There are several reasons why an individual may suffer from a hurt patella (kneecap). This is a very common woe among athletes who participate in sports that involve a lot of jumping or running. The immediate as well as the underlying cause of the hurt knee cap determines the type of treatment that you will need to undergo to alleviate the pain and stem the swelling.
Torn Ligament - Most Common Cause of Hurt Knee Cap (Patella)
A torn ligament is one of the most common of knee injuries. It usually presents with pain and swelling and may also involve the knee slipping out from under you when you are walking. Many people with a torn ligament refer to this as a trick knee. This is a situation in which the hurt knee ligament can actually cause the knee to feel very unstable while an individual is standing, walking or jogging.
Torn ligaments are more likely to be seen in people who are active in sports or have played sports in the past as well as those who work in jobs that involve a lot of heavy duty lifting.
Osteoarthritis - Common Cause of Sore Knee Cap
If you have a chronically hurt patella your doctor will want to rule out the possibility of osteoarthritis. This knee ailment includes joint deterioration, along wth stiffness, discomfort and edema (fluid collection) at the joint. While this can occur at any age, it most often occurs in athletes and usually at an older age. Surgery is sometimes considered for those with this condition, although it is most often treated with the use of a brace and anti-inflammatory medication.
Treatment for Patella Injuries
The recommended treatment for a hurt patella depends primarily upon whether it is an acute injury or a chronic condition.
A.) Acute Injury: If the hurt knee cap is the result of an acute injury, then it will be treated with ice and you may be asked to stay off your leg and wear a brace when walking to keep the knee straight. The stability that these supports can help provide can be meaningful because they help to keep the knee's structural integrity protected and aligned properly. - (Moreover, it is important to always speak with your physician when you any acute injury.)
B.) Chronic Knee Pain: If the pain is due to a chronic condition, it will most likely be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs as well as a brace that can help you stay mobile. A chronic condition can immobilize you in the long-term and wearing a knee brace can be a very effective tool in your treatment plan. Braces are significant, especially in this situation, because they help to stop excessive movements that increase discomfort.
Surgical intervention is considered by many to be the last treatment option for a painful knee cap, because conservative measures often help solve the problems people have.
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