimal Performance

Commonly athletes are referred to chiropractors for neck, lower back, and extremity conditions. Chiropractic athletics help them get them back into play after an injury faster, with added flexibility and agility. And for those without injuries chiropractic helps athletes prevent injuries by increasing strength and power to help perform at peak level.

Chiropractic sports doctors are highly trained with the tools and skills that will optimize the performance of an athlete’s musculoskeletal and nervous system. This training is what allows these athletic chiropractors to provide sports therapy/s that is focused on maintaining agility, flexibility, strength, and quick rehabilitation after an injury. Why chiropractic athletics should be essential?

Chiropractic Athletic Importance

Regular chiropractic improves range of motion. Athletes place intense pressure on their bodies when training, weight-lifting, and playing. This can shift the spine out of alignment affecting movement, along with the rest of the body, generating a high probability of injury.

Athletes have to deal with soreness, stiffness, and pain from their basic training regiment. An injury can easily compound the soreness into something more severe. Spinal alignment problems can cause the range of motion to be hindered and limited, inhibiting overall ability. Chiropractic athletics undoes the damage. Once a chiropractic regiment is in place injury prevention kicks in, all the while keeping the athlete moving pain-free. �

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Chiropractic Athletics: Athletes, Sports Injuries, Optimal Performance

Pain Reduction

Anyone especially the strongest athletes can have an episode of back pain, specifically in the low back. A chiropractor promotes proper alignment and movement of the delicate spine. Chiropractors can recommend treatments both professional and self-care that will reduce all types of back pain short and long-term. Research confirms that a manual spine manipulation is an effective form of pain relief.

Less Need for Pain Meds

Too often aches and pain are treated with pain meds, cortisone shots, and other drugs that provide short-term relief. Chiropractic is drug-free. This means athletes are not subject to side effects or dependencies that unfortunately arise from prescription med use.

Because of the increasing dependency on opioids, the American College of Physicians has updated their guidelines when it comes to low back pain, a very common reason for opioid prescriptions. Now, those with low back pain are encouraged to utilize various complementary and alternative medicine techniques that include chiropractic spinal manipulation before having to use prescription medication.

Non-invasive

Chiropractic is non-surgical and can provide relief from injuries throughout the body. It can even serve as an alternative to surgery/s that would keep athletes on the sidelines because of a long recovery period. Treatments include:

  • Electrical muscle stimulation
  • Functional dry needling
  • Graston Technique
  • Active Release Technique

All of these can be used to treat athletic injury.

Athletic Benefits

Whether a neighborhood sports league or advanced competitive league athletes need chiropractic specialists for injury treatment to get them back to play. Kids are now traveling at a younger age meaning more practices and tournaments. Kids are also committing to only one sport early on. This is known as specializing. A study by The American Journal of Sports Medicine found that athletes that specialize too early are subject to continued injury/s. �

 

sports players

Chiropractic decreases recovery time

Normal wear and tear happens to all of us but can wear down faster especially in an extremely healthy athlete�s body.

  • A baseball pitcher uses a consistent repetitive throwing motion.
  • A volleyball player jumps, constantly hitting and blocking.
  • A skateboarder falls repeatedly, sometimes over one-hundred times trying to land a trick.

At some point and quite often an athlete experiences muscle fatigue and soreness. Practices and games have only a few days between them. Younger athletes and their growing bodies need a lot more than rest to keep them in shape. After practice or a game, a chiropractor can do some soft tissue massage or instrument-assisted soft tissue techniques to make the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints flexible, relaxed, with decreased lactic acid, and improved blood circulation.

Physical therapy and the equipment used like ultrasound or cold laser therapy can be used to help with areas that are highly inflamed. This along with adjustments can improve joint mobility. Chiropractic athletics also helps with proper rehydration and customized dietary plans to assist with recovery and maintaining top-level performance. �

 

professional athlete chiropractic treatment el paso tx.

Injury Repair

Each sport has its own area that is more prone to injury from the stress of the specific sport. According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine:

  • Dancers deal with leg injuries
  • Golfers go through shoulder and arm injuries
  • Lacrosse players experience knee injuries and muscle strains

Chiropractic adjusting of joint segments, no longer moving, can enhance mechanical motion. Soft tissue techniques improve muscle tone and blood flow to injured areas and decrease tissue buildup around the injured areas. Chiropractic along with the aforementioned treatment options can significantly reduce inflammation and pain.

All of these treatment options can be enhanced with Kinesio Taping. It can add support and various taping techniques can assist in blood circulation to the injured area. A sports chiropractor has a complete understanding of sports injury repair and knows the proper guidelines for safely returning the athlete to their sport. �

 

Health and Wellness

Athletes have to focus on body awareness, health, diet, and optimal function. But they also need to be injury prepared through preventive awareness. Think of it as defensive driving. A chiropractor can assist an athlete with:

  • Proper diet/nutrition
  • Sleep
  • Proper training strategies that can become life-long habits
  • Body mechanic evaluation
  • Gait analysis

Continually keeping an athlete�s body in top form, allows them to train more efficiently and effectively.

A Vital Role

With athletes training year-round and specializing earlier, chiropractic assistance can keep an athlete at a top level of body function. Chiropractic combined with certified athletic trainers can help with muscle development, ligament, and tendon stability. These specialists play a vital role in obtaining and maintaining whole-body wellness.

Consider Chiropractic

Chiropractic athletics includes a whole health assessment to ensure there are no underlying issues that could be contributing to an injury, or that could cause future problems. Athletes, consider seeing a chiropractor regularly for those that want to maintain physical strength and range of motion, or if they want to recover from an injury without taking prescription meds and surgery. Sports performance will improve when the body is in alignment and pain-free!


Functional Fitness Fellas

 


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*

Sports Tips to Avoid Back Injuries El Paso, Texas

Sports Tips to Avoid Back Injuries El Paso, Texas

All individuals that participate in some form of sports or athletic training, professionals to weekend sports enthusiasts are at risk for back and neck injuries. Common injuries include strains, and sprains, pulls, and tears especially around the low back area. If left untreated these injuries can lead to chronic back pain or more severe conditions.

Although we can’t prevent all sports injuries, here are some sports tips to keep your spine healthy.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 126 Sports Tips to Avoid Back Injuries El Paso, Texas

1.� Warm-Up and Stretch

Properly warming up with stretching exercises increases blood circulation and improves the flexibility of muscles and ligaments. This is not only for helping enhance athletic performance but prevents injuries by keeping the muscles/ligaments loose so if any type of collision, tear, or pull occurs the stretched muscles stay relaxed and do not tense up or contract, which helps reduce the severity of an injury. To stretch properly:

  • Stretch slowly, gently and just to where you feel mild tension.
  • Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds
  • Stretch time on each part of the body is also 10-30 seconds
  • Stretch after the game to relieve sore or tight muscles

 

2. Use Proper Sport Equipment

All sports have a risk of injury. In general, the more contact there is the higher the risk of injury.

To reduce the risk of injury athletes should wear protective equipment that goes with their sport like neck rolls, shoulder, elbow and knee pads.

Well made and supportive shoes combined with custom orthotics are a must.

Other types of equipment include:

  • Helmet
  • Pads elbow, wrist, chest, knee, shins
  • Mouthpiece
  • Faceguard
  • Protective cup
  • Eye protection

 

3. Stay Hydrated

Injuries caused by heat occur as a result of�high temperatures, humidity and excessive/overdoing it. To avoid these serious injuries:

  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after playing.
  • Try to avoid play or practice during extreme heat and humidity.
  • Wear lightweight clothing/uniform with maximum ability to allow sweat to evaporate.
  • Take plenty of breaks or periods of rest to allow the body to recover and recuperate.

 

4. Don’t Overwork/Overdo it

Repetitive Motion Disorders like tennis elbow, bursitis, and tendonitis, happen when movements e.g. swinging motions that go with the sport like tennis, bowling, golf, etc are repeated over and over and cause injury/damage to those parts of the body. To avoid overuse injury try:

  • Take plenty of breaks during practice and games. Do not power through it!
  • Use proper/correct form and techniques. If unsure then take lessons to make sure you are doing it correctly.
  • See a doctor if any pain or muscle fatigue, inflammation, swelling, or compression of nerve tissue present.
  • Cross-training can strengthen muscle groups and those areas that take the most force.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 126 Sports Tips to Avoid Back Injuries El Paso, Texas

5. Stay Ready for Play with a Healthy Lifestyle

Besides sports, try to find ways to improve general health through a healthy lifestyle:

  • Get plenty of sleep, the body/mind needs to recover from all the activity.
  • Maintain a well-balanced diet.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol use.
  • Get into a sports chiropractic maintenance program to keep the body in tip-top shape.

Consult a doctor before beginning any new exercise program.

Staying fit, healthy and ready for play means preventing injuries from happening.� By being aware of how to prevent injuries with these basic tips, which feel free to take it further and raise the probability of avoiding back and all sports injuries.

As El Paso�s Chiropractic Rehabilitation Clinic & Integrated Medicine Center,�we passionately are focused on treating patients after frustrating injuries and chronic pain syndromes. We focus on improving your ability through flexibility, mobility and agility programs tailored for all age groups and disabilities.


 

*BEST* Heel Spurs Treatment | El Paso, Tx (2020)

 


 

NCBI Resources

Extension sports like gymnastics, tennis, swimming, diving, football, volleyball, basketball, track and field, cricket have the most pronounced extension/rotation on the spine. With a normal extension of the lumbar spine (or backward bending), the facet joints begin to approximate each other and compress. This is a normal biomechanical movement. However, if the extension ranges are excessive, the procedures will impinge quite aggressively and damage to the cartilage surfaces within the facet joint can result.

 

The Basic Science of Human Knee Menisci Structure, Composition, and Function

The Basic Science of Human Knee Menisci Structure, Composition, and Function

The knee is one of the most complex joints in the human body, consisting of the thigh bone, or femur, the shin bone, or tibia, and the kneecap, or patella, among other soft tissues. Tendons connect the bones to the muscles while ligaments connect the bones of the knee joint. Two wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage, known as the meniscus, provide stability to the knee joint. The purpose of the article below is to demonstrate as well as discuss the anatomy of the knee joint and its surrounding soft tissues.

 

Abstract

 

  • Context: Information regarding the structure, composition, and function of the knee menisci has been scattered across multiple sources and fields. This review contains a concise, detailed description of the knee menisci�including anatomy, etymology, phylogeny, ultrastructure and biochemistry, vascular anatomy and neuroanatomy, biomechanical function, maturation and aging, and imaging modalities.
  • Evidence Acquisition: A literature search was performed by a review of PubMed and OVID articles published from 1858 to 2011.
  • Results: This study highlights the structural, compositional, and functional characteristics of the menisci, which may be relevant to clinical presentations, diagnosis, and surgical repairs.
  • Conclusions: An understanding of the normal anatomy and biomechanics of the menisci is a necessary prerequisite to understanding the pathogenesis of disorders involving the knee.
  • Keywords: knee, meniscus, anatomy, function

 

Introduction

 

Once described as a functionless embryonic remnant,162 the menisci are now known to be vital for the normal function and long-term health of the knee joint.� The menisci increase stability for femorotibial articulation, distribute axial load, absorb shock, and provide lubrication and nutrition to the knee joint.4,91,152,153

 

Injuries to the menisci are recognized as a cause of significant musculoskeletal morbidity. The unique and complex structure of menisci makes treatment and repair challenging for the patient, surgeon, and physical therapist. Furthermore, long-term damage may lead to degenerative joint changes such as osteophyte formation, articular cartilage degeneration, joint space narrowing, and symptomatic osteoarthritis.36,45,92 Preservation of the menisci depends on maintaining their distinctive composition and organization.

 

Anatomy of Menisci

 

Meniscal Etymology

 

The word meniscus comes from the Greek word m?niskos, meaning �crescent,� diminutive of m?n?, meaning �moon.�

 

Meniscal Phylogeny and Comparative Anatomy

 

Hominids exhibit similar anatomic and functional characteristics, including a bicondylar distal femur, intra-articular cruciate ligaments, menisci, and asymmetrical collateral.40,66 These similar morphologic characteristics reflect a shared genetic lineage that can be traced back more than 300 million years.40,66,119

 

In the primate lineage leading to humans, hominids evolved to bipedal stance approximately 3 to 4 million years ago, and by 1.3 million years ago, the modern patellofemoral joint was established (with a longer lateral patellar facet and matching lateral femoral trochlea).164 Tardieu investigated the transition from occasional bipedalism to permanent bipedalism and observed that primates contain a medial and lateral fibrocartilaginous meniscus, with the medial meniscus being morphologically similar in all primates (crescent shaped with 2 tibial insertions).163 By contrast, the lateral meniscus was observed to be more variable in shape. Unique in Homo sapiens is the presence of 2 tibial insertions�1 anterior and 1 posterior�indicating a habitual practice of full extension movements of the knee joint during the stance and swing phases of bipedal walking.20,134,142,163,168

 

Embryology and Development

 

The characteristic shape of the lateral and medial menisci is attained between the 8th and 10th week of gestation.53,60 They arise from a condensation of the intermediate layer of mesenchymal tissue to form attachments to the surrounding joint capsule.31,87,110 The developing menisci are highly cellular and vascular, with the blood supply entering from the periphery and extending through the entire width of the menisci.31 As the fetus continues to develop, there is a gradual decrease in the cellularity of the menisci with a concomitant increase in the collagen content in a circumferential arrangement.30,31 Joint motion and the postnatal stress of weightbearing are important factors in determining the orientation of collagen fibers. By adulthood, only the peripheral 10% to 30% have a blood supply.12,31

 

Despite these histologic changes, the proportion of tibial plateau covered by the corresponding meniscus is relatively constant throughout fetal development, with the medial and lateral menisci covering approximately 60% and 80% of the surface areas, respectively.31

 

Gross Anatomy

 

Gross examination of the knee menisci reveals a smooth, lubricated tissue (Figure 1). They are crescent-shaped wedges of fibrocartilage located on the medial and lateral aspects of the knee joint (Figure 2A). The peripheral, vascular border (also known as the red zone) of each meniscus is thick, convex, and attached to the joint capsule. The innermost border (also known as the white zone) tapers to a thin free edge. The superior surfaces of menisci are concave, enabling effective articulation with their respective convex femoral condyles. The inferior surfaces are flat to accommodate the tibial plateau (Figure 1).28,175

 

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Medial meniscus. The semicircular medial meniscus measures approximately 35 mm in diameter (anterior to posterior) and is significantly broader posteriorly than it is anteriorly.175 The anterior horn is attached to the tibia plateau near the intercondylar fossa anterior to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). There is significant variability in the attachment location of the anterior horn of the medial meniscus. The posterior horn is attached to the posterior intercondylar fossa of the tibia between the lateral meniscus and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL; Figures 1 and and2B).2B). Johnson et al reexamined the tibial insertion sites of the menisci and their topographic relationships to surrounding anatomic landmarks of the knee.82 They found that the anterior and posterior horn insertion sites of the medial meniscus were larger than those of the lateral meniscus. The area of the anterior horn insertion site of the medial meniscus was the largest overall, measuring 61.4 mm2, whereas the posterior horn of the lateral meniscus was the smallest, at 28.5 mm2.82

 

The tibial portion of the capsular attachment is the coronary ligament. At its midpoint, the medial meniscus is more firmly attached to the femur through a condensation in the joint capsule known as the deep medial collateral ligament.175 The transverse, or �intermeniscal,� ligament is a fibrous band of tissue that connects the anterior horn of the medial meniscus to the anterior horn of the lateral meniscus (Figures 1 and and2A2A).

 

Lateral meniscus. The lateral meniscus is almost circular, with an approximately uniform width from anterior to posterior (Figures 1 and and2A).2A). It occupies a larger portion (~80%) of the articular surface than the medial meniscus (~60%) and is more mobile.10,31,165 Both horns of the lateral meniscus are attached to the tibia. The insertion of the anterior horn of the lateral meniscus lies anterior to the intercondylar eminence and adjacent to the broad attachment site of the ACL (Figure 2B).9,83 The posterior horn of the lateral meniscus inserts posterior to the lateral tibial spine and just anterior to the insertion of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus (Figure 2B).83 The lateral meniscus is loosely attached to the capsular ligament; however, these fibers do not attach to the lateral collateral ligament. The posterior horn of the lateral meniscus attaches to the inner aspect of the medial femoral condyle via the anterior and posterior meniscofemoral ligaments of Humphrey and Wrisberg, respectively, which originate near the origin of the PCL (Figures 1 and and22).75

 

Meniscofemoral ligaments. The literature reports significant inconsistencies in the presence and size of meniscofemoral ligaments of the lateral meniscus. There may be none, 1, 2, or 4.? When present, these accessory ligaments transverse from the posterior horn of the lateral meniscus to the lateral aspect of the medial femoral condyle. They insert immediately adjacent to the femoral attachment of the PCL (Figures 1 and and22).

 

In a series of studies, Harner et al measured the cross-sectional area of the ligaments and found that the meniscofemoral ligament averaged 20% of the size of the PCL (range, 7%-35%).69,70 However, the size of the insertional area alone without knowledge of the insertional angle or collagen density does not indicate their relative strength.115 The function of these ligaments remains unknown; they may pull the posterior horn of the lateral meniscus in an anterior direction to increase the congruity of the meniscotibial fossa and the lateral femoral condyle.75

 

Ultrastructure and Biochemistry

 

Extracellular Matrix

 

The meniscus is a dense extracellular matrix (ECM) composed primarily of water (72%) and collagen (22%), interposed with cells.9,55,56,77 Proteoglycans, noncollagenous proteins, and glycoproteins account for the remaining dry weight.� Meniscal cells synthesize and maintain the ECM, which determines the material properties of the tissue.

 

The cells of the menisci are referred to as fibrochondrocytes because they appear to be a mixture of fibroblasts and chondrocytes.111,177 The cells in the more superficial layer of the menisci are fusiform or spindle shaped (more fibroblastic), whereas the cells located deeper in the meniscus are ovoid or polygonal (more chondrocytic).55,56,178 Cell morphology does not differ between the peripheral and central locations in the menisci.56

 

Both cell types contain abundant endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex. Mitochondria are only occasionally visualized, suggesting that the major pathway for energy production of fibrochondrocytes in their avascular milieu is probably anaerobic glycolysis.112

 

Water

 

In normal, healthy menisci, tissue fluid represents 65% to 70% of the total weight. Most of the water is retained within the tissue in the solvent domains of proteoglycans. The water content of meniscal tissue is higher in the posterior areas than in the central or anterior areas; tissue samples from surface and deeper layers had similar contents.135

 

Large hydraulic pressures are required to overcome the drag of frictional resistance of forcing fluid flow through meniscal tissue. Thus, interactions between water and the matrix macromolecular framework significantly influence the viscoelastic properties of the tissue.

 

Collagens

 

Collagens are primarily responsible for the tensile strength of menisci; they contribute up to 75% of the dry weight of the ECM.77 The ECM is composed primarily of type I collagen (90% dry weight) with variable amounts of types II, III, V, and VI.43,44,80,112,181 The predominance of type I collagen distinguishes the fibrocartilage of menisci from articular (hyaline) cartilage. The collagens are heavily cross-linked by hydroxylpyridinium aldehydes.44

 

The collagen fiber arrangement is ideal for transferring a vertical compressive load into circumferential �hoop� stresses (Figure 3).57 Type I collagen fibers are oriented circumferentially in the deeper layers of the meniscus, parallel to the peripheral border. These fibers blend the ligamentous connections of the meniscal horns to the tibial articular surface (Figure 3).10,27,49,156 In the most superficial region of the menisci, the type I fibers are oriented in a more radial direction. Radially oriented �tie� fibers are also present in the deep zone and are interspersed or woven between the circumferential fibers to provide structural integrity (Figure 3).# There is lipid debris and calcified bodies in the ECM of human menisci.54 The calcified bodies contain long, slender crystals of phosphorous, calcium, and magnesium on electron-probe roentgenographic analysis.54 The function of these crystals in not completely understood, but it is believed that they may play a role in acute joint inflammation and destructive arthropathies.

 

 

Noncollagenous matrix proteins, such as fibronectin, contribute 8% to 13% of the organic dry weight. Fibronectin is involved in many cellular processes, including tissue repair, embryogenesis, blood clotting, and cell migration/adhesion. Elastin forms less than 0.6% of the meniscus dry weight; its ultrastructural localization is not clear. It likely interacts directly with collagen to provide resiliency to the tissue.**

 

Proteoglycans

 

Located within a fine meshwork of collagen fibrils, proteoglycans are large, negatively charged hydrophilic molecules, contributing 1% to 2% of dry weight.58 They are formed by a core protein with 1 or more covalently attached glycosaminoglycan chains (Figure 4).122 The size of these molecules is further increased by specific interaction with hyaluronic acid.67,72 The amount of proteoglycans in the meniscus is one-eighth that of articular cartilage,2,3 and there may be considerable variation depending on the site of the sample and the age of the patient.49

 

 

By virtue of their specialized structure, high fixed-charge density, and charge-charge repulsion forces, proteoglycans in the ECM are responsible for hydration and provide the tissue with a high capacity to resist compressive loads.� The glycosaminoglycan profile of the normal adult human meniscus consists of chondroitin-6-sulfate (40%), chondroitin-4-sulfate (10% to 20%), dermatan sulfate (20% to 30%), and keratin sulfate (15%; Figure 4).65,77,99,159 The highest glycosaminoglycan concentrations are found in the meniscal horns and the inner half of the menisci in the primary weightbearing areas.58,77

 

Aggrecan is the major proteoglycan found in the human menisci and is largely responsible for their viscoelastic compressive properties (Figure 5). Smaller proteoglycans, such as decorin, biglycan, and fibromodulin, are found in smaller amounts.124,151 Hexosamine contributes 1% to the dry weight of ECM.57,74 The precise functions of each of these small proteoglycans on the meniscus have yet to be fully elucidated.

 

 

Matrix Glycoproteins

 

Meniscal cartilage contains a range of matrix glycoproteins, the identities and functions of which have yet to be determined. Electrophoresis and subsequent staining of the polyacrylamide gels reveals bands with molecular weights varying from a few kilodaltons to more than 200 kDa.112 These matrix molecules include the link proteins that stabilize proteoglycan�hyaluronic acid aggregates and a 116-kDa protein of unknown function.46 This protein resides in the matrix in the form of disulfide-bonded complex of high molecular weight.46 Immunolocalization studies suggest that it is predominantly located around the collagen bundles in the interterritorial matrix.47

 

The adhesive glycoproteins constitute a subgroup of the matrix glycoproteins. These macromolecules are partly responsible for binding with other matrix molecules and/or cells. Such intermolecular adhesion molecules are therefore important components in the supramolecular organization of the extracellular molecules of the meniscus.150 Three molecules have been identified within the meniscus: type VI collagen, fibronectin, and thrombospondin.112,118,181

 

Vascular Anatomy

 

The meniscus is a relatively avascular structure with a limited peripheral blood supply. The medial, lateral, and middle geniculate arteries (which branch off the popliteal artery) provide the major vascularization to the inferior and superior aspects of each meniscus (Figure 5).9,12,33-35,148 The middle geniculate artery is a small posterior branch that perforates the oblique popliteal ligament at the posteromedial corner of the tibiofemoral joint. A premeniscal capillary network arising from the branches of these arteries originates within the synovial and capsular tissues of the knee along the periphery of the menisci. The peripheral 10% to 30% of the medial meniscus border and 10% to 25% of the lateral meniscus are relatively well vascularized, which has important implications for meniscus healing (Figure 6).12,33,68 Endoligamentous vessels from the anterior and posterior horns travel a short distance into the substance of the menisci and form terminal loops, providing a direct route for nourishment.33 The remaining portion of each meniscus (65% to 75%) receives nourishment from synovial fluid via diffusion or mechanical pumping (ie, joint motion).116,120

 

 

Bird and Sweet examined the menisci of animals and humans using scanning electron and light microscopy.23,24 They observed canal-like structures opening deep into the surface of the menisci. These canals may play a role in the transport of fluid within the meniscus and may carry nutrients from the synovial fluid and blood vessels to the avascular sections of the meniscus.23,24 However, further study is needed to elucidate the exact mechanism by which mechanical motion supplies nutrition to the avascular portion of the menisci.

 

Neuroanatomy

 

The knee joint is innervated by the posterior articular branch of the posterior tibial nerve and the terminal branches of the obturator and femoral nerves. The lateral portion of the capsule is innervated by the recurrent peroneal branch of the common peroneal nerve. These nerve fibers penetrate the capsule and follow the vascular supply to the peripheral portion of the menisci and the anterior and posterior horns, where most of the nerve fibers are concentrated.52,90 The outer third of the body of the meniscus is more densely innervated than the middle third.183,184 During extremes of flexion and extension of the knee, the meniscal horns are stressed, and the afferent input is likely greatest at these extreme positions.183,184

 

The mechanoreceptors within the menisci function as transducers, converting the physical stimulus of tension and compression into a specific electrical nerve impulse. Studies of human menisci have identified 3 morphologically distinct mechanoreceptors: Ruffini endings, Pacinian corpuscles, and Golgi tendon organs.�� Type I (Ruffini) mechanoreceptors are low threshold and slowly adapting to the changes in joint deformation and pressure. Type II (Pacinian) mechanoreceptors are low threshold and fast adapting to tension changes.�� Type III (Golgi) are high-threshold mechanoreceptors, which signal when the knee joint approaches the terminal range of motion and are associated with neuromuscular inhibition. These neural elements were found in greater concentration in the meniscal horns, particularly the posterior horn.

 

The asymmetrical components of the knee act in concert as a type of biological transmission that accepts, transfers, and dissipates loads along the femur, tibia, patella, and femur.41 Ligaments act as an adaptive linkage, with the menisci representing mobile bearings. Several studies have reported that various intra-articular components of the knee are sensate, capable of generating neurosensory signals that reach spinal, cerebellar, and higher central nervous system levels.?? It is believed that these neurosensory signals result in conscious perception and are important for normal knee joint function and maintenance of tissue homeostasis.42

Dr Jimenez White Coat

The meniscus is cartilage which provides structural and functional integrity to the knee. The menisci are two pads of fibrocartilaginous tissue which spread out friction in the knee joint when it undergoes tension and torsion between the shin bone, or tibia, and the thigh bone, or femur. The understanding of the anatomy and biomechanics of the knee joint is essential towards the understanding of knee injuries and/or conditions. Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

Biomechanical Function

 

The biomechanical function of the meniscus is a reflection of the gross and ultrastructural anatomy and of its relationship to the surrounding intra-articular and extra-articular structures. The menisci serve many important biomechanical functions. They contribute to load transmission,�� shock absorption,10,49,94,96,170 stability,51,100,101,109,155 nutrition,23,24,84,141 joint lubrication,102-104,141 and proprioception.5,15,81,88,115,147 They also serve to decrease contact stresses and increase contact area and congruity of the knee.91,172

 

Meniscal Kinematics

 

In a study on ligamentous function, Brantigan and Voshell reported the medial meniscus to move an average 2 mm, while the lateral meniscus was markedly more mobile with approximately 10 mm of anterior-posterior displacement during flexion.25 Similarly, DePalma reported that the medial meniscus undergoes 3 mm of anterior-posterior displacement, while the lateral meniscus moves 9 mm during flexion.37 In a study using 5 cadaveric knees, Thompson et al reported the mean medial excursion to be 5.1 mm (average of anterior and posterior horns) and the mean lateral excursion, 11.2 mm, along the tibial articular surface (Figure 7).165 The findings from these studies confirm a significant difference in segmental motion between the medial and lateral menisci. The anterior and posterior horn lateral meniscus ratio is smaller and indicates that the meniscus moves more as a single unit.165 Alternatively, the medial meniscus (as a whole) moves less than the lateral meniscus, displaying a greater anterior to posterior horn differential excursion. Thompson et al found that the area of least meniscal motion is the posterior medial corner, where the meniscus is constrained by its attachment to the tibial plateau by the meniscotibial portion of the posterior oblique ligament, which has been reported to be more prone to injury.143,165 A reduction in the motion of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus is a potential mechanism for meniscal tears, with a resultant �trapping� of the fibrocartilage between the femoral condyle and the tibial plateau during full flexion. The greater differential between anterior and posterior horn excursion may place the medial meniscus at a greater risk of injury.165

 

 

The differential of anterior horn to posterior horn motion allows the menisci to assume a decreasing radius with flexion, which correlates to the decreased radius of curvature of the posterior femoral condyles.165 This change of radius allows the meniscus to maintain contact with the articulating surface of both the femur and the tibia throughout flexion.

 

Load Transmission

 

The function of the menisci has been clinically inferred by the degenerative changes that accompany its removal. Fairbank described the increased incidence and predictable degenerative changes of the articular surfaces in completely meniscectomized knees.45 Since this early work, numerous studies have confirmed these findings and have further established the important role of the meniscus as a protective, load-bearing structure.

 

Weightbearing produces axial forces across the knee, which compress the menisci, resulting in �hoop� (circumferential) stresses.170 Hoop stresses are generated as axial forces and converted to tensile stresses along the circumferential collagen fibers of the meniscus (Figure 8). Firm attachments by the anterior and posterior insertional ligaments prevent the meniscus from extruding peripherally during load bearing.94 Studies by Seedhom and Hargreaves reported that 70% of the load in the lateral compartment and 50% of the load in the medial compartment is transmitted through the menisci.153 The menisci transmit 50% of compressive load through the posterior horns in extension, with 85% transmission at 90� flexion.172 Radin et al demonstrated that these loads are well distributed when the menisci are intact.137 However, removal of the medial meniscus results in a 50% to 70% reduction in femoral condyle contact area and a 100% increase in contact stress.4,50,91 Total lateral meniscectomy results in a 40% to 50% decrease in contact area and increases contact stress in the lateral component to 200% to 300% of normal.18,50,76,91 This significantly increases the load per unit area and may contribute to accelerated articular cartilage damage and degeneration.45,85

 

 

Shock Absorption

 

The menisci play a vital role in attenuating the intermittent shock waves generated by impulse loading of the knee with normal gait.94,96,153 Voloshin and Wosk showed that the normal knee has a shock-absorbing capacity about 20% higher than knees that have undergone meniscectomy.170 As the inability of a joint system to absorb shock has been implicated in the development of osteoarthritis, the meniscus would appear to play an important role in maintaining the health of the knee joint.138

 

Joint Stability

 

The geometric structure of the menisci provides an important role in maintaining joint congruity and stability.## The superior surface of each meniscus is concave, enabling effective articulation between the convex femoral condyles and flat tibial plateau. When the meniscus is intact, axial loading of the knee has a multidirectional stabilizing function, limiting excess motion in all directions.9

 

Markolf and colleagues have addressed the effect of meniscectomy on anterior-posterior and rotational knee laxity. Medial meniscectomy in the ACL-intact knee has little effect on anterior-posterior motion, but in the ACL-deficient knee, it results in an increase in anterior-posterior tibial translation of up to 58% at 90o of flexion.109 Shoemaker and Markolf demonstrated that the posterior horn of the medial meniscus is the most important structure resisting an anterior tibial force in the ACL-deficient knee.155 Allen et al showed that the resultant force in the medial meniscus of the ACL-deficient knee increased by 52% in full extension and by 197% at 60� of flexion under a 134-N anterior tibial load.7 The large changes in kinematics due to medial meniscectomy in the ACL-deficient knee confirm the important role of the medial meniscus in knee stability. Recently, Musahl et al reported that the lateral meniscus plays a role in anterior tibial translation during the pivot-shift maneuver.123

 

Joint Nutrition and Lubrication

 

The menisci may also play a role in the nutrition and lubrication of the knee joint. The mechanics of this lubrication remains unknown; the menisci may compress synovial fluid into the articular cartilage, which reduces frictional forces during weightbearing.13

 

There is a system of microcanals within the meniscus located close to the blood vessels, which communicates with the synovial cavity; these may provide fluid transport for nutrition and joint lubrication.23,24

 

Proprioception

 

The perception of joint motion and position (proprioception) is mediated by mechanoreceptors that transduce mechanical deformation into electric neural signals. Mechanoreceptors have been identified in the anterior and posterior horns of the menisci.*** Quick-adapting mechanoreceptors, such as Pacinian corpuscles, are thought to mediate the sensation of joint motion, and slow-adapting receptors, such as Ruffini endings and Golgi tendon organs, are believed to mediate the sensation of joint position.140 The identification of these neural elements (located mostly in the middle and outer third of the meniscus) indicates that the menisci are capable of detecting proprioceptive information in the knee joint, thus playing an important afferent role in the sensory feedback mechanism of the knee.61,88,90,158,169

 

Maturation and Aging of The Meniscus

 

The microanatomy of the meniscus is complex and certainly demonstrates senescent changes. With advancing age, the meniscus becomes stiffer, loses elasticity, and becomes yellow.78,95 Microscopically, there is a gradual loss of cellular elements with empty spaces and an increase in fibrous tissue in comparison with elastic tissue.74 These cystic areas can initiate a tear, and with a torsional force by the femoral condyle, the superficial layers of the meniscus may shear off from the deep layer at the interface of the cystic degenerative change, producing a horizontal cleavage tear. Shear between these layers may cause pain. The torn meniscus may directly injure the overlying articular cartilage.74,95

 

Ghosh and Taylor found that collagen concentration increased from birth to 30 years and remained constant until 80 years of age, after which a decline occurred.58 The noncollagenous matrix proteins showed the most profound changes, decreasing from 21.9% � 1.0% (dry weight) in neonates to 8.1% � 0.8% between the ages of 30 to 70 years.80 After 70 years of age, the noncollagenous matrix protein levels increased to 11.6% � 1.3%. Peters and Smillie observed an increase in hexosamine and uronic acid with age.131

 

McNicol and Roughley studied the variation of meniscal proteoglycans in aging113; small differences in extractability and hydrodynamic size were observed. The proportions of keratin sulfate relative to chondroitin-6-sulfate increased with aging.146

 

Petersen and Tillmann immunohistochemically investigated human menisci (ranging from 22 weeks of gestation to 80 years), observing the differentiation of blood vessels and lymphatics in 20 human cadavers. At the time of birth, nearly the entire meniscus was vascularized. In the second year of life, an avascular area developed in the inner circumference. In the second decade, blood vessels were present in the peripheral third. After 50 years of age, only the peripheral quarter of the meniscal base was vascularized. The dense connective tissue of the insertion was vascularized but not the fibrocartilage of the insertion. Blood vessels were accompanied by lymphatics in all areas.���

 

Arnoczky suggested that body weight and knee joint motion may eliminate blood vessels in the inner and middle aspects of the menisci.9 Nutrition of meniscal tissue occurs via perfusion from blood vessels and via diffusion from synovial fluid. A requirement for nutrition via diffusion is the intermittent loading and release on the articular surfaces, stressed by body weight and muscle forces.130 The mechanism is comparable with the nutrition of articular cartilage.22

 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging of The Meniscus

 

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive diagnostic tool used in the evaluation, diagnosis, and monitoring of the menisci. MRI is widely accepted as the optimal imaging modality because of superior soft tissue contrast.

 

On cross-sectional MRI, the normal meniscus appears as a uniform low-signal (dark) triangular structure (Figure 9). A meniscal tear is identified by the presence of an increased intrameniscal signal that extends to the surface of this structure.

 

 

Several studies have evaluated the clinical utility of MRI for meniscal tears. In general, MRI is highly sensitive and specific for tears of the meniscus. The sensitivity of MRI in detecting meniscal tears ranges from 70% to 98%, and the specificity, from 74% to 98%.48,62,105,107,117 The MRI of 1014 patients before an arthroscopic examination had an accuracy of 89% for pathology of the medial meniscus and 88% for the lateral meniscus.48 A meta-analysis of 2000 patients with an MRI and arthroscopic examination found 88% sensitivity and 94% accuracy for meniscal tears.105,107

 

There have been discrepancies between MRI diagnoses and the pathology identified during arthroscopic examination.��� Justice and Quinn reported discrepancies in the diagnosis of 66 of the 561 patients (12%).86 In a study of 92 patients, discrepancies between the MRI and arthroscopic diagnoses were noted in 22 of the 349 (6%) cases.106 Miller conducted a single-blind prospective study comparing clinical examinations and MRI in 57 knee examinations.117 He found no significant difference in sensitivity between the clinical examination and MRI (80.7% and 73.7%, respectively). Shepard et al assessed the accuracy of MRI in detecting clinically significant lesions of the anterior horn of the meniscus in 947 consecutive knee MRI154 and found a 74% false-positive rate. Increased signal intensity in the anterior horn does not necessarily indicate a clinically significant lesion.154

 

Conclusions

 

The menisci of the knee joint are crescent-shaped wedges of fibrocartilage that provide increased stability to the femorotibial articulation, distribute axial load, absorb shock, and provide lubrication to the knee joint. Injuries to the menisci are recognized as a cause of significant musculoskeletal morbidity. Preservation of the menisci is highly dependent on maintaining its distinctive composition and organization.

 

Acknowledgements

 

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3435920/

 

Footnotes

 

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3435920/

 

In conclusion, the knee is the largest and most complex�joint in the human body. However, because the knee can commonly become damaged as a result of an injury and/or condition, it’s essential to understand the anatomy of the knee joint in order for patients to receive proper treatment.� The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal health issues. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at�915-850-0900�.

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez

 

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Additional Topic Discussion: Relieving Knee Pain without Surgery

 

Knee pain is a well-known symptom which can occur due to a variety of knee injuries and/or conditions, including�sports injuries. The knee is one of the most complex joints in the human body as it is made-up of the intersection of four bones, four ligaments, various tendons, two menisci, and cartilage. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the most common causes of knee pain include patellar subluxation, patellar tendinitis or jumper’s knee, and Osgood-Schlatter disease. Although knee pain is most likely to occur in people over 60 years old, knee pain can also occur in children and adolescents. Knee pain can be treated at home following the RICE methods, however, severe knee injuries may require immediate medical attention, including chiropractic care.

 

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EXTRA EXTRA | IMPORTANT TOPIC: El Paso, TX Chiropractor Recommended

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Close Accordion

Evaluation of Patients Presenting with Knee Pain: Part II. Differential Diagnosis

Evaluation of Patients Presenting with Knee Pain: Part II. Differential Diagnosis

The knee is the largest joint in the human body, where the complex structures of the lower and upper legs come together. Consisting of three bones, the femur, the tibia, and the patella which are surrounded by a variety of soft tissues, including cartilage, tendons and ligaments, the knee functions as a hinge, allowing you to walk, jump, squat or sit. As a result, however, the knee is considered to be one of the joints that are most prone to suffer injury. A knee injury is the prevalent cause of knee pain.

A knee injury can occur as a result of a direct impact from a slip-and-fall accident or automobile accident, overuse injury from sports injuries, or even due to underlying conditions, such as arthritis. Knee pain is a common symptom which affects people of all ages. It may also start suddenly or develop gradually over time, beginning as a mild or moderate discomfort then slowly worsening as time progresses. Moreover, being overweight can increase the risk of knee problems. The purpose of the following article is to discuss the evaluation of patients presenting with knee pain and demonstrate their differential diagnosis.

Abstract

Knee pain is a common presenting complaint with many possible causes. An awareness of certain patterns can help the family physician identify the underlying cause more efficiently. Teenage girls and young women are more likely to have patellar tracking problems such as patellar subluxation and patellofemoral pain syndrome, whereas teenage boys and young men are more likely to have knee extensor mechanism problems such as tibial apophysitis (Osgood-Schlatter lesion) and patellar tendonitis. Referred pain resulting from hip joint pathology, such as slipped capital femoral epiphysis, also may cause knee pain. Active patients are more likely to have acute ligamentous sprains and overuse injuries such as pes anserine bursitis and medial plica syndrome. Trauma may result in acute ligamentous rupture or fracture, leading to acute knee joint swelling and hemarthrosis. Septic arthritis may develop in patients of any age, but crystal-induced inflammatory arthropathy is more likely in adults. Osteoarthritis of the knee joint is common in older adults. (Am Fam Physician 2003;68:917-22. Copyright� 2003 American Academy of Family Physicians.)

Introduction

Determining the underlying cause of knee pain can be difficult, in part because of the extensive differential diagnosis. As discussed in part I of this two-part article,1 the family physician should be familiar with knee anatomy and common mechanisms of injury, and a detailed history and focused physical examination can narrow possible causes. The patient�s age and the anatomic site of the pain are two factors that can be important in achieving an accurate diagnosis (Tables 1 and 2). �

Table 1 Common Causes of Knee Pain

Children and Adolescents

Children and adolescents who present with knee pain are likely to have one of three common conditions: patellar subluxation, tibial apophysitis, or patellar tendonitis. Additional diagnoses to consider in children include slipped capital femoral epiphysis and septic arthritis.

Patellar Subluxation

Patellar subluxation is the most likely diagnosis in a teenage girl who presents with giving-way episodes of the knee.2 This injury occurs more often in girls and young women because of an increased quadriceps angle (Q angle), usually greater than 15 degrees.

Patellar apprehension is elicited by subluxing the patella laterally, and a mild effusion is usually present. Moderate to severe knee swelling may indicate hemarthrosis, which suggests patellar dislocation with osteochondral fracture and bleeding.

Tibial Apophysitis

A teenage boy who presents with anterior knee pain localized to the tibial tuberosity is likely to have tibial apophysitis or Osgood- Schlatter lesion3,4 (Figure 1).5 The typical patient is a 13- or 14-year-old boy (or a 10- or 11-year-old girl) who has recently gone through a growth spurt.

The patient with tibial apophysitis generally reports waxing and waning of knee pain for a period of months. The pain worsens with�squatting, walking up or down stairs, or forceful contractions of the quadriceps muscle. This overuse apophysitis is exacerbated by jumping and hurdling because repetitive hard landings place excessive stress on the insertion of the patellar tendon.

On physical examination, the tibial tuberosity is tender and swollen and may feel warm. The knee pain is reproduced with the resisted active extension or passive hyperflexion of the knee. No effusion is present. Radiographs are usually negative; rarely, they show avulsion of the apophysis at the tibial tuberosity. However, the physician must not mistake the normal appearance of the tibial apophysis for an avulsion fracture. �

Table 2 Differential Diagnosis of Knee Pain

Figure 1 Anterior View of the Structures of the Knee

Patellar Tendonitis

Jumper�s knee (irritation and inflammation of the patellar tendon) most commonly occurs in teenage boys, particularly during a growth spurt2 (Figure 1).5 The patient reports vague anterior knee pain that has persisted for months and worsens after activities such as walking down stairs or running.

On physical examination, the patellar tendon is tender, and the pain is reproduced by resisted knee extension. There is usually no effusion. Radiographs are not indicated.

Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis

A number of pathologic conditions result in referral of pain to the knee. For example, the possibility of slipped capital femoral epiphysis must be considered in children and teenagers who present with knee pain.6 The patient with this condition usually reports poorly localized knee pain and no history of knee trauma.

The typical patient with slipped capital femoral epiphysis is overweight and sits on the examination table with the affected hip slightly flexed and externally rotated. The knee examination is normal, but hip pain is elicited with passive internal rotation or extension of the affected hip.

Radiographs typically show displacement of the epiphysis of the femoral head. However, negative radiographs do not rule out the diagnosis in patients with typical clinical findings. Computed tomographic (CT) scanning is indicated in these patients.

Osteochondritis Dissecans

Osteochondritis dissecans is an intra-articular osteochondrosis of unknown etiology that is characterized by degeneration and recalcification of articular cartilage and underlying bone. In the knee, the medial femoral condyle is most commonly affected.7

The patient reports vague, poorly localized knee pain, as well as morning stiffness or recurrent effusion. If a loose body is present, mechanical symptoms of locking or catching of the knee joint also may be reported. On physical examination, the patient may demonstrate quadriceps atrophy or tenderness along the involved chondral surface. A mild joint effusion may be present.7

Plain-film radiographs may demonstrate the osteochondral lesion or a loose body in the knee joint. If osteochondritis dissecans is suspected, recommended radiographs include anteroposterior, posteroanterior tunnel, lateral, and Merchant�s views. Osteochondral lesions at the lateral aspect of the medial femoral condyle may be visible only on the posteroanterior tunnel view. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is highly sensitive in detecting these abnormalities and is indicated in patients with a suspected osteochondral lesion.7 �

Dr Jimenez White Coat

A knee injury caused by sports injuries, automobile accidents, or an underlying condition, among other causes, can affect the cartilage, tendons and ligaments which form the knee joint itself. The location of the knee pain can differ according to the structure involved, also, the symptoms can vary. The entire knee may become painful and swollen as a result of inflammation or infection, whereas a torn meniscus or fracture may cause symptoms in the affected region. Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

Adults

Overuse Syndromes

Anterior Knee Pain. Patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome (chondromalacia patellae) typically present with a vague history of mild to moderate anterior knee pain that usually occurs after prolonged periods of sitting (the so-called �theater sign�).8 Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a common cause of anterior knee pain in women.

On physical examination, a slight effusion may be present, along with patellar crepitus on the range of motion. The patient�s pain may be reproduced by applying direct pressure to the anterior aspect of the patella. Patellar tenderness may be elicited by subluxing the patella medially or laterally and palpating the superior and inferior facets of the patella. Radiographs usually are not indicated.

Medial Knee Pain. One frequently overlooked diagnosis is medial plica syndrome. The plica, a redundancy of the joint synovium medially, can become inflamed with repetitive overuse.4,9 The patient presents with acute onset of medial knee pain after a marked increase in usual activities. On physical examination, a tender, mobile nodularity is present at the medial aspect of the knee, just anterior to the joint line. There is no joint effusion, and the remainder of the knee examination is normal. Radiographs are not indicated.

Pes anserine bursitis is another possible cause of medial knee pain. The tendinous insertion of the sartorius, gracilis, and semitendinosus muscles at the anteromedial aspect of the proximal tibia forms the pes anserine bursa.9 The bursa can become inflamed as a result of overuse or a direct contusion. Pes�anserine bursitis can be confused easily with a medial collateral ligament sprain or, less commonly, osteoarthritis of the medial compartment of the knee. �

The patient with pes anserine bursitis reports pain at the medial aspect of the knee. This pain may be worsened by repetitive flexion and extension. On physical examination, tenderness is present at the medial aspect of the knee, just posterior and distal to the medial joint line. No knee joint effusion is present, but there may be slight swelling at the insertion of the medial hamstring muscles. Valgus stress testing in the supine position or resisted knee flexion in the prone position may reproduce the pain. Radiographs are usually not indicated.

Lateral Knee Pain. Excessive friction between the iliotibial band and the lateral femoral condyle can lead to iliotibial band tendonitis.9 This overuse syndrome commonly occurs in runners and cyclists, although it may develop in any person subsequent to activity involving repetitive knee flexion. The tightness of the iliotibial band, excessive foot pronation, genu varum, and tibial torsion are predisposing factors.

The patient with iliotibial band tendonitis reports pain at the lateral aspect of the knee joint. The pain is aggravated by activity, particularly running downhill and climbing stairs. On physical examination, tenderness is present at the lateral epicondyle of the femur, approximately 3 cm proximal to the joint line. Soft tissue swelling and crepitus also may be present, but there is no joint effusion. Radiographs are not indicated.

Noble�s test is used to reproduce the pain in iliotibial band tendonitis. With the patient in a supine position, the physician places a thumb over the lateral femoral epicondyle as the�patient repeatedly flexes and extends the knee. Pain symptoms are usually most prominent with the knee at 30 degrees of flexion.

Popliteus tendonitis is another possible cause of lateral knee pain. However, this condition is fairly rare.10

Trauma

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Sprain. Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament usually occurs because of noncontact deceleration forces, as when a runner plants one foot and sharply turns in the opposite direction. Resultant valgus stress on the knee leads to anterior displacement of the tibia and sprain or rupture of the ligament.11 The patient usually reports hearing or feeling a �pop� at the time of the injury and must cease activity or competition immediately. Swelling of the knee within two hours after the injury indicates rupture of the ligament and consequent hemarthrosis.

On physical examination, the patient has a moderate to severe joint effusion that limits the range of motion. The anterior drawer test may be positive, but can be negative because of hemarthrosis and guarding by the hamstring muscles. The Lachman test should be positive and is more reliable than the anterior drawer test (see text and Figure 3 in part I of the article1).

Radiographs are indicated to detect possible tibial spine avulsion fracture. MRI of the knee is indicated as part of a presurgical evaluation.

Medial Collateral Ligament Sprain. Injury to the medial collateral ligament is fairly common and is usually the result of acute trauma. The patient reports a misstep or collision that places valgus stress on the knee, followed by the immediate onset of pain and swelling at the medial aspect of the knee.11

On physical examination, the patient with medial collateral ligament injury has point tenderness at the medial joint line. Valgus stress testing of the knee flexed to 30 degrees reproduces the pain (see text and Figure 4 in part I of this article1). A clearly defined endpoint on valgus stress testing indicates a grade 1�or grade 2 sprain, whereas complete medial instability indicates full rupture of the ligament (grade 3 sprain).

Lateral Collateral Ligament Sprain. Injury of the lateral collateral ligament is much less common than the injury of the medial collateral ligament. Lateral collateral ligament sprain usually results from varus stress to the knee, as occurs when a runner plants one foot and then turns toward the ipsilateral knee.2 The patient reports acute onset of lateral knee pain that requires prompt cessation of activity.

On physical examination, point tenderness is present at the lateral joint line. Instability or pain occurs with varus stress testing of the knee flexed to 30 degrees (see text and Figure 4 in part I of this article1). Radiographs are not usually indicated.

Meniscal Tear. The meniscus can be torn acutely with a sudden twisting injury of the knee, such as may occur when a runner suddenly changes direction.11,12 Meniscal tear also may occur in association with a prolonged degenerative process, particularly in a patient with an anterior cruciate ligament-deficient knee. The patient usually reports recurrent knee pain and episodes of catching or locking of the knee joint, especially with squatting or twisting of the knee.

On physical examination, a mild effusion is usually present, and there is tenderness at the medial or lateral joint line. Atrophy of the vastus medialis obliquus portion of the quadriceps muscle also may be noticeable. The McMurray test may be positive (see Figure 5 in part I of this article1), but a negative test does not eliminate the possibility of a meniscal tear.

Plain-film radiographs usually are negative and seldom are indicated. MRI is the radiologic test of choice because it demonstrates most significant meniscal tears.

Infection

Infection of the knee joint may occur in patients of any age but is more common in those whose immune system has been weakened by cancer, diabetes mellitus, alcoholism,�acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or corticosteroid therapy. The patient with septic arthritis reports abrupt onset of pain and swelling of the knee with no antecedent trauma.13

On physical examination, the knee is warm, swollen, and exquisitely tender. Even slight motion of the knee joint causes intense pain.

Arthrocentesis reveals turbid synovial fluid. Analysis of the fluid yields a white blood cell count (WBC) higher than 50,000 per mm3 (50 ? 109 per L), with more than 75 percent (0.75) polymorphonuclear cells, an elevated protein content (greater than 3 g per dL [30 g per L]), and a low glucose concentration (more than 50 percent lower than the serum glucose concentration).14 Gram stain of the fluid may demonstrate the causative organism. Common pathogens include Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus species, Haemophilus influenza, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Hematologic studies show an elevated WBC, an increased number of immature polymorphonuclear cells (i.e., a left shift), and an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (usually greater than 50 mm per hour).

Older Adults

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis of the knee joint is a common problem after 60 years of age. The patient presents with knee pain that is aggravated by weight-bearing activities and relieved by rest.15 The patient has no systemic symptoms but usually awakens with morning stiffness that dissipates somewhat with activity. In addition to chronic joint stiffness and pain, the patient may report episodes of acute synovitis.

Findings on physical examination include decreased range of motion, crepitus, a mild joint effusion, and palpable osteophytic changes at the knee joint.

When osteoarthritis is suspected, recommended radiographs include weight-bearing anteroposterior and posteroanterior tunnel views, as well as non-weight-bearing Merchants and lateral views. Radiographs show�joint-space narrowing, subchondral bony sclerosis, cystic changes, and hypertrophic osteophyte formation.

Crystal-Induced Inflammatory Arthropathy

Acute inflammation, pain, and swelling in the absence of trauma suggest the possibility of a crystal-induced inflammatory arthropathy such as gout or pseudogout.16,17 Gout commonly affects the knee. In this arthropathy, sodium urate crystals precipitate in the knee joint and cause an intense inflammatory response. In pseudogout, calcium pyrophosphate crystals are the causative agents.

On physical examination, the knee joint is erythematous, warm, tender, and swollen. Even minimal range of motion is exquisitely painful.

Arthrocentesis reveals clear or slightly cloudy synovial fluid. Analysis of the fluid yields a WBC count of 2,000 to 75,000 per mm3 (2 to 75 ? 109 per L), a high protein content (greater than 32 g per dL [320 g per L]), and a glucose concentration that is approximately 75 percent of the serum glucose con- centration.14 Polarized-light microscopy of the synovial fluid displays negatively birefringent rods in the patient with gout and positively birefringent rhomboids in the patient with pseudogout.

Popliteal Cyst

The popliteal cyst (Baker�s cyst) is the most common synovial cyst of the knee. It originates from the posteromedial aspect of the knee joint at the level of the gastrocnemio-semimembranous bursa. The patient reports insidious onset of mild to moderate pain in the popliteal area of the knee.

On physical examination, palpable fullness is present at the medial aspect of the popliteal area, at or near the origin of the medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle. The McMurray test may be positive if the medial meniscus is injured. Definitive diagnosis of a popliteal cyst may be made with arthrography, ultrasonography, CT scanning, or, less commonly, MRI.

The authors indicate that they do not have any conflicts of interest. Sources of funding: none reported.

In conclusion, although the knee is the largest joint in the human body where the structures of the lower extremities meet, including the femur, the tibia, the patella, and many other soft tissues, the knee can easily suffer damage or injury and result in knee pain. Knee pain is one of the most common complaints among the general population, however, it commonly occurs in athletes. Sports injuries, slip-and-fall accidents, and automobile accidents, among other causes, can lead to knee pain.

As described in the article above, diagnosis is essential towards determining the best treatment approach for each type of knee injury, according to their underlying cause. While the location and the severity of the knee injury may vary depending on the cause of the health issue, knee pain is the most common symptom. Treatment options, such as chiropractic care and physical therapy, can help treat knee pain. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal health issues. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at�915-850-0900�.

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez �

Green Call Now Button H .png

Additional Topic Discussion: Relieving Knee Pain without Surgery

Knee pain is a well-known symptom which can occur due to a variety of knee injuries and/or conditions, including�sports injuries. The knee is one of the most complex joints in the human body as it is made-up of the intersection of four bones, four ligaments, various tendons, two menisci, and cartilage. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the most common causes of knee pain include patellar subluxation, patellar tendinitis or jumper’s knee, and Osgood-Schlatter disease. Although knee pain is most likely to occur in people over 60 years old, knee pain can also occur in children and adolescents. Knee pain can be treated at home following the RICE methods, however, severe knee injuries may require immediate medical attention, including chiropractic care.

blog picture of cartoon paper boy

EXTRA EXTRA | IMPORTANT TOPIC: El Paso, TX Chiropractor Recommended

Blank
References
1. Calmbach WL, Hutchens M. Evaluation of patients presenting with knee pain: part I. History, physical examination, radiographs, and laboratory tests. Am Fam Physician 2003;68:907-12.
2. Walsh WM. Knee injuries. In: Mellion MB, Walsh WM, Shelton GL, eds. The team physician�s hand- book. 2d ed. St. Louis: Mosby, 1990:554-78.
3. Dunn JF. Osgood-Schlatter disease. Am Fam Physi- cian 1990;41:173-6.
4. Stanitski CL. Anterior knee pain syndromes in the adolescent. Instr Course Lect 1994;43:211-20.
5. Tandeter HB, Shvartzman P, Stevens MA. Acute knee injuries: use of decision rules for selective radiograph ordering. Am Fam Physician 1999;60: 2599-608.
6. Waters PM, Millis MB. Hip and pelvic injuries in the young athlete. In: DeLee J, Drez D, Stanitski CL, eds. Orthopaedic sports medicine: principles and practice. Vol. III. Pediatric and adolescent sports medicine. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1994:279-93.
7. Schenck RC Jr, Goodnight JM. Osteochondritis dis- secans. J Bone Joint Surg [Am] 1996;78:439-56.
8. Ruffin MT 5th, Kiningham RB. Anterior knee pain: the challenge of patellofemoral syndrome. Am Fam Physician 1993;47:185-94.
9. Cox JS, Blanda JB. Peripatellar pathologies. In: DeLee J, Drez D, Stanitski CL, eds. Orthopaedic sports medicine: principles and practice. Vol. III. Pediatric and adolescent sports medicine. Philadel- phia: Saunders, 1994:1249-60.
10. Petsche TS, Selesnick FH. Popliteus tendinitis: tips for diagnosis and management. Phys Sportsmed 2002;30(8):27-31.
11. Micheli LJ, Foster TE. Acute knee injuries in the immature athlete. Instr Course Lect 1993;42:473- 80.
12. Smith BW, Green GA. Acute knee injuries: part II. Diagnosis and management. Am Fam Physician 1995;51:799-806.
13. McCune WJ, Golbus J. Monarticular arthritis. In: Kelley WN, ed. Textbook of rheumatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1997:371-80.
14. Franks AG Jr. Rheumatologic aspects of knee dis- orders. In: Scott WN, ed. The knee. St. Louis: Mosby, 1994:315-29.
15. Brandt KD. Management of osteoarthritis. In: Kel- ley WN, ed. Textbook of rheumatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1997:1394-403.
16. Kelley WN, Wortmann RL. Crystal-associated syn- ovitis. In: Kelley WN, ed. Textbook of rheumatol- ogy. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1997:1313- 51. 1
7. Reginato AJ, Reginato AM. Diseases associated with deposition of calcium pyrophosphate or hy- droxyapatite. In: Kelley WN, ed. Textbook of rheumatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1997:1352-67.
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Evaluation of Patients Presenting with Knee Pain: Part I. History, Physical Examination, Radiographs, and Laboratory Tests

Evaluation of Patients Presenting with Knee Pain: Part I. History, Physical Examination, Radiographs, and Laboratory Tests

Knee pain is a common health issue among athletes and the general population alike. Although symptoms of knee pain can be debilitating and frustrating, knee pain is often a very treatable health issue. The knee is a complex structure made up of three bones: the lower section of the thighbone, the upper region of the shinbone, and the kneecap.

Powerful soft tissues, such as the tendons and ligaments of the knee as well as the cartilage beneath the kneecap and between the bones, hold these structures together in order to stabilize and support the knee. However, a variety of injuries and/or conditions can ultimately lead to knee pain. The purpose of the article below is to evaluate patients with knee pain.

Abstract

Family physicians frequently encounter patients with knee pain. Accurate diagnosis requires a knowledge of knee anatomy, common pain patterns in knee injuries, and features of frequently encountered causes of knee pain, as well as specific physical examination skills. The history should include characteristics of the patient�s pain, mechanical symptoms (locking, popping, giving way), joint effusion (timing, amount, recurrence), and mechanism of injury. The physical examination should include careful inspection of the knee, palpation for point tenderness, assessment of joint effusion, range-of-motion testing, evaluation of ligaments for injury or laxity, and assessment of the menisci. Radiographs should be obtained in patients with isolated patellar tenderness or tenderness at the head of the fibula, inability to bear weight or flex the knee to 90 degrees, or age greater than 55 years. (Am Fam Physician 2003; 68:907-12. Copyright� 2003 American Academy of Family Physicians.)

Introduction

Knee pain accounts for approximately one-third of musculoskeletal problems seen in primary care settings. This complaint is most prevalent in�physically active patients, with as many as 54 percent of athletes having some degree of knee pain each year.1 Knee pain can be a source of significant disability, restricting the ability to work or perform activities of daily living.

The knee is a complex structure (Figure 1),2 and its evaluation can present a challenge to the family physician. The differential diagnosis of knee pain is extensive but can be narrowed with a detailed history, a focused physical examination and, when indicated, the selective use of appropriate imaging and laboratory studies. Part I of this two-part article provides a systematic approach to evaluating the knee, and part II3 discusses the differential diagnosis of knee pain.

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History

Pain Characteristics

The patient�s description of knee pain is helpful in focusing the differential diagnosis.4 It is important to clarify the characteristics of the pain, including its onset (rapid or insidious), location (anterior, medial, lateral, or posterior knee), duration, severity, and quality (e.g., dull, sharp, achy). Aggravating and alleviating factors also need to be identified. If knee pain is caused by an acute injury, the physician needs to know whether the patient was able to continue activity or bear weight after the injury or was forced to cease activities immediately.

 

Mechanical Symptoms

The patient should be asked about mechan- ical symptoms, such as locking, popping, or giving way of the knee. A history of locking episodes suggests a meniscal tear. A sensation of popping at the time of injury suggests liga- mentous injury, probably complete rupture of a ligament (third-degree tear). Episodes of giving way are consistent with some degree of knee instability and may indicate patellar sub- luxation or ligamentous rupture.

Effusion

The timing and amount of joint effusion are important clues to the diagnosis. Rapid onset (within two hours) of a large, tense effusion suggests rupture of the anterior cru- ciate ligament or fracture of the tibial plateau with resultant hemarthrosis, whereas slower onset (24 to 36 hours) of a mild to moderate effusion is consistent with meniscal injury or ligamentous sprain. Recurrent knee effusion after activity is consistent with meniscal injury.

Mechanism of Injury

The patient should be questioned about specific details of the injury. It is important to know if the patient sustained a direct blow to the knee, if the foot was planted at the time of injury, if the patient was decelerating or stopping suddenly, if the patient was landing from a jump, if there was a twisting component to the injury, and if hyperextension occurred.

A direct blow to the knee can cause serious injury. The anterior force applied to the proximal tibia with the knee in flexion (e.g., when the knee hits the dashboard in an automobile accident) can cause injury to the posterior cruciate ligament. The medial collateral ligament is most commonly injured as a result of direct lateral force to the knee (e.g., clipping in football); this force creates a val- gus load on the knee joint and can result in rupture of the medial collateral ligament. Conversely, a medial blow that creates a varus load can injure the lateral collateral ligament.

Noncontact forces also are an important cause of knee injury. Quick stops and sharp cuts or turns create significant deceleration forces that can sprain or rupture the anterior cruciate ligament. Hyperextension can result in injury to the anterior cruciate ligament or posterior cruciate ligament. Sudden twisting or pivoting motions create shear forces that can injure the meniscus. A combination of forces can occur simultaneously, causing injury to multiple structures.

 

Medical History

A history of knee injury or surgery is important. The patient should be asked about previous attempts to treat knee pain, including the use of medications, supporting devices, and physical therapy. The physician also should ask if the patient has a history of�gout, pseudogout, rheumatoid arthritis, or other degenerative joint diseases.

Dr Jimenez White Coat

Knee pain is a common health issue which can be caused by sports injuries, automobile accident injuries, or by an underlying health issue, such as arthritis. The most common symptoms of knee injury include pain and discomfort, swelling, inflammation and stiffness. Because treatment for knee pain varies according to the cause, it’s essential for the individual to receive proper diagnosis for their symptoms. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective, alternative treatment approach which can help treat knee pain, among other health issues.

Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

Physical Examination

Inspection and Palpation

The physician begins by comparing the painful knee with the asymptomatic knee and inspecting the injured knee for erythema, swelling, bruising, and discoloration. The mus- culature should be symmetric bilaterally. In particular, the vastus medialis obliquus of the quadriceps should be evaluated to determine if it appears normal or shows signs of atrophy.

The knee is then palpated and checked for pain, warmth, and effusion. Point tenderness should be sought, particularly at the patella, tibial tubercle, patellar tendon, quadriceps tendon, anterolateral and anteromedial joint line, medial joint line, and lateral joint line. Moving the patient�s knee through a short arc of motion helps identify the joint lines. Range of motion should be assessed by extending and flexing the knee as far as possible (normal range of motion: extension, zero degrees; flex- ion, 135 degrees).5

Patellofemoral Assessment

An evaluation for effusion should be conducted with the patient supine and the injured knee in extension. The suprapatellar pouch should be milked to determine whether an effusion is present.

Patellofemoral tracking is assessed by observing the patella for smooth motion while the patient contracts the quadriceps muscle. The presence of crepitus should be noted during palpation of the patella.

The quadriceps angle (Q angle) is determined by drawing one line from the anterior superior iliac spine through the center of the patella and a second line from the center of the patella through the tibial tuberosity (Figure 2).6 A Q angle greater than 15 degrees is a predisposing factor for patellar subluxation (i.e., if the Q angle is increased, forceful contraction of the quadriceps muscle can cause the patella to sublux laterally).

A patellar apprehension test is then performed. With fingers placed at the medial aspect of the patella, the physician attempts to sublux the patella laterally. If this maneuver reproduces the patient�s pain or a giving-way sensation, patellar subluxation is the likely cause of the patient�s symptoms.7 Both the superior and inferior patellar facets should be palpated, with the patella subluxed first medially and then laterally.

 

Cruciate Ligaments

Anterior Cruciate Ligament. For the anterior drawer test, the patient assumes a supine position with the injured knee flexed to 90 degrees. The physician fixes the patient�s foot in slight external rotation (by sitting on the foot) and then places thumbs at the tibial tubercle and fingers at the posterior calf. With the patient�s hamstring muscles relaxed, the physician pulls anteriorly and assesses anterior displacement of the tibia (anterior drawer sign).

The Lachman test is another means of assessing the integrity of the anterior cruciate ligament (Figure 3).7 The test is performed with the patient in a supine position and the injured knee flexed to 30 degrees. The physician stabilizes the distal femur with one hand, grasps the proximal tibia in the other hand, and then attempts to sublux the tibia anteriorly. Lack of a clear end point indicates a positive Lachman test.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament. For the posterior drawer test, the patient assumes a supine position with knees flexed to 90 degrees. While standing at the side of the examination table, the physician looks for posterior displacement of the tibia (posterior sag sign).7,8 Next, the physician fixes the patient�s foot in neutral rotation (by sitting on the foot), positions thumbs at the tibial tubercle, and places fingers at the posterior calf. The physician then pushes posteriorly and assesses for posterior displacement of the tibia.

 

Collateral Ligaments

Medial Collateral Ligament. The valgus stress test is performed with the patient�s leg slightly abducted. The physician places one hand at the lateral aspect of the knee joint and the other hand at the medial aspect of the distal tibia. Next, valgus stress is applied to the knee at both zero degrees (full extension) and 30 degrees of flexion (Figure 4)7. With the knee at zero degrees (i.e., in full extension), the posterior cruciate ligament and the articulation of the femoral condyles with the tibial plateau should stabilize the knee; with the knee at 30 degrees of flexion, application of valgus stress assesses the laxity or integrity of the medial collateral ligament.

Lateral Collateral Ligament. To perform the varus stress test, the physician places one hand at the medial aspect of the patient�s knee and the other hand at the lateral aspect of the distal fibula. Next, varus stress is applied to the knee, first at full extension (i.e., zero degrees), then with the knee flexed to 30 degrees (Figure 4).7 A firm end point indicates that the collateral ligament is intact, whereas a soft or absent end point indicates complete rupture (third-degree tear) of the ligament.

Menisci

Patients with injury to the menisci usually demonstrate tenderness at the joint line. The McMurray test is performed with the patient lying supine9 (Figure 5). The test has been described variously in the literature, but the author suggests the following technique.

The physician grasps the patient�s heel with one hand and the knee with the other hand. The physician�s thumb is at the lateral joint line, and fingers are at the medial joint line. The physician then flexes the patient�s knee maximally. To test the lateral meniscus, the tibia is rotated internally, and the knee is extended from maximal flexion to about 90 degrees; added compression to the lateral meniscus can be produced by applying valgus stress across the knee joint while the knee is�being extended. To test the medial meniscus, the tibia is rotated externally, and the knee is extended from maximal flexion to about 90 degrees; added compression to the medial meniscus can be produced by placing varus stress across the knee joint while the knee is degrees of flexion. A positive test produces a thud or a click, or causes pain in a reproducible portion of the range of motion.

Because most patients with knee pain have soft tissue injuries, plain-film radiographs generally are not indicated. The Ottawa knee rules are a useful guide for ordering radiographs of the knee10,11.

If radiographs are required, three views are usually sufficient: anteroposterior view, lateral view, and Merchant�s view (for the patellofemoral joint).7,12 Teenage patients who report chronic knee pain and recurrent knee effusion require a notch or tunnel view (posteroanterior view with the knee flexed to 40 to 50 degrees). This view is necessary to detect radiolucencies of the femoral condyles (most�commonly the medial femoral condyle), which indicate the presence of osteochondritis dissecans.13

Radiographs should be closely inspected for signs of fracture, particularly involving the patella, tibial plateau, tibial spines, proximal fibula, and femoral condyles. If osteoarthritis is suspected, standing weight-bearing radiographs should be obtained.

 

Laboratory Studies

The presence of warmth, exquisite tenderness, painful effusion, and marked pain with even slight range of motion of the knee joint is consistent with septic arthritis or acute inflammatory arthropathy. In addition to obtaining a complete blood count with differential and an erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), arthro- centesis should be performed. The joint fluid should be sent to a laboratory for a cell count with differential, glucose and protein measure- ments, bacterial culture and sensitivity, and polarized light microscopy for crystals.

Because a tense, painful, swollen knee may present an unclear clinical picture, arthrocentesis may be required to differentiate simple effusion from hemarthrosis or occult osteochondral fracture.4 A simple joint effusion produces clear, straw-colored transudative fluid, as in a knee sprain or chronic meniscal injury. Hemarthrosis is caused by a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament, a fracture or, less commonly, an acute tear of the outer portion of the meniscus. An osteochondral fracture causes hemarthrosis, with fat globules noted in the aspirate.

Rheumatoid arthritis may involve the knee joint. Hence, serum ESR and rheumatoid factor testing are indicated in selected patients.

The authors indicate that they do not have any conflicts of interest. Sources of funding: none reported.

In conclusion, knee pain is a common health issue which occurs due to a variety of injuries and/or conditions, such as sports injuries, automobile accidents, and arthritis, among other problems. Treatment of knee pain depends largely on the source of the symptoms. Therefore, it is essential for the individual to seek immediate medical attention to receive a diagnosis.

Chiropractic care is an alternative treatment option which focuses on the treatment of a variety of injuries and/or conditions associated with the musculoskeletal and nervous system. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal health issues. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at�915-850-0900�.

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez

Green Call Now Button H .png

 

Additional Topic Discussion: Relieving Knee Pain without Surgery

Knee pain is a well-known symptom which can occur due to a variety of knee injuries and/or conditions, including�sports injuries. The knee is one of the most complex joints in the human body as it is made-up of the intersection of four bones, four ligaments, various tendons, two menisci, and cartilage. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the most common causes of knee pain include patellar subluxation, patellar tendinitis or jumper’s knee, and Osgood-Schlatter disease. Although knee pain is most likely to occur in people over 60 years old, knee pain can also occur in children and adolescents. Knee pain can be treated at home following the RICE methods, however, severe knee injuries may require immediate medical attention, including chiropractic care.

 

blog picture of cartoon paper boy

EXTRA EXTRA | IMPORTANT TOPIC: El Paso, TX Chiropractor Recommended

 

 

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References

1. Rosenblatt RA, Cherkin DC, Schneeweiss R, Hart LG. The content of ambulatory medical care in the United States. An interspecialty comparison. N Engl J Med 1983;309:892-7.

2. Tandeter HB, Shvartzman P, Stevens MA. Acute knee injuries: use of decision rules for selective radiograph ordering. Am Fam Physician 1999;60: 2599-608.

3. Calmbach WL, Hutchens M. Evaluation of patients presenting with knee pain: part II. Differential diag- nosis. Am Fam Physician 2003;68:917-22

4. Bergfeld J, Ireland ML, Wojtys EM, Glaser V. Pin- pointing the cause of acute knee pain. Patient Care 1997;31(18):100-7.

5. Magee DJ. Knee. In: Orthopedic physical assessment. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2002:661-763.

6. Juhn MS. Patellofemoral pain syndrome: a review and guidelines for treatment. Am Fam Physician 1999;60:2012-22.

7. Smith BW, Green GA. Acute knee injuries: part I. History and physical examination. Am Fam Physi- cian 1995;51:615-21.

8. Walsh WM. Knee injuries. In: Mellion MB, Walsh WM, Shelton GL, eds. The team physician�s hand- book. 2d ed. St. Louis: Mosby, 1997:554-78.

9. McMurray TP. The semilunar cartilage. Br J Surg 1942;29:407-14.

10. Stiell IG, Wells GA, Hoag RH, Sivilotti ML, Cacciotti TF, Verbeek PR, et al. Implementation of the Ottawa knee rule for the use of radiography in acute knee injuries. JAMA 1997;278:2075-9.

11. Stiell IG, Greenberg GH, Wells GA, McKnight RD, Cwinn AA, Caciotti T, et al. Derivation of a decision rule for the use of radiography in acute knee injuries. Ann Emerg Med 1995;26:405-13.

12. Sartoris DJ, Resnick D. Plain film radiography: rou- tine and specialized techniques and projections. In: Resnick D, ed. Diagnosis of bone and joint disor- ders. 3d ed. Philadelphia: Saunders:1-40.

13. Schenck RC Jr, Goodnight JM. Osteochondritis dis- secans. J Bone Joint Surg [Am] 1996;78:439-56.

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What is a Quadriceps Tendon Rupture?

What is a Quadriceps Tendon Rupture?

The tendons are powerful soft tissues which connect the muscles to the bones. One of these tendons, the quadriceps tendon, works together with the muscles found at the front of the thigh in order to straighten the leg. A quadriceps tendon rupture can affect an individual’s quality of life.

A quadriceps tendon rupture can be a debilitating injury and it usually requires rehabilitation and surgical interventions to restore knee function. These type of injuries are rare. Quadriceps tendon ruptures commonly occur among athletes who perform jumping or running sports.

Quadriceps Tendon Rupture Description

The four quadriceps muscles come together above the kneecap, or patella, to form the quadriceps tendon. The quadriceps tendon joins the quadriceps muscles into the patella. The patella is connected to the shinbone, or tibia, by the patellar tendon. Working collectively, the quadriceps muscles, the quadriceps tendon, and the patellar tendon, straighten the knee.

A quadriceps tendon rupture can be partial or complete. Many partial tears don’t completely disrupt the soft tissues. However, a full tear will divide the soft tissues�into two parts. If the quadriceps tendon ruptures entirely, the muscle is no longer attached to the kneecap or patella. As a result, the knee is unable to straighten�out when the quadriceps muscles contract.

Quadriceps Tendon Rupture Causes

A quadriceps tendon rupture frequently occurs due to an increased load on the leg where the foot is planted and the knee is somewhat flexed. By way of instance, when landing from an awkward jump, the power is too much for the soft tissues to bear, causing a partial or complete tear. Tears may also be due to falls, direct impacts to the knee, and lacerations or cuts.

A weakened quadriceps tendon is also more likely to rupture. Several factors may result in tendon weakness, including quadriceps tendinitis, the inflammation of the quadriceps tendon, called quadriceps tendinitis. Quadriceps tendinitis is one of the most common sports injuries in athletes who participate in sports or physicial�activities which involve jumping.

Weakened soft tissues may also be brought on by diseases that interrupt blood flow to the knee or patella. Utilizing corticosteroids and some antibiotics have also been connected to weakness associated with quadriceps tendon ruptures. Immobilization for an extended period of time can also decrease strength in the quadriceps tendons. Finally, quadriceps tendon ruptures can occur due to dislocations and/or surgery.

Quadriceps Tendon Rupture Symptoms

A popping or tearing feeling is one of the most common symptoms associated with a quadriceps tendon rupture. Pain followed by swelling and inflammation of the knee�might make the individual unable to straighten out their knee. Other symptoms of a quadriceps tendon rupture include:

  • An indentation at the top of the kneecap or patella of the affected site
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Cramping
  • Sagging or drooping of the kneecap or patella where the tendon tore
  • Difficulty walking because the knee is buckling or giving away

 

 

Quadriceps Tendon Rupture Evaluation

The healthcare professional will perform an evaluation to diagnose a quadriceps tendon rupture by first discussing the patient’s symptoms�and medical history.�After talking about the patient’s symptoms and medical history, the doctor will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the knee.

To ascertain the precise cause of the patient’s symptoms, the healthcare professional will examine how well it is possible to stretch, or straighten,�the knee. Although this area of the evaluation can be debilitating, it’s essential to diagnose a quadriceps tendon rupture.

To verify a quadriceps tendon rupture diagnosis, the doctor may order some imaging tests, like an x-ray or magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, scan. The kneecap moves from place once the quadriceps tendon ruptures. This can be quite evident on a sideways x-ray perspective of the knee.

Complete tears may frequently be identified with x-rays alone. The MRI can reveal the quantity of tendon torn along with the positioning of the tear. From time to time, an MRI will also rule out another injury with similar symptoms. Diagnostic imaging is helpful in the evaluation of sports injuries.

Dr Jimenez White Coat

The quadriceps tendon is the large tendon found just above the kneecap, or patella, which allows us to straighten out our knee. While the quadriceps tendon is a strong, fibrous cord which can withstand tremendous amounts of force, sports injuries or other health issues may lead to a quadriceps tendon rupture. Quadriceps tendon ruptures are debilitating problems which can affect a patient’s quality of life.

Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

Quadriceps Tendon Rupture Treatment

Non-Surgical Treatment

A majority of partial tears react well to non-surgical treatment approaches. The doctor may advise the patient to utilize a knee immobilizer or brace to allow the quadriceps tendon to heal. Crutches will help avoid placing weight onto the leg. A knee immobilizer or brace is used�for 3 to 6 months.

Once the initial pain, swelling, and inflammation have�decreased, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care and physical therapy, can be utilized. A doctor of chiropractic, or chiropractor, utilizes spinal adjustments and manual manipulations to carefully correct any spinal misalignments, or subluxations, which may be causing problems.

Furthermore, chiropractic care and physical therapy can provide lifestyle modifications, including physical activity and exercise programs to help speed up the recovery process. The patient may be recommended a variety of stretches and exercises to improve strength, flexibility and mobility. The healthcare professional will determine when it’s safe to return-to-play.

Surgical Treatment

Many individuals with complete tears require surgery to repair a quadriceps tendon rupture. Surgical interventions depend on the patient’s age, actions, and prior level of function. Surgery for quadriceps tendon ruptures involves re-attaching the tendon to the kneecap or patella. Surgery is carried out with regional spinal anesthetic or general anesthetic.

To reattach the tendon, sutures are put in the tendon and then threaded through drill holes at the kneecap. The stitches are attached in the base of the kneecap. The�physician will tie the sutures to find the ideal tension in the kneecap or patella. This will also make sure that the place of the kneecap closely matches that of the uninjured patella or kneecap.

A knee immobilizer, brace or a long leg cast may be utilized following the surgery. The patient may be allowed to set weight on their leg by means of crutches. Stretches and exercises are added into a rehabilitation program by a chiropractor or physical therapist after a surgical intervention.

The precise timeline for chiropractic care and physical therapy following a surgery for those patients that require it will be individualized personally. The patient’s rehabilitation program will be contingent upon the kind of tear, their surgery, medical condition, along with other requirements.

Conclusion

The majority of patients can return to their original routines after recovering from a quadriceps tendon rupture. The individual’s return will be addressed very carefully by the healthcare professional.�The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal health issues. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at�915-850-0900�.

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez

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Additional Topic Discussion: Relieving Knee Pain without Surgery

Knee pain is a well-known symptom which can occur due to a variety of knee injuries and/or conditions, including�sports injuries. The knee is one of the most complex joints in the human body as it is made-up of the intersection of four bones, four ligaments, various tendons, two menisci, and cartilage. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the most common causes of knee pain include patellar subluxation, patellar tendinitis or jumper’s knee, and Osgood-Schlatter disease. Although knee pain is most likely to occur in people over 60 years old, knee pain can also occur in children and adolescents. Knee pain can be treated at home following the RICE methods, however, severe knee injuries may require immediate medical attention, including chiropractic care.

 

 

 

blog picture of cartoon paper boy

 

EXTRA EXTRA | IMPORTANT TOPIC: El Paso, TX Chiropractor Recommended

Acute Injury Management: What Does the Acronym PRICE Stand For?

Acute Injury Management: What Does the Acronym PRICE Stand For?

When dealing with a sports injury or a similar type of injury, many people are familiar with the R.I.C.E. protocol for injury care. R.I.C.E. stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation and has long been used when treating everything from sprained ankles to banged up knees. With acute injury patients, experts recommend adding �P� for protection because of the protection of the area is vital in the healing process. It is crucial that this is implemented as soon after the injury as possible and it should be maintained for anywhere from 24 hours to 72 hours afterward. Of course, this depends on the severity of the injury.

P is for Protection: Injuries hurt and pain can be a good thing because it prevents you from further injuring that area. It encourages you to protect it.

It is essential to listen to your body and protect the injured area through full or partial immobilization and restricted use. The way you do this depends on the body part.

An arm or shoulder injury can be protected with the use of a sling. An ankle injury may require a brace or splint, and you may have to avoid or limit weight bearing for a while. This means using crutches a walker, or a cane.

R is for Rest: The body needs rest to heal. This could mean complete rest, but in many cases, it means what is known as �relative rest.� This means that it allows for enough rest to heal but is not entirely restrictive which could slow or inhibit recovery.

This means avoiding activities that are stressful to the area to the point that they cause pain or that they might compromise healing. Many times, though, some movement is a good thing, even beneficial. Some gentle movements can speed recovery.

Isometric contractions of the muscles and joints that surround the injury and even some range of motion exercises can help. The key is to keep the movements gentle and to listen to your body for guidance on how much and how far to push.

acute injury management chiropractic care el paso, tx.

I is for Ice: Cryotherapy or cold treatments can come in the form of actual ice, or there can be other types such as a cold soak. When treating acute injuries at home, the best known, and probably most straightforward way is to put some crushed ice in a freezer bag with a zip lock closure and wrap it in a small towel to keep the pack from directly touching the skin.

Frozen vegetables, like green beans, peas, or edamame work well too � remember to use the towel as a barrier between the skin and the pack. You should not use the pack more than 10 to 15 minutes as a time. The recommended cycle is 10 to 15 minutes on and 1 to 2 hours off.

In some cases, you may not be able to apply ice directly to the site. In those cases, you can use the pack at the joint above the affected area. For instance, a tightly wrapped ankle can still benefit from ice, you just apply the ice pack to the back on the knee on the same leg.

C is for Compression: A compression wrap can offer mild support and reduce swelling. Typically, an elastic bandage is used to compress or apply pressure to the injured tissue.

When applying a compression bandage, start it several inches below the area that is injured. It should be applied directly to your skin.

Use some tension as you wrap, but not to the point that it cuts off circulation (characterized by tingling or numbness and the soft tissue should not change color). Wrap the bandage in a figure eight configuration or spiral, depending on the area, stopping a few inches above the injury.

E is for Elevation: When an injured joint or extremity is not elevated, fluid can pool in the area and swelling can occur. This can lead to increased pain and limited range of motion. Elevation helps prevent these things from happening and can even help to speed up recovery.

The key to elevation is positioning the injured area at a level that is above the heart. The most effective way to accomplish this is to keep the area elevated as much as possible while awake and prop it up with pillows while sleeping for at least the first 24 to 48 hours. Some injuries may require more time though, so listen to your body.

Skateboarding Injury Treatment

What is Knee Plica Syndrome?

What is Knee Plica Syndrome?

The knee is a made up of a variety of complex soft tissues. Enclosing the knee joint is a fold at its membrane known as the plica. The knee is encapsulated�by a fluid-filled structure called the synovial membrane. Three of these capsules, known as the synovial plicae, develop around the knee joint throughout the fetal stage and are absorbed before birth.

However, during one research study in 2006, researchers found that 95 percent of patients undergoing arthroscopic surgery had remnants of their synovial plicae. Knee plica syndrome occurs when the plica becomes inflamed, generally due to sports injuries.�This often takes place in the center of the kneecap, known as medial patellar plica syndrome.

What are the Symptoms of Knee Plica Syndrome?

The most common symptom of knee plica syndrome is knee pain, although a variety of health issues can also cause these symptoms. Knee pain associated with knee plica syndrome is generally: achy, instead of sharp or shooting; and worse when using stairs, squatting, or bending. Other symptoms of knee plica syndrome can also include the following:�

  • a catching or locking sensation on the�knee while getting up from a chair after sitting for an extended period of time,
  • difficulty sitting for extended intervals,
  • a cracking or clicking noise when bending or stretching the knee,
  • a feeling that the knee is slowly giving out,
  • a sense of instability on slopes and stairs,
  • and may feel swollen plica when pushing on the knee cap.

What are the Causes of Knee Plica Syndrome?

Knee plica syndrome is commonly caused as�a result of an excess of stress or pressure being placed on the knee or due to overuse. This can be brought on by physical activities and exercises which require the individual to bend and extend the knee like running, biking, or utilizing a stair-climbing machine. An automobile accident injury or�a�slip-and-fall accident can also cause knee plica syndrome.

Dr Jimenez White Coat

Knee plica syndrome, commonly referred to as medial patellar plica syndrome, is a health issue which occurs when the plica, a structure which surrounds the synovial capsule of the knee, becomes irritated and inflamed. Knee plica syndrome can occur due to sports injuries, automobile accident injuries, and slip-and-fall accidents, among other types of health issues. The symptoms of knee plica syndrome may commonly be mistaken for chondromalacia patella. Diagnostic imaging can help diagnose the problem to continue with treatment.

Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

How is Knee Plica Syndrome Diagnosed?

In order to diagnose medial patellar plica syndrome, the healthcare professional will first perform a physical examination. They will use the evaluation to rule out any other potential causes of knee pain, such as a torn meniscus, tendonitis, and broken bones or fractures. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any physical activities you participate in along with any recent health issues. The healthcare professional might also utilize an X-ray or MRI to have a better look at your knee.

 

 

What is the Treatment for Knee Plica Syndrome?�

Most instances of medial patellar plica syndrome respond well to alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, physical therapy or even a physical activity or exercise plan at home. Chiropractic care uses spinal adjustments and manual manipulations to safely and effectively correct a variety of health issues associated with the musculoskeletal and nervous system. Moreover, chiropractic care and physical therapy can include a series of stretches and exercises to help restore strength, mobility, and flexibility to the hamstrings and quadriceps. These stretches and exercises are described below.

Quadriceps Strengthening

The medial plica is attached to the quadriceps, a major muscle on the thighs. An individual with weakened quadriceps has a higher chance of developing knee plica syndrome. You can strengthen your quadriceps by performing the stretches and exercises as follow:

  • quadriceps sets or muscle tightening
  • straight leg raises
  • leg presses
  • mini-squats
  • biking, swimming, walking, or use an elliptical machine.

Hamstring Stretching

The hamstrings are the muscles which extend down the back of the thighs, from the pelvis to the shin bone. These help flex the knee. Tight hamstrings place more stress and pressure on the front of the knee, or the plica. A chiropractor or physical therapist will guide the patient through numerous stretches and exercises which may help unwind the nerves. As soon as the patient learns these moves, they may perform them a few times each day to keep the muscles relaxed.

Corticosteroid Injections

Some healthcare professionals may provide corticosteroid injections for the knee if the pain and inflammation causes a restriction in function. Corticosteroid injections can help temporarily reduce painful symptoms, however, it’s essential for the patient to continue with treatment to heal knee plica syndrome. The painful symptoms may return when the corticosteroid burns off if not treated.

Surgery

If chiropractic care, physical therapy, or the treatment described above does not help heal knee plica syndrome, a procedure known as arthroscopic resection may be needed. To perform this process, the doctor will insert a small camera, called an arthroscope, via a tiny cut at the side of the knee. Small surgical instruments are then inserted through a second small cut to take out the plica or correct its position.

After surgery, your doctor will consult with a chiropractor or physical therapist for a rehabilitation program.�Recovering from surgery for knee plica syndrome is dependent upon many factors, including the patient’s overall health and wellness. The patient may recover within a few days in case the knee has been changed. Remember to wair a few weeks before returning to a routine levels of exercise and physical activity.

Living with Knee Plica Syndrome

Plica syndrome is generally easy to treat with chiropractic care, physical therapy,�and other treatment approaches, as described above. Should you need surgery, the approach is minimally invasive and requires less recovery compared to a number of different types of knee surgery.

Talk to your healthcare professional to determine the best treatment choice for your knee plica syndrome. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal health issues. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at�915-850-0900�.

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez

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Additional Topic Discussion: Relieving Knee Pain without Surgery

Knee pain is a well-known symptom which can occur due to a variety of knee injuries and/or conditions, including�sports injuries. The knee is one of the most complex joints in the human body as it is made-up of the intersection of four bones, four ligaments, various tendons, two menisci, and cartilage. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the most common causes of knee pain include patellar subluxation, patellar tendinitis or jumper’s knee, and Osgood-Schlatter disease. Although knee pain is most likely to occur in people over 60 years old, knee pain can also occur in children and adolescents. Knee pain can be treated at home following the RICE methods, however, severe knee injuries may require immediate medical attention, including chiropractic care.

 

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What is Chondromalacia Patellae?

What is Chondromalacia Patellae?

Chondromalacia patellae, also referred to as runner’s knee, is a health issue in which the cartilage beneath the patella,�or kneecap, becomes soft�and ultimately degenerates. This problem is prevalent among young athletes,�however, it may also develop in older adults who suffer from arthritis of the knee.

Sports injuries like chondromalacia patellae are frequently regarded as an overuse injury. Taking some time off from participating in physical activities and exercise may produce superior outcomes. In the instance that the individual’s health issues are due to improper knee alignment, rest may not offer pain relief. Symptoms of runner’s knee include knee pain and grinding sensations.

What Causes Chondromalacia Patellae?

The kneecap,�or the patella, is generally found through the front of the knee joint. If you bend your knee, the rear end of your kneecap slips over the cartilage of your femur, or thigh bone, at the knee. Complex soft tissues, such as tendons and ligaments, connect the kneecap to the shinbone and thigh muscle. Chondromalacia patellae�can commonly occur when any of these structures fail to move accordingly, causing the kneecap to rub against the�thigh bone. Poor kneecap motion may result from:

  • Misalignment due to a congenital health issue
  • Weakened hamstrings and quadriceps, or the muscles of the thighs
  • Muscle imbalance between the adductors and abductors, the muscles on the inside and outside of the thighs
  • Continuous pressure to the knee joints from certain physical activities and exercise like running, skiing, or jumping
  • a direct blow or injury for a kneecap

Who is at Risk for Chondromalacia Patellae?

Below is an assortment of factors which may increase an individual’s chance for developing chondromalacia patellae.

Age

Adolescents and young adults have the highest risk for this health issue. During growth spurts, bones and muscles can often grow too rapidly, causing short-term muscle and bone imbalances in the human body.

Gender

Females are more likely than males to develop runner’s knee, because women generally possess less muscle mass than men. This may result in abnormal knee placement, and more lateral pressure on the kneecap.

Flat Feet

Individuals who have flat feet can add more strain to the knee joints as compared to individuals who have higher arches.

Past Injury

Previous injuries to the kneecap, including a dislocation, can raise the chance of developing chondromalacia patellae.

Increased Physical Activity

Increased levels of physical activities and exercise can place pressure on the knee joints, which may raise the risk for knee issues.

Arthritis

Runner’s knee may also be an indication of arthritis, a well-known problem causing pain and inflammation to the tissue and joint. Swelling can prevent the proper function of the knee and its complex structures.

What are the Symptoms of Chondromalacia Patellae?

Chondromalacia patellae will generally present as pain in the knee, called patellofemoral pain, accompanied by sensations of cracking or grinding when extending or bending the knee. Pain may worsen after sitting for an extended period of time or through physical activities and exercises that apply intense pressure for your knees, like standing. It’s essential for the individual to seek immediate medical attention if the symptoms of chondromalacia patellae, or runner’s knee, do not resolve on their own.

 

 

Diagnosis and Chondromalacia Patellae Grading

A healthcare professional will search for areas of pain and inflammation on the knee. They might also look at the way the kneecap aligns with the thigh bone. A misalignment may indicate the presence of chondromalacia patellae. The doctor may also perform a series of evaluations to ascertain the presence of this health issue.

The healthcare professional may also ask for any of the following tests to help diagnose chondromalacia patellae, including:�x-rays to show bone damage or misalignments or arthritis; magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, to see cartilage wear and tear; and�arthroscopic examination, a minimally invasive procedure which involves inserting an endoscope and camera inside the knee joint.

Grading

There are four levels of chondromalacia patellae, ranging from grade 1 to 4, which characterize the level of the patient’s runner’s knee. Grade 1 is considered mild while grade�4 is considered severe.

  • Grade 1 indicates the softening of the cartilage in the knee region.
  • Grade 2 suggests a softening of the cartilage followed by abnormal surface features, the start of degeneration.
  • Grade 3 reveals the thinning of the cartilage together with active degeneration of the complex soft tissues of the knee.
  • Grade 4, or the most severe grade, demonstrates exposure of the bone through a substantial part of the cartilage Bone exposure means that bone-to-bone rubbing is most likely happening in the knee.

What is the Treatment for Chondromalacia Patellae?

The goal of treatment for chondromalacia patellae is to first decrease the strain being placed on the kneecap, or patella, and the femur, or thigh bone. Rest and the use of ice and heat agains the affected knee joint is generally the first line of treatment. The cartilage damage associated with runner’s knee may often repair itself with these remedies along.

Moreover, the healthcare professional may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and/or medications, such as ibuprofen, to decrease pain and inflammation around the knee joint. When tenderness, swelling, and pain persist, the following treatment options could be explored. As mentioned above, individuals should seek immediate medical attention if symptoms persist.�

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a safe and effective, alternative treatment option which focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of a variety of injuries and/or conditions associated with the musculoskeletal and nervous system, including chondromalacia patellae. Occasionally,�knee pain may originate due to spinal misalignments or subluxations. A doctor of chiropractic, or chiropractor, will use spinal adjustments and manual manipulations to carefully restore the natural integrity of the spine.�

Furthermore, a chiropractor may also recommend a series of lifestyle modifications, including nutritional advice and a physical activity or exercise guide to help ease symptoms associated with chondromalacia patellae. Rehabilitation may also focus on�strengthening the quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, and abductors to improve muscular strength, flexibility, and mobility. The purpos of muscle balance is also to assist in preventing knee misalignment, among other complications.

Surgery

Arthroscopic surgery might be required to inspect the joint and ascertain whether there is a misalignment of the knee. This operation involves inserting a camera in the knee joint through a very small incision. A surgical procedure can repair the issue. One�common process is a lateral release. This surgery involves cutting a number of the ligaments to release tension and permit for more movement. Additional surgery may entail implanting the back of the kneecap, inserting a cartilage graft, or transferring the thigh muscle.

Dr Jimenez White Coat

Chondromalacia patellae is characterized as the inflammation of the underside of the patella, or kneecap, caused by the softening of the cartilage surrounding the soft tissues of the knee joint. This well-known health issue is generally caused due to sports injuries in young athletes, although chondromalacia patellae may also occur in older adults with arthritis in the knee. Chiropractic care can help restore strength and balance to the knee joint and its surrounding soft tissues.

Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

How to Prevent Chondromalacia Patellae

A patient can ultimately lower their chance of developing runner’s knee, or chondromalacia patellae, by:�

  • Avoiding repeated stress on the knees. In case the individual needs to spend time on their knees, they could wear kneepads.
  • Produce muscle balance by strengthening the quadriceps, hamstrings, abductors, and adductors.
  • Wear shoe inserts that correct flat feet. This may reduce the amount of pressure being placed on the knees to realign the kneecap, or patella.

Keeping a healthy body weight can also help prevent chondromalacia patellae. Following the nutritional advice and guidance from a healthcare profesional can help promote a healthy body weight. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal health issues. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at�915-850-0900�.

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez

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Additional Topic Discussion: Relieving Knee Pain without Surgery

Knee pain is a well-known symptom which can occur due to a variety of knee injuries and/or conditions, including�sports injuries. The knee is one of the most complex joints in the human body as it is made-up of the intersection of four bones, four ligaments, various tendons, two menisci, and cartilage. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the most common causes of knee pain include patellar subluxation, patellar tendinitis or jumper’s knee, and Osgood-Schlatter disease. Although knee pain is most likely to occur in people over 60 years old, knee pain can also occur in children and adolescents. Knee pain can be treated at home following the RICE methods, however, severe knee injuries may require immediate medical attention, including chiropractic care.

 

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What is Osgood-Schlatter Disease?

What is Osgood-Schlatter Disease?

Osgood-Schlatter disease is a common cause of knee pain in growing adolescents. It is characterized by the inflammation of the site below the knee where the tendon from the kneecap, or the patellar tendon, attaches to the shinbone, or tibia. Osgood-Schlatter disease occurs during growth spurts when muscles, bones, tendons, and other tissues shift�rapidly.

Physical activities can place additional stress on the bones, muscles, tendons and other complex structures of young athletes. Children and adolescents who participate in running and jumping sports have a higher chance of developing this condition. However, less active children and adolescents may also experience this well-known health issue.

In the majority of instances, Osgood-Schlatter disease will resolve on its own and the pain can be managed with over-the-counter drugs and/or medications. Stretches and exercises can also help improve strength, flexibility and mobility. Alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can also help relieve pain and restore the patient’s�well-being.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease Explained

The bones of children and adolescents have a special area where the bone grows, known as the growth plate. Growth plates are made up of cartilage, which harden into solid bone, when a child or adolescent is fully grown.

Some growth plates function as attachment sites for tendons, the strong soft tissues which connect muscles to bones. A bump, known as the tubercle, covers the growth plate at the end of the tibia. The set of muscles in the front of the thigh, or the quadriceps, then attaches to the tibial tubercle.

When a child or adolescent participates in physical activities, the quadriceps muscles pull the patellar tendon which then pulls the tibial tubercle. In some children and adolescents, this traction on the tubercle can cause pain and inflammation in the growth plate. The prominence, or bulge, of the tubercle may become pronounced as a result of this problem.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease Symptoms

Painful symptoms associated with Osgood-Schlatter disease are often brought on by running, jumping, and other sports-related pursuits. In some cases, both the knees have symptoms, although one knee might be worse. Common symptoms of Osgood-Schlatter disease also include:

  • Knee pain and tenderness in the tibial tubercle
  • Swelling in the tibial tubercle
  • Tight muscles at the front or back of the thigh

 

Dr Jimenez White Coat

Osgood-Schlatter disease is the inflammation of the bone, cartilage and/or tendon at the top of the shinbone, or tibia, where the tendon attaches to the kneecap, or patella. Osgood-Schlatter disease is considered to be an overuse injury rather than a disorder or condition. Osgood-Schlatter disease is one of the most common causes of knee pain in children and adolescents. Although it can be very painful, the health issue generally goes away on its own within 12 to 24 months.

Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

Osgood-Schlatter Disease Diagnosis

Throughout the consultation, the healthcare professional will discuss the children or adolescent’s symptoms regarding their overall health and wellness. They will then conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the knee. This will consist of applying pressure to the tibial tubercle, which should be painful for a patient with Osgood-Schlatter disease. Additionally, the doctor may also ask the child or adolescent to walk, run, jump, or kneel to see whether symptoms are brought on by the movements. Furthermore, the healthcare professional may also order an x-ray of the patienet’s knee to help support their diagnosis or to rule out any other health issues.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease Treatment

Treatment for Osgood-Schlatter disease focuses on reducing pain and inflammation. This generally requires limiting physical activities until symptoms improve. Sometimes, rest may be necessary for many months, followed by treatment and rehabilitation program. However, participation may be safe to continue if the patient experiences no painful symptoms. The doctor may recommend additional treatment, including:

  • Stretchex�and exercises. Stretches and exercises for the front and back of the thigh, or the quadriceps and the hamstring muscles, can help alleviate pain and prevent the disease from returning.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Medications like ibuprofen and naproxen can also help reduce pain and inflammation.

Most symptoms will completely vanish when a child completes the adolescent growth spurt, around age 14 for girls and age 16 for boys. Because of this, surgery is often not recommended, although the prominence of the�tubercle will remain.�The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal health issues. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at�915-850-0900�.

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez

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Additional Topic Discussion: Relieving Knee Pain without Surgery

Knee pain is a well-known symptom which can occur due to a variety of knee injuries and/or conditions, including sports injuries. The knee is one of the most complex joints in the human body as it is made-up of the intersection of four bones, four ligaments, various tendons, two menisci, and cartilage. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the most common causes of knee pain include patellar subluxation, patellar tendinitis or jumper’s knee, and Osgood-Schlatter disease. Although knee pain is most likely to occur in people over 60 years old, knee pain can also occur in children and adolescents. Knee pain can be treated at home following the RICE methods, however, severe knee injuries may require immediate medical attention, including chiropractic care.

 

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