Knee

Knee Specialist
Knee pain can impact anyone, especially athletes and people with active lifestyles. If you have a sports or other type of knee injury, Dr. Robert J. Lee can help. At Robert Lee Orthopedics, in Idaho Falls and Blackfoot, Idaho, Dr. Lee offers a broad range of treatments, including partial and total knee replacement surgery. He is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who regularly treats patients with sprains, tears, and other ailments. If your knee pain is keeping you from the active lifestyle you want, call or book an appointment online with Dr. Lee.

Knee Q & A

by Robert J. Lee, MD

What causes chronic knee pain?

Chronic knee pain is long-term swelling, pain, and sensitivity in your knee. It can be caused by:

Tendonitis

Tendonitis of the knee results from an injury to the tendon that connects your patella (kneecap) to your shinbone. Common in athletes, it’s often called jumper’s knee.

Bursitis

Bursitis is the inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the tissues, bones, muscles, and tendons. These sacs decrease friction, rubbing, and irritation of the other components. They can become inflamed due to:

  • Poor posture
  • Injury or trauma
  • High-impact activities
  • Overuse and repetitive motions
  • Lack of stretching before exercise

Meniscus tears

Two meniscus discs act as cushions for each of your knees. Moving or turning too quickly usually cause meniscus tears.

ACL injuries

An ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury is the spraining or tearing of a major knee ligament, often during high-impact sports. If this happens, you’ll feel intense pain and probably hear a popping sound in your knee, and you may not be able to put weight on it.

MCL injuries

An MCL (medial collateral ligament) injury is the spraining or tearing of the tissue band connecting your thighbone to your lower leg bone. Painful MCL injuries can happen during high-impact or quick-moving sports and activities.

Knee deformities

A knee deformity, such as bowed legs, can significantly affect your life and mobility.

Knee dislocations

A knee dislocation usually involves the kneecap dislocating to the outside of the knee. That often occurs when there’s sudden trauma to the joint. Your knee may appear deformed and swollen and won’t bend or straighten properly.

Arthritis and chronic knee inflammation

Chronic inflammation and swelling in your knee can be a result of arthritis or trauma.

What arthritic conditions can affect the knee?

Chronic knee pain can be caused by arthritis, most commonly:

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis occurs with wear and tear and weakening of the bones. While more common in older people, younger people can also be affected. Cartilage acts as a cushion between the knee bones; when the cartilage breaks down and softens, the knee bones rub together causing stiffness and pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease where the connective tissue that surrounds the joints thickens and becomes inflamed. This chronic inflammation causes pain, stiffness, and damage to the cartilage. Over time you may experience:

  • Cartilage loss
  • Bone spurs
  • Narrowing of the joint space

Post-traumatic arthritis

Post-traumatic arthritis can develop after a severe knee injury. Over time, cartilage is damaged by bone fractures around the knee or tears in the knee ligaments. Pain and limited mobility are common symptoms.

How is a knee replacement surgery performed?

Dr. Lee surgically removes the damaged cartilage and bone, and positions metal implants to recreate the surface of your knee. He then places a medical-grade spacer between the metal implants, which acts as a smooth gliding surface.

Dr. Lee will assess your pain level and degree of disability and choose the right path of treatment for you. Call or book your appointment online today.

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