What Is Knee Instability?
Knee instability can occur if the knee or a supporting structure, such as a ligament, becomes weakened or damaged such that the joint is unable to fully support the weight of the body. This type of injury can result from a sudden twist or direct blow that forces the knee to buckle or bend beyond its normal limit.
Instability can cause the knee to noticeably shift from side to side during basic activities. The resulting excess movement can create excess wear and tear on the joint, leading to the breakdown of cartilage (osteoarthritis).
What are the symptoms of knee instability?
An unstable knee may:
- Buckle or give out
- Catch or lock
- Appear puffy or swollen
- Bend inward or outward
To pinpoint the source of these symptoms, a physician will typically evaluate each of the bones, cartilage structures, ligaments, tendons and muscles that work together to support the knee joint. After performing a physical examination and testing the stability of the knee, a physician may order one or more imaging tests, such as an X-rays, MRI or CT scan.
How is knee instability treated?
Treatment for knee instability can vary depending on the injured structure and the extent of the damage. Initially, a physician may recommend conservative treatment, such as rest, ice applications, compression and elevation of the leg (R.I.C.E. therapy), followed by physical therapy and bracing, if necessary. Any associated pain and inflammation can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
To address severe symptoms that do not respond to several weeks of nonsurgical treatment, surgery may be recommended. For instance, a surgeon may perform a surgical repair or reconstruction of the supporting structures.
At Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, Texas, we typically encourage our patients to try nonsurgical treatment options for knee instability before considering joint replacement or any other type of surgery. If you’d like to meet with a knee specialist, contact Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, TX, today.
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1Professional Building II At North Cypress Medical Center
AOSM Physical Therapy
2North Cypress Professional Building At Lakewood Crossing
AOSM Physical Therapy
3North Cypress Professional Building At Towne Lake
4Advanced Orthopaedics Memorial
What Our Patients Are Saying
I never review places or services on Facebook, but I could not let others know how blessed I was to have Dr. Cubbage as my surgeon. He and his lovely staff, including awesome Karen,
I just recovered from my 2nd back surgery by Dr. Mohr. I love the people there so much I just went back and saw a shoulder surgeon Dr. Fehsenfeld for cortisone shots.
I have found the staff to be courteous and professional. Lynn and Julie were wonderful to work with and took good care of me. And Dr. Brooks and Dr. Mack are excellent
I was at your office yesterday saw Dr Mack & Dr Brooks I had a great visit with them. My right knee feels GREAT! today.
Always treated promptly and kindly at AOSM. Thanks to Dr Mack and his team.
I’ve been with this orthopedic group since 2014. I’ve never had a bad experience with the doctors or the staff. Dr. Drew Fehsenfeld did my shoulder surgery in 2016 and he did great!
This office did everything they could to get me in timely after a very bad sprain on my ankle. I saw nurse practitioner Stuart who is very thorough and x-rays and explaining everything to me.
AOSM is a very high quality medical facility. They handled my hip replacement both pre and post op with the utmost professionalism.
I’ve been going to this office to see Dr. Blalock 4 months. He has done 4 different hand surgeries some in February and 1 in April. I probably will need another surgery next year and Dr. Blalock will be my surgeon.
The surgery done by Dr. S. Patel (Actually injections) & the mild medications she has prescribed has surely made my lower back -hip-leg less painful.