Knee pain is common among active individuals. The causes vary, and there are multiple treatment options. Promptly addressing knee injuries is crucial to prevent complications. At Aligned Orthopedic Partners, our orthopedic surgeons understand the seriousness of knee injuries and the importance of physical therapy. They will listen to your concerns, provide compassionate care, and address all your questions.

Knee Conditions & Treatments:

Understanding Knee Arthritis (Osteoarthritis)

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, and your knees are a frequent target. It happens when the cartilage that cushions your knee joint wears down. Cartilage lets the bones of your knee (thighbone, shinbone, and kneecap) glide smoothly over each other. When it deteriorates, bones can rub together, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling.

What Causes Knee Osteoarthritis?

  • Age and Wear-and-Tear: A major factor, but not the only one.
  • Injury or Trauma: Previous knee injuries increase your risk.
  • Excess Weight: Puts additional stress on your joints.
  • Genetics: Some people are more prone to developing osteoarthritis.

Symptoms: What Should I Look For?

  • Pain: May be in the front, back, or sides of your knee. Often worsens with activity.
  • Stiffness: Especially after inactivity or in the morning.
  • Swelling: Your knee may feel warm and look puffy.
  • Crunching or Popping: You might hear or feel these sensations when bending your knee.
  • Loss of Mobility: Difficulty fully bending or straightening the knee, making daily tasks harder.

How Is Knee Arthritis Treated?

Treatment starts with these approaches:

  • Lifestyle Changes: Weight management (if needed) and low-impact activities help.
  • Physical Therapy: Specific exercises to strengthen the muscles supporting your knee, improving its stability and reducing stress on the joint.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers and anti-inflammatories.
  • Bracing: A knee brace can provide support and reduce pain.


  • Cortisone injections offer temporary pain relief.
  • Orthobiologic injections (like PRP) may help promote healing.

When is Knee Replacement Considered?

If the above treatments don’t provide enough relief and your pain severely impacts your life, knee replacement surgery may be an option. It involves replacing the damaged joint surfaces with artificial parts.

Important to Remember:

Early diagnosis is best: Treatment can slow the progression of arthritis and reduce pain.
Multiple treatment options: Your doctor will create a personalized plan for you.

Don’t Hesitate

If knee pain is interfering with your daily life, talk to your doctor. Don’t let arthritis hold you back!

Understanding Knee Pain

Knee pain is an extremely common problem that can affect anyone, regardless of age or activity level. It can limit daily activities, work, and the things you enjoy. Understanding the potential causes is the first step toward finding relief.

Common Causes of Knee Pain:

  • Sprains and strains (ligaments and muscles)
  • Torn cartilage (meniscus)
  • ACL or other ligament tears
  • Fractures


  • Osteoarthritis (wear-and-tear)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (autoimmune condition)

Overuse Issues:

  • Tendonitis (like patellar tendonitis or “jumper’s knee”)
  • Bursitis (inflammation of fluid-filled sacs)
  • IT Band Syndrome (pain on the outside of the knee)

Symptoms to Watch For:

  • Type of Pain: Sharp, dull, achy, burning
  • Location: Front, back, inner, outer knee
    When it Worsens: Activity, rest, certain movements
  • Other Symptoms: Swelling, redness, warmth, locking or giving way

When to See a Doctor:

  • Severe pain or a knee that won’t bear weight
    Significant swelling
  • Inability to straighten or fully bend your knee
  • Deformity or visible changes in the joint
  • Fever along with knee redness and warmth
  • Pain that persists beyond a few days or doesn’t improve with rest and ice

Getting the Right Diagnosis

Your doctor will:

  • Discuss your symptoms: The history of your knee pain is crucial.
  • Physically examine your knee: Checking for swelling, tenderness, and range of motion.
  • Order imaging: X-rays, MRIs, or other scans, if needed, for a clearer picture.

Treatment: It Depends on the Cause

Treatment will vary greatly depending on the diagnosis. Common approaches include:

  • Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (RICE)
  • Medication (pain relievers, anti-inflammatories)
  • Physical therapy
  • Injections (cortisone or orthobiologic options)
  • Bracing or taping
  • Surgery (in specific cases of severe injury or advanced arthritis)

Don’t Ignore It

Knee pain often has a treatable cause. Ignoring it could lead to further damage and longer-term issues. Seek medical advice to start your path to recovery!

Understanding Meniscal Tears

Your meniscus is a C-shaped wedge of tough cartilage in your knee that acts like a shock absorber between your thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia). You have two in each knee. A meniscal tear is a common injury that can cause pain, swelling, and knee instability.

How Do Meniscal Tears Happen?

  • Sudden Twisting Injury: Often seen in sports involving pivoting (like basketball or soccer), but can also happen in everyday activities involving twisting the knee.
  • Degenerative Tears: In older adults, the meniscus can weaken with age, making it more prone to tears with minimal force or wear and tear over time.

Symptoms of a Meniscal Tear

  • A “popping” sensation at the time of injury.
  • Pain, especially when twisting or squatting.
  • Swelling of the knee.
  • Stiffness and limited range of motion in the knee.
  • Feeling like your knee is catching, locking, or giving way.

Diagnosis and Treatment

  • Physical Exam: Your doctor will check for pain in specific locations, swelling, and signs of instability.
  • Imaging: An MRI is often used to confirm a meniscal tear and assess the severity.

Treatment Options

  • Nonsurgical:
    • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
    • Anti-inflammatory medication.
    • Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles supporting your knee.
  • Surgery: If nonsurgical methods fail to adequately control pain and your knee remains unstable, your doctor may recommend arthroscopic surgery. This may involve:
  • Repair: Stitching the torn meniscus back together (may be possible depending on the location and type of tear).
  • Partial Removal (Meniscectomy): Trimming away the damaged portion of the meniscus.

Important to Know:

  • Early Treatment Matters: Seeking prompt evaluation increases the chances of repair (if possible), which generally offers better long-term outcomes.
  • Not All Tears Need Surgery: Many meniscal tears, especially in older people, may improve with nonsurgical treatment.
  • Rehab is Key: Careful physical therapy after either nonsurgical management or surgery is crucial for optimal recovery.

Seeking Medical Help
If you suspect a meniscal tear, don’t ignore it. Talk to your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and discuss the best treatment approach for your individual situation.

Understanding Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee)

Patellar tendonitis, also known as jumper’s knee, is an overuse injury affecting the tendon that connects your kneecap (patella) to your shinbone (tibia). This tendon is crucial for straightening your leg, making it especially common in athletes who do a lot of jumping, running, or kicking.

Why Does It Happen?

  • Repetitive Stress: Overuse of the patellar tendon leads to tiny tears and inflammation. This most often happens when pushing too hard, too fast, especially in sports.
  • Muscle Imbalances: Weak quadriceps (thigh muscles) or tight hamstrings put extra strain on the patellar tendon.
  • Other Factors: Foot structure (flat feet), hard training surfaces, and worn-out shoes can increase your risk.

Symptoms of Patellar Tendonitis

  • Pain at the front of the knee, just below the kneecap.
  • Worsens with jumping, kneeling, or squatting.
    Stiffness in the knee, especially in the morning or after sitting.
  • Tenderness when pressing on the patellar tendon.
    Sometimes mild swelling around the tendon.

Treatment: From Conservative to Advanced

Treatment usually starts with:

  • RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation to manage pain and swelling.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers and anti-inflammatories.
  • Physical Therapy: Specific exercises to strengthen the quadriceps and improve flexibility in the leg muscles, along with correcting technique issues.

If these methods don’t bring relief, you might consider:

Patellar Tendon Strap: A brace worn below the kneecap to take pressure off the tendon.


  • Cortisone injections can provide short-term pain relief but come with potential risks.
  • Orthobiologic injections like PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) may promote long-term healing.
  • Very Rarely: Surgery might be needed if pain is severe and doesn’t improve after comprehensive nonsurgical treatment.

Important to Remember

  • Early intervention is key. It can prevent the problem from worsening.
  • Recovery takes time. Gradually return to sports and activities under guidance.
  • Address any underlying factors (weakness, foot issues) to reduce the risk of recurrence.

Talk to Your Doctor

Don’t let patellar tendonitis sideline you – seek medical advice to get on the road to recovery!

Could it Ease Your Pain?

Knee arthritis (often osteoarthritis) causes pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility due to the breakdown of cartilage within the joint. If traditional treatments aren’t enough, PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) therapy offers a potential alternative to manage pain and potentially slow down the progression of the disease.

What is PRP?

PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma): A concentrated solution derived from a small sample of your own blood.

Packed with Power: PRP is rich in platelets, which contain growth factors. These growth factors are vital for your body’s natural healing processes.

How Might PRP Help with Knee Arthritis?

When injected directly into your arthritic knee joint, PRP aims to:

  • Reduce Pain and Inflammation: Decreasing the major symptoms of arthritis.
  • Stimulate Healing: Growth factors in PRP might potentially promote new cartilage growth in mild to moderate arthritis.
  • Slow Down Disease Progression: There’s some evidence that PRP may help delay further joint damage.

Is PRP Right for Your Knee Arthritis?

You might be a good candidate for PRP if:

  • Your knee arthritis is mild to moderate.
  • Conservative treatments like rest, medication, or physical therapy haven’t brought enough relief.
  • You’re not yet ready for surgery or want to explore less invasive options first.

The PRP Procedure for Knee Arthritis

  • Consultation: Your doctor will evaluate your condition to discuss if PRP is suitable.
  • Blood Draw: A small amount of blood is taken.
    Preparation: The blood is spun in a centrifuge to isolate the platelets and create the PRP.
  • Injection: Using ultrasound guidance for precision, the PRP is injected into your knee joint.
  • Recovery: You might experience temporary soreness, but recovery is usually quick.
  • Combining PRP with physical therapy can optimize your results.

Important Considerations:

PRP is Safe: As it uses your own blood, there’s minimal risk of side effects.

Research is Encouraging: Studies suggest that PRP can be an effective treatment option for knee arthritis, easing pain and improving function.

Not a Quick Fix: It takes time for the growth factors to stimulate healing. Multiple PRP injections might be recommended for the best results.

Discuss PRP with Your Doctor

If you’re struggling with knee arthritis pain, ask your doctor about PRP therapy. They can help you decide if it’s the right approach for you.

Harnessing Your Body’s Healing Power

Patellar tendonitis, also known as jumper’s knee, is a frustrating overuse injury that causes pain and inflammation in the tendon connecting your kneecap to your shinbone. When rest, medication, and physical therapy aren’t enough, PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) therapy offers a promising option to jumpstart your healing.

How Can PRP Help Patellar Tendonitis?

Healing Boost: PRP delivers a concentrated dose of growth factors, crucial for tissue repair, directly into the damaged patellar tendon.

Goals of PRP:

  • Reduce inflammation and pain
  • Facilitate the body’s natural healing process
  • Promote long-term healing of the tendon

Is PRP Right For You?

You might be a good candidate for PRP if:

  • Traditional treatments haven’t provided adequate relief from pain and limited function.
  • You’re seeking a minimally invasive option before considering surgery.
  • You’re willing to actively participate in physical therapy after the procedure for optimal recovery.

What to Expect: The PRP Procedure for Patellar Tendonitis

Evaluation: Your doctor will assess your condition and confirm PRP is a suitable choice.

  • Blood Draw: A small amount of blood is taken from your arm.
  • Centrifuge Processing: The blood is spun to concentrate the platelets and prepare the PRP.
  • Injection: Using ultrasound guidance for accuracy, your doctor precisely injects the PRP into the damaged area of the patellar tendon.
  • Recovery: You might experience some initial soreness, but recovery is generally quick. Physical therapy is crucial to optimize your results.

Important Points to Remember

PRP is Safe: As it uses your own blood, there’s minimal risk of side effects.

Research is Promising: Studies suggest PRP can be an effective treatment for chronic patellar tendonitis.

Results May Vary: Healing takes time and individual responses can differ.

Talk to Your Doctor

If persistent patellar tendonitis is limiting your activities, discuss PRP therapy with your doctor.

They can evaluate your case and help you decide if it’s a worthwhile option for your path to recovery.

Understanding Iliotibial Band Syndrome

The iliotibial tract, also known as the iliotibial band (ITB), is a thick fascial band that runs along the outer part of your thigh, extending from the hip to the top of the shin.

It is made of dense fibrous connective tissue and originates from the iliac crest and inserts at the knee.

The primary function of the ITB and its associated muscles is to extend, abduct, and laterally rotate the hip.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome is known as a non-traumatic overuse injury that is often linked to weakness in the hip abductor muscles.

The condition is caused by repetitive knee flexion and extension, resulting in pain on the side of the knee.

It is particularly prevalent among cyclists and runners but can also be associated with activities such as cycling, hockey, swimming, hiking, and basketball.

What Are The Common Symptoms?

  • Pain and tenderness when palpating the outer part of the knee
  • Lingering pain after physical activity
  • Sensation of clicking in the knee
  • Tenderness in the buttocks
  • Warmth and redness around the knee

Treatment for Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Many people find relief from discomfort or inflammation by taking anti-inflammatory pain medication, using cold compresses, engaging in stretching and strengthening exercises.

It is very important to restrict activity temporarily to reduce pain, prevent additional harm, and to make sure the knee gets healed.

Sometimes, ultrasound and electrotherapy may be suggested to heal tension.

Understanding Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter Disease is a prevalent injury caused by repetitive use that affects the growth plate located at the tibial tuberosity, resulting in inflammation and discomfort. This condition primarily impacts adolescents who are experiencing growth spurts, particularly those engaged in sports activities that involve running, jumping, and sudden changes in direction.

What Are The Symptoms?

  • Swelling of the patellar tendon and tibial tuberosity
  • Pain, swelling, and tenderness at the tibial tuberosity (the bony prominence below the kneecap)
  • Increased pain during activities like running, jumping, or squatting
  • Temporary alleviation of pain through rest


Treatment for Osgood-Schlatter Disease

  • In general, treatment includes the use of the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation)
  • Anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy to strengthen the nearby muscles are also effective
  • Usually, the condition resolves naturally as the growth plate closes.

Understanding Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner’s Knee)

Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee, is known as discomfort in the area surrounding the kneecap (patella). This condition arises from imbalances and misalignments in the muscles and structures that make up the knee. It is common among athletes engaged in activities where the knee flexes often, such as running, cycling, and jumping.

What Are The Symptoms?

  • A dull, persistent ache in the front of the knee
  • Worsening of knee pain during activities like squatting, ascending stairs, or prolonged sitting
  • Occasional instances of the knee buckling or giving way


Managing Patellofemoral Pain: Effective Treatment Options

Treatments for patellofemoral pain syndrome include:

  • Physical therapy to strengthen knee muscles, improve flexibility, and correct imbalances.
  • Using orthotics or shoe inserts for foot support and lessening knee joint pressure.
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and swelling

Understanding Quadricep & Hamstring Strains
The muscles in your thigh can be categorized into two main groups: the hamstring and the quadriceps.

The hamstring is composed of three muscles:

  • The Biceps Femoris
  • Semitendinosus
  • Semimembranosus

Thigh Muscles Overview

  • The hamstring muscles extend from the thigh to the knee along the back of the leg, aiding in knee flexion and hip extension.
  • Conversely, the quadriceps muscles are located on the front of the thigh, connecting to the pelvis, hip bones, thigh bones (femur), and kneecaps (patella) via tendons.
  • Strains in the quadriceps and hamstring muscles are common injuries resulting from excessive stretching and tearing of muscle fibers.
  • These injuries are often observed in sports involving sprinting, jumping, or sudden changes in direction.

What Are The Symptoms?

  • Sudden and sharp pain in the front (quadriceps) or back (hamstrings) of the thigh
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Difficulty walking or putting weight on the affected leg

Treatment for Quadriceps And Hamstring Strains: The Path To Relief

Treatment typically involves using the RICE method to effectively manage symptoms:

  • Rest: Giving the affected area time to heal and avoiding activities that worsen the condition.
  • Ice: Applying cold packs to reduce swelling and numb pain.
  • Compression: Wrapping the injured area with an elastic bandage to reduce swelling and provide support.
  • Elevation: Keeping the injured area elevated above the level of the heart to minimize swelling.

Physical therapy may also be recommended to aid in the recovery process, focusing on:

  • Regaining Strength: Through targeted exercises to strengthen the affected muscles and surrounding tissues.
  • Improving Flexibility: Utilizing stretches and range of motion exercises to enhance flexibility and prevent stiffness.

Following a complete treatment plan can help you recover faster and avoid future injuries.

a middle-aged couple exercising and laughing as they jog


Let our experts help guide your journey to recovery.

Let our experts help guide your journey to recovery.