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About Knee & Ankle Pain

According to the textbook "Sports Medicine A Comprehensive Approach" knee injuries are one of the most often injured joints in the body during sport activities 3. In children doctors often see ankle sprains as a result of rough play and other contact sports. Knee and ankle pain can severely affect your ability to walk comfortably and therefore can have an effect on your mobility and quality of life 2.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Knee and ankle pain are common in everyday life and can be caused by a variety of sources 2. When determining the cause of the pain it is important to know the anatomy of the area and some common causes of pain and dysfunction.

Anatomy of the Knee and Ankle

The knee and ankle joints are the two major joints in the lower extremity. The knee and ankle joints are surrounded by cartilage, strong ligaments, and stabilizing muscles.

The ankle and knee joints are responsible for providing movement, support, and stability in the lower extremity. Damage or injury in one area of the lower extremity can influence other areas and result in pain or dysfunction. These joints are largely unprotected and therefore susceptible to injury.

Causes

According to the Mayo Clinic, pain in both the knee and ankle joints is common and the pain can occur in people of all ages 12.

Pain can also be referred from areas elsewhere in the body including the low back, pelvis, or other areas of the lower extremity. The most common causes of knee and ankle pain include soft tissue injuries, bio-mechanical dysfunction, and arthritis 2.

Examples of Knee and Ankle injuries

(2005).'). Some examples of the various types of injury are listed below.

Bio-mechanical dysfunction including altered foot mechanics, degenerative changes in the joint space, fracture, muscular imbalance or tightness (Iliotibial band syndrome) or changes in posture and gait related to pain elsewhere in the body resulting in altered mechanics.

Arthritis including the most common form osteoarthritis,rheumatoid arthritis, gout, pseudo-gout, or infection.

Other including Osgood-Schlatter disease, osteochondritis dissecans, or chondromalacia patellae also known as patellofemoral syndrome.

Effects

Pain in the ankle or knee can cause problems elsewhere in the body 2. This can result from trying to walk a certain way to avoid pain or from being immobile (sitting) for too long. If the knee or ankle pain resulted after an injury and significant swelling is present it is a good idea to have it checked by a doctor 2.

Treatment

The anatomy and physiology of the knee and ankle joints is complex and depending on the cause of the knee or ankle pain treatment types will vary 2. Some common forms of treatment include:

  • rest
  • ice
  • physical therapy
  • chiropractic
  • medications,
  • surgery
The Wrap Up

According to the textbook "Sports Medicine A Comprehensive Approach" knee injuries are one of the most often injured joints in the body during sport activities, Scuderi, G.R., & McCann, P.D. .'). The ankle and knee joints are responsible for providing movement, support, and stability in the lower extremity. Damage or injury in one area of the lower extremity can influence other areas and result in pain or dysfunction. Some examples of the various types of injury are listed below. Arthritis including the most common form osteoarthritis,rheumatoid arthritis, gout, pseudo-gout, or infection.

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