Knee & Lower Leg
Knee and lower leg problems can be the result of injury or everyday wear and tear. Whether you or a loved one has suffered a sports injury, meniscus tear, or is in constant pain from arthritis, Orthopaedics East & Sports Medicine Center can help get you get back on your feet and back to the activities you love.
The Means to Keep You in Motion
The knee is the largest joint in the body and formed where the thighbone meets the shinbone and kneecap. The knee is made up of bone, cartilage, fluid, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Injury to or overuse of any one of these structures can lead to significant disability, especially if not treated by an experienced orthpedic specialist.
Bones, tendons, and muscles of the lower leg connect the knee joint to the foot. Strain and overuse of the structures of the lower leg can cause pain or hinder playing sports, or even make such basic movements as walking difficult.
The good news is you don’t need to live with severe knee and lower leg pain, because Orthopaedics East & Sports Medicine Center specializes in treatments designed to keep you doing what you love. We have treated thousands of knee and lower leg issues for patients across Eastern North Carolina, and we have extensive experience and expertise in providing non-surgical and surgical options to get you back to your everyday.
You may have a knee or lower leg injury if:
- Your knee or lower leg is stiff and doesn’t allow full movement
- Your knee or lower leg lacks strength to perform your daily activities
- You are unable to walk or perform normal functions
- You regularly experience severe pain
The knee joint is one of the most common areas affected by arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis. Arthritis causes knee pain and loss of mobility due to the wearing away of the joint’s cartilage lining. Without cartilage in the knees, there is no shock absorption between the bones. Without this, stress builds up in the bones and contributes to pain, eventually leading to difficulty moving the knee, walking, and running. Rheumatoid arthritis also affects the knee joints. Symptoms of this are pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints, particularly in the morning.
The knee and lower leg have several tendons that may get tendonitis. The most common site is the patellar tendon, located in the front of the knee just below the kneecap. Other common areas for tendonitis include the hamstring tendons that stretch across the back of the knee and connect to the lower leg, the calf tendons in the back of the knee, and the Achilles and peroneal tendons that connect the muscles of the calf to the foot. Tendonitis in adolescents should be treated early due to the close proximity of the tendons to the growth plates.
ACL, LCL, MCL & PCL Injuries
The knee consists of four primary ligaments. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is on the inside of the knee and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is on the outside, together controlling the knee’s lateral motion and stability. Deep inside the knee, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) crosses in the front and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) crosses in the back and together control the back-and-forth motion of your knee. Approximately half of all injuries occur to the ACL, including full or partial tears.
Two wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage, called menisci, in the knee between the thighbone and shinbone act as shock absorbers. They help to transmit weight from one bone to another during walking and athletic activities. Symptoms of meniscus tears include pain, stiffness and swelling, catching or locking of your knee, the sensation of your knee giving way, or the inability to move your knee through its full range of motion. Sports-related meniscus injuries often occur together with other knee injuries, such as ACL tears.
- Baker’s Cyst
- Osgood-Schlatter Disease
- Patellar Tendon Tear
- Osteochondritis Dissecans
- Prosthesis Removal
- Shin Splints
- Torn Cartilage
- Sprains and Fractures
- Distal Femur
- Growth Plate
- Patellar (Kneecap)
Schedule an appointment today with one of Eastern North Carolina’s leading orthopedic and sports medicine physicians!