Advances in Knee Replacements

This new design allows surgeons to preserve the important central ligaments of the knee called the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments. This design should allow a knee replacement to move, respond, and feel more like a normal knee.

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The Anterior Hip

Patients are being told by both surgeons and orthopedic implant companies that Anterior Hip Replacement approach offers something unique and different compared to other approaches. This is a flatly untrue, unscientifically supported myth...

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Outpatient Joint Replacement

With Outpatient Joint Replacement Surgery, patients are able to return home the same day as the procedure. Patients also begin physical therapy within hours of surgery.

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Knee Pain: Causes and Treatments in the Portland, OR Area

Knee pain can originate in the knee joint itself, or it can be referred pain from another point in the body. Unlike some other types of pain, which may be dealt with more easily, knee pain can greatly reduce a patient’s ability to run or even walk.

If you're suffering from knee pain, you're certainly not alone. Knee pain is a very common health issue for people of many different ages. Athletes from many different sports can suffer from injuries due to overuse. Manual laborers create strain on their joints through activities like squatting and kneeling. Aging also leads to a greater chance for knee injury and wear and tear.

Knee Injuries and Conditions

Here are a few of the more common causes of knee pain:

Arthritis:
Though people often associate arthritis with aging, rheumatoid arthritis can affect patients of any age. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis that affects the knee. Osteoarthritis does affect middle-aged and older people with a slow degeneration of the ligaments around the knee.
Meniscal Tears:
A meniscal tear is a common knee injury, especially for those who play contact sports. The meniscus is cartilage that acts as a cushion between the thighbone and the shinbone. When torn, the meniscus causes the knee to become stiff and swollen.
Prepatellar (Kneecap) Bursitis:
Bursitis is a condition in which the bursa (a small lubricating sac in front of the kneecap) becomes inflamed, filling with fluid and creating swelling. People who kneel at work often are especially prone to bursitis.
Osteonecrosis
Osteonecrosis is a condition that more often affects women than men in whom a segment of bone in the knee loses its blood supply. This loss can lead to arthritis.
Runner's Knee
Runner’s Knee refers to several conditions that cause pain to the front of the knee. Causes are varied, including dislocation, weakness of thigh muscles, strained tendons, and several others. Doctors can help further diagnose the issue.

How to Handle Knee Pain

If you suspect that you have any of the above conditions, you should make an appointment to see a doctor. That said, the following methods can help to alleviate and to prevent injuries.

The RICE Formula

The RICE formula is often a good start to handling knee pain.

  • Rest: Cease the activity that caused the pain. Resting for a few days can help give you a fresh perspective on the pain and its causes.
  • Ice: Apply cold packs to the knee for several short periods throughout the day.
  • Compression: Wear a simple knee sleeve or brace.
  • Elevation: Keep the knee raised higher than your heart.

Exercise

One of the most effective treatments for a number of symptoms associated with knee pain is regular exercise. If running is too painful, another form of exercise such as cycling or swimming will provide opportunities to strengthen the muscles that interact with the knee.

Exercise can also help with weight loss, which helps to reduce the load that the knee must bear.

Knee Replacement

If exercise and other non-invasive forms of treatment have proven ineffective, Dr. Ballard recommends knee replacement as a way to alleviate knee pain. Not all patients require a total knee replacement. Some younger and / or healthier patients are eligible for a partial knee replacement when only one section of the knee is damaged.

If you would like to speak with a doctor about your knee pain, please contact Dr. Ballard’s office at (503) 656-0836 to set up an appointment.