One of the problems that are caused by obesity is damage to joints, tendons and ligaments of the legs and knees. This article discusses the damage that can be caused to the components of the human knees due to excessive stress caused by obesity.
Knee pain and ligament injuries are some of the most painful injuries a person can have. Ligaments are the tissue the human body uses to attach bones. The ligaments in the knee attach the tibia, also known as the shinbone, to the femur, also known as the thighbone. There are front (anterior) and back (posterior) ligaments that cross in the form of an X at knee center. A torn ligament in knee tissue can exist with a range of, or lack of, symptoms. Ligaments are tough tissue but sudden or extreme externally sourced force can cause torn ligaments in knee joints that result in extreme knee pain.
Knee ligament injuries can occur to either the front or back knee ligaments, with front ligament tearing, known as ACL being the type of ligament injury that causes the most knee pain, both acute and chronic. Less common is ligament injury that tears the posterior ligament. This type of injury, while still painful, causes less knee trauma and instability.
Torn Knee Ligament Injury Symptoms
Tearing of any of the ligaments in the knee can result in swelling, slight to severe pain ( with anterior ligament tearing being the most painful and immediately noticeable), forced difficulty walking that results in a pronounced limp. Torn knee ligament injuries also result in the feeling that the knee is no longer as stable as it was before the injury.
Causes of Knee Pain and Ligament Injuries
Over exertion due to obesity, during exercise, contact sports activity or any type of motor vehicle or boating accident can cause knee pain and ligament injuries. Motor vehicle injuries often cause a knee injury that is called a dashboard injury. This is because of the damage to knee ligaments cause by the sudden and extreme force of having the knee strike the hard dashboard surface.
Knee pain and ligament injuries can be caused by any type of exercise or sport activity. The most common occurs when legs are subject to sudden and somewhat unexpected force while the legs are in an uncommon or unusual position.
Some torn ligament knee injuries also involve damage to other components of the knee. These can be damage to cartilage or actual break to bone structure. For this reason, examination by competent medical staff is important, regardless of how slight the pain may be. Long term, the untended and damaged knee may be at higher risk for arthritic problems later in life.
Medical staff will need your help to properly diagnose the damage to your injured knee. The more information you can give the better job they can do to help reduce the acute or chronic knee pain caused by torn ligament problems in your knee. They will need to know if you have ever had knee injuries in the past, what type of activity you were doing when you first noticed your knee injury and any other information you feel may help them understand, diagnose and treat your injured knee condition.
Diagnostic Tests for Knee Pain and Ligament Injuries
Other than physical examination by competent medical staff, there are three main types of examinations, or tests, done to find the extent of ligament injury. These are the use of X-Ray technology, used to decide the extent of any possible damage to bones, resonance imaging technology, which is used to produce diagnostic images of the entire knee structure and arthroscopy. Arthroscopy is generally considered a last resort tool which is used when other methods have not completely identified the type, and extent of the reasons for knee pain and ligament injuries.
Treatments for Knee Injuries Involving Torn Ligaments in Knee Components
The type of treatment that will be prescribed will depend upon the extent of the injury, whether the pain is acute or chronic, and what types of treatment, if any, have been used for your pain in the past. There are many over the counter non steroidal, pain remedies that do a good job for many people.
The first treatments applied will normally be used to reduce swelling while the prescribed pain medicine is given time to help start relief from the pain of knee ligament injuries. In some cases of less severe knee pain and injury, physical therapy can be used to rebuild the strength in knee joints.
In some cases of knee pain caused by knee ligament injuries the medical staff may consider it necessary to aspirate the knee-joint. This means to remove built up excess fluid that has formed in the knee due to the injury. The fluid will be removed with the use of a syringe that accumulates the excess fluid without the need for more extensive surgery.
For more severe cases knee reconstruction may be necessary using arthroscopy to allow access and visual accuracy of reconstructive work done on the injured knee components.
Home Care and Treatment of Knee Injuries and Knee Pain
Rest and elevation of injured knees is important in the treatment of most knee injuries involving torn ligaments. Any reoccurrence of pain or swelling is treated immediately with ice packs. The patient will also be advised to use a compressive or elastic wrap to help keep down swelling and support the healing knee structures that were previously damaged.
Elevation of the knee to a place higher than the heart of the patient, in a place where the leg and knee is properly supported is a very effective method and manner of home care and treatment.
There are some homeopathic medicines and treatments that help reduce swelling and support strength in ligaments and cartilage. These should be used only after discussion with licensed medical staff familiar with the treatments and medicines already prescribed.
Professional athletes have the best medical care and treatment for any injury involving a torn ligament in knee structures. For non professional athletes it is vital to have proper examination and treatment so that knee ligament injuries do not result in long-term and chronic knee pain problems.
The best way to avoid knee injuries is to make sure you are not overweight. Protect your health and start reducing your weight now.