Knee pain is one of the most common joint pains that people around the world experience. People experience knee pain due to various different reasons, it may be due to some injury, deficiency, or even old age. Medial knee pain is something that a lot of people experience due to various different reasons.
The medial knee is nothing but the inner part of the knee that is close to the other knee. As the knee is one of the complicated joints in our body, we can easily hurt it during our day to day activities. So, let us understand the medial knee pain in detail with the causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
Understanding Medial Knee Pain
The knee is the largest and one of the strongest joints in our human body. It is considered a synovial joint as the knee cavity is filled with synovial fluid. Synovial fluids are very important for joints as they reduce friction during movements. The knees connect the tibia and fibula(long bones present in the lower leg) and together form a knee cap, along with the patella (a small bone present in front of the knees).
This synovial joint is considered a hinge type of joint as it allows back and forth movement of bones. Knee joints hold our body weight and help in flexion and extension of the sagittal plane (radical increase and decrease of angles between any two body parts).
Knees are made up of four ligaments. They are as follows:
- PCL (posterior cruciate ligament)
- ACL (anterior cruciate ligament)
- MCL (medial cruciate ligament)
- LCL (lateral cruciate ligament)
All these ligaments help the knees to connect with the femur (thigh bone) and they perform various functions. PCL is located on the backward region of the knees and it helps in retraction movements.
Meanwhile, the ACL is located on the central part of the knees and it helps in the rotational movements. The MCL is faced inwards to the femur and it provides stability to the inner knee. Whereas the LCL is faced outwards to the femur and provides support to the outer knee.
Ligaments are made up of collagen fibers and elastin. They provide support and stability to the joints and also play an important role in the movement. There are certain factors that affect the ligament in a bad manner, which in turn affects the joints. When it comes to knees, the ligaments are even more vulnerable.
Any kind of damage, smaller or bigger, like tears, excessive stretch, sudden twists, etc., in the ligaments, cause intense pain in the knees. One of such difficulties which are caused in the medial knee is called “MCL tear”, also known as “meniscus tear”. This causes abrupt pain in the medial knee region.
Causes Of Medial Knee Pain
Medial knee pain is caused whenever there is a tear or sprain in the “medial cruciate ligament”. However, there are many other causes of medial knee pain, let us find out.
MCL tear or meniscus tear: Excessive pressure on the ligament makes it prone to wear and tear, which in turn causes swelling and stiffness in the knees. It usually happens while playing or indulging in any physical activities in a vigorous manner.
Osteoarthritis: It is caused whenever the cartilage protecting the bones of the knees gets damaged. It makes the area surrounding the region of the inner knee more tender and painful. Damage in the cartilage is caused whenever it experiences more frictional force during motions.
Medial plica syndrome: It is caused due to an inflamed synovial membrane found in the medial region of the knees. It usually occurs because of vigorous squatting and other exercises involving the knees.
Symptoms Associated With Medial Knee Pain
- Pain in the inner region of the knees while sitting with legs crossed or while indulging in even slight physical exercises like walking, jogging, etc.
- Popping sound during knee movements.
- Swelling around the knee region.
- Painful discomfort while folding the knees
Treatments available for medial knee pain
The treatments vary depending upon the intensity of the damage. In most cases, surgical procedures are not involved while in critical conditions, surgery is preferred.
Arthroscopy: This major surgery is performed when the patient is suffering from osteoarthritis. It is a bit risky when compared to the other surgeries but it helps in fast recovery of the knees. It easily fixes the damaged cartilages and ligaments.
Corticosteroids: corticosteroids are artificially synthesized cortisols that are used to treat inflammations. They are injected into the knee region to reduce swelling of the inner knees.
Physiotherapy: Many types of exercises are prescribed by physiotherapists for treating medial knee pain. Physiotherapy may not have immediate results but when practiced regularly it will surely have good results.
Home Remedies: In excusable cases, home remedies can be applied for better results. Home remedies include ice pack therapy, hot bag therapy, etc. they give instant relief from pain and reduce swelling.
How To Prevent Medial Knee Pain?
Most of the injuries in the medial region of the knees are caused due to accidental twists and tears. So, it is always advisable to prevent yourselves from indulging in vigorous activities.
If you are a sportsperson or a fitness enthusiast , always use knee caps and strictly follow other preventive measures ,beforehand.
Do not strain your legs if you are already suffering from pain in the knees. It makes the situation worse.
Do workouts that strengthen the bones and muscles.
Consume healthy food that contains nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, etc. Eat nuts and dry fruits to strengthen the bones. Avoid eating unhealthy food containing more oil, salt, cholesterol, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to participate in athletic meets and other sports competitions while suffering from medial knee pain?
No, you shouldn’t strain your knees if it hurts while moving. It could lead to even bigger problems. It is advisable to take at least a week’s rest, before engaging in any kind of strenuous physical activity.
Is it okay to use painkillers?
Pain killers do reduce the pain in the knee region but make sure you consult your physiotherapist before using one.
How much does the treatment knee surgery cost?
The price varies from treatment to treatment. Knee replacement surgery in the US may cost about $30,000 to $50,000 depending upon the situation. It may or may not exceed as the price totally depends upon the procedures.
As knees are vital for movements, they should always be taken into consideration. Even though medial knee pain is common, it shouldn’t be taken for granted. Following a healthy fitness routine and eating healthy food are necessary for maintaining knee health.
Also, do not indulge in any kind of vigorous activities, without proper guidance and practice. Always consult your doctor before taking any precautionary steps. So, that’s all for this article, hope you found it helpful.