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Knee Conditions and Treatments at UPMC in Central Pa.

Knee pain is very common and can occur in people of all ages. It can make even the simplest activities in life seem difficult, from participating in sports to getting up from a chair and walking.

At UPMC in Central Pa, our knee experts take a multidisciplinary approach to treating a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Bursitis (Knee Bursitis). Bursitis of the knee is inflammation of the bursa found between the front of the kneecap (patella) and the skin. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that cushions and lubricates areas of the body where friction is likely to occur. Examples of such areas include between two bones, between a tendon or ligament and a bone, and between bone and skin.
  • Cartilage Injury, Disorder, or Tear. Cartilage is a connective tissue that helps the function of your knee. Although cartilage is flexible, it is relatively easy to damage. It acts as a cushion between the bones of joints. People with a cartilage injury often experience joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation or swelling.
  • Fractures. A fracture is a break in a bone. Fractures can range from a hairline crack in the bone to the bone being broken into two or more pieces that no longer line up correctly. A fracture may occur at the same time as other injuries, such as sprains, strains, or dislocations.
  • Ligament Issues (ACL, MCL, PCL, LCL). Ligaments are tight, fibrous bands that hold together bonds and facilitate movement of your joints. Common injuries of the ligaments include anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, medical collateral ligament (MCL) injury, posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury, and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injury.
  • Meniscus Tears. A meniscus tear is a common knee injury. The meniscus is a rubbery, C-shaped disc that cushions your knee. Each knee has two menisci (plural of meniscus)—one at the outer edge of the knee and one at the inner edge. The menisci keep your knee steady by balancing your weight across the knee. A torn meniscus can prevent your knee from working right.
  • Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage that protects and cushions the joints breaks down over time. Eventually, the bones-formerly separated by the cartilage-rub against each other. This results in damage to the tissue and bone and causes painful joint symptoms. Osteoarthritis, sometimes called degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis, is the most common form of arthritis.
  • Osteonecrosis. Osteonecrosis is bone death that occurs when the blood supply to the bones is decreased or stopped. Without an adequate blood supply, the bone breaks down and dies and collapses. If the bone affected is near a joint, the joint may also collapse.
  • Patellofemoral Pain. Patellofemoral pain syndrome is pain in the front of the knee. It frequently occurs in teenagers, manual laborers, and athletes. It sometimes is caused by wearing down, roughening, or softening of the cartilage under the kneecap.
  • Tendon Pain. Tendon pain can be caused by a number of factors. Tendons are the tough fibers that connect your muscle to your bones. Through aging, overuse or injury, these tendons can get small tears and scarring that make movement very painful.

If you are living with chronic knee pain, we can help. We will diagnose your condition and devise a treatment plan that may first include nonsurgical options such as rest, physical therapy, injections, or over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and inflammation. But if your symptoms persist or get worse, surgical intervention or even a total knee replacement may be the best option.

Getting Diagnosed

Determining the source of your pain is an important first step to effectively treating your condition. Our orthopaedic specialists use a variety of tests to arrive at a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.

Browse all of the orthopaedic diagnostic procedures offered at UPMC in Central Pa.

Non-surgical Treatment Options

The specialists at UPMC in Central Pa. can diagnose and treat injuries or medical conditions that are affecting your ability to exercise, participate in sports, or maintain an active lifestyle.

Our experts treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions as well as concussion. Should you need surgery, we will refer you to the appropriate specialist.

Browse all of the non-surgical treatment options offered at UPMC in Central Pa.

Surgical Treatment Options

At UPMC in Central Pa., we specialize in minimally invasive surgical techniques that decrease pain and recovery time. Most of our procedures are laparoscopic and use robotic-arm assisted capabilities, resulting in smaller incisions and minimal blood loss and scarring.

Types of surgical procedures for the knee include:

We provide surgical care for a range of common and complex orthopaedic conditions. See the other conditions we treat with orthopaedic surgery. 

Number One in Joint Replacement Surgery

Should you need a knee replacement, you can be confident in the experts at UPMC in Central Pa. We perform more joint replacement surgeries than any other hospital in the state. Our comprehensive program offers complete patient care, from presurgery classes through rehabilitation.

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