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Knee Condition Treatments and Services

Knee pain is a common problem that can affect anyone, from young athletes to grandparents. It can make everyday activities difficult — like walking or getting into and out of a chair. Knee pain can also make it hard to run for long distances or play sports.

At UPMC, we can diagnose the reason you're having knee pain and other symptoms, like stiffness and swelling. We offer a range of nonsurgical and surgical treatment options to treat your knee problem and prevent it from recurring.

What Knee Conditions Do You Treat?

Our knee experts will choose the best approach for your specific condition that incorporates your goals and preferences.

Some of the knee conditions we treat:

  • Knee bursitis, which is painful swelling of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac between the kneecap and skin.
  • Cartilage problems, which affect the cartilage that cushions the bones in the knee joints. Torn or damaged cartilage in the knee can lead to swelling, pain, stiffness, and a feeling like the knee becomes "locked" or stuck.
  • Fractures, a break or crack in one or more bones of the knee.
  • Ligament injury, which happens when people overstretch or tear several ligaments in the knee, causing pain and affecting the function of the knee. Injuries commonly occur to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and lateral collateral ligament (LCL).
  • Meniscus tears, which can cause pain and swelling and make it hard to fully straighten or bend the knee. (The menisci are rubbery, C-shaped discs that cushion the knee on the inner and outer sides.)
  • Osteoarthritis, when the cartilage between the bones breaks down, usually due to age and wear and tear. The bones in the knee may then rub against each other, leading to pain and stiffness.
  • Osteonecrosis, which happens when blood supply to the bone gets cut off, causing breakdown in the bone. Certain medications, health conditions, and injuries can disrupt blood flow to the bone.
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome, which is pain in the front of the knee from damage to the cartilage under the kneecap. This is common in athletes and manual laborers.
  • Tendon pain, when small tears in the tendons that connect muscle to the bones in the knee make it painful to move the knee.

What Knee Injury Services Do You Offer at UPMC?

Our team members help you every step of the way, from diagnosis to recovery. Our services include:

  • Testing, including MRIs, ultrasounds, bone scans, x-rays, and arthrograms (the injection of contrast dye in the knee combined with imaging).
  • Customized knee braces.
  • Evidence-backed rest and activity guidelines — tailored to you.
  • Medications to reduce pain and swelling and to speed healing.
  • Pain-relieving injections.
  • Physical therapy to treat your knee problem and help prevent it from happening again.
  • Surgery, including ligament reconstruction, knee joint replacement, and meniscus repair.

Why Choose UPMC for Knee Injury Care?

UPMC offers a range of cutting-edge procedures to help you get back to what you love. Our complete treatment approach allows many people to fully recover without needing surgery.

When an injury requires surgery, our nationally renowned surgeons are experts in all types of surgery, including robot-assisted and arthroscopic techniques.