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
Dr. Patel is a very good Pain Management Doctor. She is one of my favorite doctors.
Excellent experience. The doctor, staff, office services and hospital care were outstanding before, during and after the procedure. Thank you – Heathgrades, Dr. Cubbage review
Very Knowledgeable and helpful. Went in for an appt. with Dr. Elbaz for tennis elbow. Needed prp injections and they didn’t have an opening til the following week, but since I traveled 2 hrs to their office
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Dr. Blalock did surgery on my broken wrist on Tuesday. I liked him a lot as did my husband. Took time to explain everything in detail even though his phone was ringing non-stop.
So I was going to get on here and brag about what a great surgeon Dr. Cubbage is. But Cubbage is only 3/4 of the picture. He’ll fix you, but Karen is the one that will care for you and heal you!
I just think that this is the best health care facility to this day. I truly appreciate all the PT, so far they are consider it.
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