Normally, your knee works perfectly fine and you never even think about it. When it stops working properly, you may suddenly realize that you are having a problem. Internal derangement of the knee is a name used to refer to several different types of conditions that affect the knee. These conditions could cause problems with the joint, ligaments or similar problems. Internal derangement of knee can be caused by a torn meniscus or loose bodies in the knee joint. In general, this term refers to a type of trauma caused to the knee from chronic overuse or an athletic sport.
Internal Derangement of Knee
If you suffer from internal derangement of the knee, it could be due to a tear in the meniscus or a ligament tear near your knee joint. Your ligaments are made of a tough tissue that helps to connect bones to each other. In the knee joint, the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are the most important ligaments. These two ligaments attach the patella, femur and tibia in the knee to each other.
Meanwhile, the meniscus is a type of soft tissue. It is like a rubbery disc that forms a “C”-like shape. It is supposed to help the joint balance your body weight equally so that the knee is not hurt. If you damage the meniscus or the ligaments, you may hear a snapping or tearing sound. Your knee may become painful, unstable or swollen. Often, this type of condition is brought about by an accident or a major trauma to your knee.
What Can Cause Internal Derangement of the Knee?
Athletic events are the most common cause of internal derangement of the knee, but other activities can also hurt your knee. Activities at work, accidents or suddenly switching your weight can all cause this problem to occur. People who are over the age of 60 are more prone to knee problems than other individuals. Sports like football can cause a medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury because the leg above the knee is twisted, but the leg below the knee remains in a fixed position. An ACL injury can occur when someone hyper-extends their knee when they impact a hard surface.
Other causes of internal derangement of the knee include:
– Suddenly stopping when you are running
– Landing heavily when your knee joint is flexed
– Suddenly shifting your body weight from one knee to the other
– Direct trauma (like getting hit) on the knee joint.
How Is Internal Derangement of the Knee Diagnosed?
Like any medical problem, this condition can only be diagnosed by your doctor. They will first conduct a physical exam to look at swelling around your knee, bruises and cuts. They may try to move the joint to see if there are any tears or instability. In addition, your doctor may check for a dislocated patella, which is the floating bone at the front of your knee.
If your doctor thinks that you may have internal derangement of the knee, they may request more tests to figure out the exact cause and treatment. They may ask for an MRI, CT scan or X-ray. An arthoscopy could be used to insert a tiny camera into the knee joint to see exactly what is going on.
Getting Treatment for Internal Derangement of Knee
There are many different treatment options that may be given depending on how you injured your knee and how severe the knee injury is. Before you try any home remedies or attempt to use your knee again, make sure to talk to your doctor. If your knee is not healed properly, it could end up causing lifelong complications.
To help your knee heal, try to keep weight off of your knee as much as possible. Rest as much as you can and use crutches to reduce the weight on your knee joint. When you rest your knee, prop it onto a pillow to reduce the swelling. Over-the-counter medication can also be done to help reduce inflammation, swelling and pain.
If your knee is still swollen, there are a few things that you can do to reduce the swelling. Cold compresses or ice can be applied every few hours for 20 minutes at a time. Compression bandage could also be used to reduce the swelling.
Talk with your doctor about what you can do to help your knee heal. For many patients, mild, gentle stretching can help your knee strengthen and return to normal. Likewise, special knee braces may be prescribed to protect your knee and keep it stabilized. Many people also go to physical therapy as they recover so that their knee can safely grow stronger as it heals. Alternative exercise techniques like yoga or swimming may be recommended so that you can stay in shape without damaging your knee. You should avoid all types of strenuous exercise until your knee heals to prevent further complications.
If you have a severe knee injury like a torn PCL or ACL, your doctor may need to give you surgery to fix your knee. This is often the last option since it is considered a major surgery and can make the healing process take longer. Before you undergo any major surgery, make sure to talk to your doctor about all of your options.
Obviously, your next goal will be to make sure that you do not have future knee injuries. Make sure to warm up your muscles before you work out and stretch every day. Keeping your leg muscles flexible and strong can help support and protect your knee joint.