Common ACL Tear Symptoms & When to Seek Treatment

Article featured on The Noyes Knee Institute

If you experience pain around your knee area, it is advisable to contact an orthopedic knee surgeon as soon as possible. The pain may stem from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Such situations may call for surgery to prevent further damage to your knee joint.

The ACL is one of four ligaments in your knee. It is located behind the patella (kneecap) and connects the thigh bone to the shin bone. The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) are the other three ligaments.

ACL Tear Symptoms

ACL stabilizes the knee when you rotate and can get torn when you make sudden stops or changes in direction. Injuries can also result from high-impact sports and maneuvers such as jumping and landing. A torn ACL has many signs, depending on the severity of the injury. Popular symptoms include:

1. Popping Sounds

A loud popping sound is the most common symptom of a torn anterior cruciate ligament. You will hear the popping sound at the moment of injury. Silent pops may also occur when you try to stand or move the knee joint. ACL tears can also result in a painful grinding feeling of your kneecap and bones.

2. Pain and Swelling

A popping sound may indicate other issues but is often a result of torn ACL, especially when accompanied by pain and swelling. The pain is severe at the moment of injury and becomes sharper when you try to get up or put pressure on the knee. In most cases, the pain is quickly accompanied by inflammation/swelling of the knee area.

3. Inability to Bear Weight

You will barely be able to stand a few minutes after an ACL tear. The anterior cruciate ligament is responsible for stabilizing your knee when you move or change directions. Tears in the band of tissue compromise this function, making it difficult to bear your weight or continue with any activity.

4. Lost Range of Motion

ACL tears can result in loss of range of motion, making it impossible to bend, walk, or sprint. Lost range of motion usually stems from excruciating pain. Your knee surgeon will test the range of motion to determine the severity of your pain and injury. Regaining range of motion is also a good sign during ACL tear recovery.

When to Seek Treatment

The knee is one of the most complex joints and harbors ligaments, tendons, tissues, and bones. It is crucial to seek a medical diagnosis immediately if you experience the symptoms of an ACL tear. Proper diagnosis will reveal the scale of injury and determine the best remedy.

Some cases can resolve with rest and rehabilitation. Others require medication, physical therapy, or surgery to remove the damaged parts. Diagnosis involves reviewing your medical history and symptom patterns.

The physician will also conduct a physical examination and may use X-ray scans or request an MRI to assess damage to bones, cartilage, and menisci. After diagnosis, the knee doctor will determine whether you need non-surgical or surgical treatment.

Working With an Orthopedic Knee Surgeon

The first assessment will determine if knee surgery is essential. If such is the recommendation, you should immediately seek an experienced orthopedic knee surgeon. There are various types of surgeries used to treat ACL tears.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Runner’s Knee

Article featured on Healthgrades

Runner’s knee, the common term for patellofemoral pain syndrome, is a knee problem that affects many people. It happens when your kneecap (patella) is either misaligned because of a defect, or your knee is stressed, causing it to be out of alignment. Although it is painful, runner’s knee is usually not a serious knee injury, although it can have a significant impact on your life by limiting your activity. How much do you know about runner’s knee? Here are some facts about the condition that might surprise you.

1. You don’t need to be a runner to get runner’s knee.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is called runner’s knee because it affects a lot of runners. However, many people who never run anywhere also develop runner’s knee. It’s like people who don’t golf can get golfer’s elbow, or those who don’t play tennis can get tennis elbow. Anyone who participates in an activity that bends the knee and puts a lot of strain on it is at risk of developing runner’s knee. This includes cycling, walking, jumping or climbing up and down stairs.

2. Repetitive movements can irritate your knee.

Do you have a job that requires you to bend and squat a lot? When you squat repeatedly, your knee makes the same movement and carries your body’s weight in the same places over and over again. You could be squatting to lift boxes, pick items off the floor, or reach lower shelves. Even parents of young children who have to pick them or their playthings off the floor are at risk of irritating their knees to the point of developing runner’s knee.

3. Your hamstring could be causing runner’s knee.

Your hamstrings are really three muscles in the back of your thigh. They help you extend and retract your leg. You may feel your hamstrings pull if you bend at your waist without bending your knees or you straighten your legs in front of you while sitting on the floor. When your hamstrings are too tight, they cause extra stress on your knees and could cause runner’s knee. Exercises and stretches to loosen the hamstrings can help reduce knee pain and keep it from coming back.

4. Your glutes can also cause runner’s knee.

Like your hamstrings, your gluteus medius, a muscle in your buttocks, may also be the culprit behind your runner’s knee. Instead of being too tight, like the hamstrings, if your gluteus medius, or glutes, are not tight enough, the rest of your leg tries to compensate. This puts stress on your knee. The gluteus medius is responsible for helping to pull your leg away from your body and rotate it externally. This is called hip abduction. If the muscle isn’t strong enough, the other muscles respond by trying to pull the leg inward instead.

5. Flat feet can equal knee pain.

Your feet play a vital role in your knees’ health. If you have flat feet, a low arch, or no arch at all, this puts your feet in an unnatural position when you step forward, particularly when you run. The impact of walking or running without arch support can cause extra tension on the muscles in your legs and pull on the knee, causing misalignment and stress. Wearing appropriate shoes and orthotics in your shoes can help fix how your foot lands when you take a step, taking stress off your legs and knees.

6. Where you exercise could cause runner’s knee.

Concrete and asphalt are unforgiving surfaces. If you’re running or playing sports on these hard surfaces, the stress on your legs and knees could cause runner’s knee. The solution is to run or play on more forgiving surfaces, like synthetic tracks, grass or dirt. This is also where good shoes appropriate for the activity are beneficial. They can help absorb some of the shock of running and jumping, taking away some of the stress on your knees.

7. Women are more prone to developing runner’s knee.

Doctors aren’t entirely sure why more women than men develop runner’s knee, but overall women do develop more knee problems. A woman’s pelvis is wider than a man’s. This wider pelvis affects how a woman stands and places a different type of pressure and strain on the knee. As well, women tend to have looser ligaments, the tough fibrous tissue that connects bones. Women also land on their feet differently when they run or jump, adding to the difference in knee stress.

8. Runner’s knee can be easy to treat.

Once you know what is causing your runner’s knee, it can be fairly easy to treat. If it is caused by improper foot support, good shoes or orthotics will help. If it’s caused by too tight ligaments or muscles, physical therapy and exercise can ease the pain and reduce the risk of it returning. Muscles too weak? Strengthening them at home or in a gym will help. Running on a hard surface? Switch locations for a gentler landing when you run or jump. The key is working at it and staying consistent.

9. Surgery is rarely necessary for runner’s knee.

Doctors only consider surgery for runner’s knee if you have tried non-surgical treatment for 24 months and you still have pain. It’s rarely necessary. If you have runner’s knee and you have faithfully tried all the exercises and changes recommended by your doctor or physical therapist, an orthopedic surgeon will assess you to see if surgery will help.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

6 Ways to Ruin Your Knees

Article featured on WebMD

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete, a weekend warrior, or totally laid-back when it comes to exercise, knowing how to protect your knees from damage can mean the difference between a fulfilling lifestyle and longterm, strained mobility.Cruising on the track in the heat of a roller derby match, 27-year-old Rachel Piplica was not at all prepared for the realization that her knee could sideline her from competitive skating for months, possibly years.”Suddenly, I heard a pop and it felt like my knee bent sideways. The pain was so bad I just fell and crawled away,” Piplica tells WebMD.The Los Angeles fashion designer who skates under the name Iron Maiven tried to keep going. “I took one more stride and my knee just let go again. The doctor immediately said, ‘I think you tore your ACL.'”

Piplica had experienced some warning signs during her previous season of skating as captain of her team, but she ignored them for the most part. “I had tremendous pain in my leg anytime I’d squat down so I just kept my right leg straight. But I never saw a doctor for it. I just assumed, ‘I’m in a contact sport and this is what happens,’” she tells WebMD.

Knee deep: A complex and vulnerable joint

Her torn ACL diagnosis confirmed, Piplica quickly learned how susceptible the knees can be to injury. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, these joints are responsible for sending nearly 15 million Americans to the doctor every year.

And it’s not just athletes who suffer. Knee problems can happen to anyone.

“Because they’re the main hinge between the ground and the rest of your body, the knees serve as your ‘wheels’ that get you around and allow you to be active,” says University of Pennsylvania orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Nicholas DiNubile, MD. “Life can really go downhill when you damage your knees,” says DiNubile, who is a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and author of FrameWork – Your 7-Step Program for Healthy Muscles, Bones and Joints.

Bound by an intricate system of ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and muscle, the knee is highly prone to injury. It’s a complex hinge where the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), fibula (next to tibia) and kneecap all come together.

“It’s hard to find the right balance between mobility and stability; the knee needs to move back and forth, twist a little, and pivot too,” DiNubile says. The knee’s ligaments can tear, its tendons can swell up, osteoarthritis can take hold, and even everyday wear and tear can ruin a perfectly good set of knees.Here are six pitfalls you can avoid to save your knees.

1. Ignoring knee pain.

An occasional ache here and there is common. “But knowing when you can and can’t ignore pain is key,” says sports medicine specialist Jordan Metzl, MD, from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Metzl’s rule of thumb: When the pain limits your ability to do what you normally do, you need to have it checked out.

“If your body is sending you signals, you need to listen to them. If they persist, you need to have it checked out,” he tells WebMD.

For Piplica, exploratory surgery revealed a torn meniscus she had endured in the past — unbeknownst to her — followed by the more recent ACL tear.

“In hindsight, maybe that first injury could have been repaired earlier, although I don’t know if I could have avoided this one altogether,” she says. “At least I would have been more careful.”

2. Being overweight.

Every pound of body weight yields five pounds of force on the knee, so even 10 extra pounds can put a considerable load on those joints.

Being overweight also increases your chances of osteoarthritis in the knee, a common and often disabling form of arthritis that wears away the knee’s cushiony cartilage. Excess pounds also cause existing arthritis to worsen more rapidly. According to the CDC, two out of three obese adults suffer from knee osteoarthritis at some time in their life.

Although diet and exercise are critical for weight loss, it’s a double-edged sword.

“If your knees hurt, it’s harder to lose weight through exercise,” says Metzl. So he recommends activities that go easy on the knee.

For example, opt for a stationary bike over running on the treadmill, and walk on a flat surface instead of hilly turf. If you’re a die-hard treadmill fan, then go for longer sessions of walking punched with brief intervals of brisk walking or running every three to five minutes, DiNubile says.

3. Not following through with rehab and rest.

The rest and rehabilitation period after a knee injury is critical to avoiding future pain or reinjury. Depending on the type of damage and treatment, recovery could last anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months.

“During the rehab period, you need someone to help you tell the difference between something that just hurts, and something that’s going to do you harm,” says DiNubile.He tells WebMD that many of his young athlete patients are too eager to return to regular play as soon as they stop limping. He advises patients to work with an orthopedic surgeon, a sports medicine physician, a physical therapist, an athletic trainer, or some combination of these pros, in order to ensure proper focus is placed on gradually strengthening the knees.

4. Neglecting your ACL.

One of the most commonly injured ligaments in the knee, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is responsible for about 150,000 injuries in the U.S. every year.

As Piplica learned firsthand, sports like roller derby that involve quick cuts, twists, and jumping, put the ACL at higher risk for rupturing. More traditional high-risk sports include soccer, basketball, football, and volleyball.Women in particular have a two- to eight-times higher risk for ACL tears compared to men, mainly because the way women naturally jump, land, and turn puts greater strain on the ACL.However, male and female athletes alike can be trained to “rewire” themselves and thus lower risks of knee injury. That’s done through neuromuscular training, which involves supervised practice in improving agility, leg strength, and jump-landing techniques for better knee joint stability.These specialized techniques are effective in reducing risks of knee injury by almost one-half, according to a 2010 review of seven neuromuscular training studies.

“Given what we know in how useful it can be in reducing ACL tears, it’s irresponsible of coaches and parents to not require athletes to undergo neuromuscular training,” says DiNubile.

He recommends that athletes of any age who play ACL risk-prone sports should seek help from an athletic trainer or other trained professional to help avoid this debilitating injury.

5. Overdoing it.

“You make gains in fitness when you work hard and then allow your body to recover. You can’t do a hard workout every day,” Metzl says.

A sudden increase in intensity or duration of exercise can cause overuse injuries from repetitive strain. Tendonitis and kneecap pain are common symptoms in the knee.Pushing too hard is also related to overtraining syndrome, a physiological and psychological condition among athletes in which they exceed their ability to perform and recover from physical exertion, often leading to injury or lowered performance.Be sure to include stretching exercises before and after working out. And follow hard training days with easy ones so your body can recover.6. Overlooking other muscles around the knees.

Weak muscles and lack of flexibility are primary causes of knee injuries. When the muscles around the kneecap, hip, and pelvis are strong, it keeps the knee stable and balanced, providing support by absorbing some of the stress exerted on the joint.DiNubile stresses the importance of building the quadriceps and hamstring muscles, as well as proper strengthening of the body’s core muscles, including the obliques, lower back muscles, and upper thigh.
His favorite tool to help accomplish this strengthening is a Swiss medicine ball. Other exercises to try are knee extensions, hamstring curls, leg presses, and flexibility exercises.Piplica recalls realizing just how weak some of her leg muscles were.”Roller girls are striding out so much with their outer leg muscles, but we aren’t necessarily working our inner knees,” she says. “I remember when I would run for exercise, my calves and shins would hurt so bad. That surprised me, because I thought if anything was strong, it was my legs.”Piplica says she wishes she had been better educated about crosstraining activities for roller skaters, and what muscle groups they need to focus on to keep their knees healthy.

As she awaits surgery to repair her torn ACL, Piplica tells WebMD that her perspective on long-term care for her knees has definitely changed.

“Half of me is frustrated about not being able to skate sooner, but the other half knows how important it is to get better so I don’t do this again. I’m 27 years old with a serious knee injury preventing me from moving around. So I need to look beyond just skating, skating, skating. I don’t want to have knee problems when I’m 40 or 50 because I’m not giving my body the kind of attention it needs right now.”


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

How to Walk Towards Healthier Knees

Article featured on ScienceDaily

A new study published today in Arthritis & Rheumatology led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine reveals that walking for exercise can reduce new frequent knee pain among people age 50 and older diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. Additionally, findings from the study indicate that walking for exercise may be an effective treatment to slow the damage that occurs within the joint.

“Until this finding, there has been a lack of credible treatments that provide benefit for both limiting damage and pain in osteoarthritis,” said Dr. Grace Hsiao-Wei Lo, assistant professor of immunology, allergy and rheumatology at Baylor, chief of rheumatology at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and first author of the paper.

The researchers examined the results of the Osteoarthritis Initiative, a multiyear observational study where participants self-reported the amount of time and frequency they walked for exercise. Participants who reported 10 or more instances of exercise from the age of 50 years or later were classified as “walkers” and those who reported less were classified as “non-walkers.”

Those who reported walking for exercise had 40% decreased odds of new frequent knee pain compared to non-walkers.

“These findings are particularly useful for people who have radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis but don’t have pain every day in their knees,” said Lo, who also is an investigator at the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety at Baylor and the VA. “This study supports the possibility that walking for exercise can help to prevent the onset of daily knee pain. It might also slow down the worsening of damage inside the joint from osteoarthritis.”

Lo said that walking for exercise has added health benefits such as improved cardiovascular health and decreased risk of obesity, diabetes and some cancers, the driving reasons for the Center for Disease Control recommendations on physical activity, first published in 2008 and updated in 2018. Walking for exercise is a free activity with minimal side effects, unlike medications, which often come with a substantial price tag and possibility of side effects.

“People diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis should walk for exercise, particularly if they do not have daily knee pain,” advises Lo. “If you already have daily knee pain, there still might be a benefit, especially if you have the kind of arthritis where your knees are bow-legged.”


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

Osteoarthritis and Runner’s Knee Can Both “Bring You to Your Knees”

Article featured on Noyes Knee Institute

Pain in the knee area is a common issue among athletes. However, anyone can experience knee pain. It is vital to get proper treatment to get rid of the pain. More importantly, you should seek to understand the issue before considering treatment or scheduling a knee surgeon.

Will I Need a Knee Surgeon for Runner’s Knee?

A proper diagnosis from an orthopedic doctor is essential if your knee aches whenever you get from a chair or while walking, jogging, and running. You may also or experience a  constant dull ache around the knee area. Osteoarthritis (OA) and runner’s knee and are common causes of knee aches.

Injury, disease, and extra strain on the knees may also result in more sharp pain. You won’t necessarily need surgery to relieve knee pain or correct the underlying issue. The doctor will perform various tests and scans to determine what’s causing the pain.

How’s Runner’s Knee Different from Osteoarthritis?

Runner’s knee is medically referred to as patellofemoral syndrome and is basically pain experienced around your kneecap area. It occurs when you overuse your knees. Running, training, jogging, squatting, and climbing may exert excess stress on your kneecap.

If the kneecap isn’t moving properly in its groove, it may wear out the protective cartilage that prevents bones from rubbing on each other. Runner’s knee symptoms include a dull pain/ache in the kneecap area, especially after sitting for extended periods or when walking, running, and jumping.

Osteoarthritis is another form of knee pain among adults 50 years and older. It simply refers to knee joint arthritis. OA pain results from bones rubbing against each other when the cartilage begins to wear out, which is similar to what happens with runner’s knee.

Common symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain that gets worse over time, stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness, and difficulty maneuvering (bending/straightening) the knee. Arthritis pain may feel worse when you wake up or during bad weather. OA and the runner’s knee have many overlapping symptoms.

How Can I Relieve Runner’s Knee and Osteoarthritis?

It is essential to seek medical advice if you experience any pain around your knee area. Runner’s knee is common among track athletes, while osteoarthritis is widespread among older people of all levels of physical activity. However, both conditions can certainly happen to people of all ages.

Your orthopedic doctor will assess the pain and determine the right treatment option. Each case is unique, so pain stemming from injuries, such as falls, will require different treatment from cases of knee overuse. Below are the vital steps in relieving all types of knee pain:

  • Get Diagnosis – You should consult an orthopedic doctor for a comprehensive diagnosis of the issue to determine the underlying cause and scale of damage.
  • Discuss Treatment – The doctor will discuss different remedies available for your case. Common options include therapy, medication, injections. Surgery may be required in severe cases.
  • Ongoing Recovery – Your doctor will recommend various practices, including physical therapy, pain relievers, lifestyle changes, etc.

Advanced Knee Treatment

Both runner’s knee and osteoarthritis can cause severe pain and require prompt addressing. Without proper treatment, the condition may get worse, calling for advanced procedures and longer recoveries. As such, you should seek professional advice as soon as you notice the pain.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

What Kind of Injuries Cause Knee Pain?

Article featured on Noyes Knee Institute 

Are you someone that has been dealing with knee pain that affects you daily? Conditions like these can affect people at any time and age. Thankfully, you can benefit from the expertise of an orthopedic knee surgeon, no matter what your situation is.

Today, we’ll discuss some common injuries that can cause knee pain. We’ll also talk about when you should see a doctor to address this.

Meniscus Tears

When people talk about torn knee cartilages, they’re likely talking about a meniscal tear. The menisci are two pieces of cartilage that cover the end of your bones. They can either tear suddenly during sports events or slowly due to aging.

When the meniscus tears due to aging, medical experts refer to it as a degenerative tear. As for sudden tears, you may experience or hear a pop in the knee. Once the injury occurs, you may witness higher levels of pain over the next few days.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries

The ACL ligament runs diagonally down the front of the knee and provides stability to your joints. Injuries that occur in the ACL can be serious and even require surgery. ACL injuries can range from a Grade 1 mild sprain to a Grade 3 total tear.

ACL tears can occur as a result of these movements that occur in sports or non-sport events.

  • Awkward jumps and landing
  • Colliding with others
  • Quick direction shifts
  • Sudden starts and stops

Any ACL or other ligament injury can result in serious knee pain that may indicate the need for surgery.

Post Traumatic Arthritis (PTA) In The Knee

PTA is a form of arthritis that occurs as a result of serious knee injuries. Injuries such as broken bones or ligament tears can wear down your joint surface. That, in return, can also lead to arthritis as time goes by.

These injuries can lead to damage to your knee cartilages as you age and lead to pain, stiffness, and swelling. If you experience these symptoms, contact your orthopedic knee surgeon to discuss the right pain relief options for you.

Tendon Issues

Tendon injuries, such as tendonitis or tendon tears, commonly occur in athletes or mid-age people that participate in physical activities. Tendons are soft tissues that connect the knee cap to the shinbones. The most common tendon that receives injury is the patellar tendon. This tendon works with the front of the thigh so that a person can run and jump.

Tendonitis is also known as jumper’s knee since this condition is common amongst athletes who jump often. Other types of physically active people can develop this as well.

As for more serious tendon injuries, direct impact from hits or falls can cause a tendon tear. This can lead to severe knee pain, which can require treatment or even surgery.

When Should I See An Orthopedic Knee Surgeon?

It may be time to see an ortho doctor if you’re dealing with these conditions resulting from knee area injuries.

  • Bone injury
  • Chronic pain
  • Muscle injury

Not only do they provide you with unique solutions to treat your condition, but they’ll also give you preventative advice.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

Options for Treating Arthritis in the Knee

Article featured on The Noyes Knee Institute

Knee osteoarthritis can occur when the cartilage around the knee wears down. Without the protection of cartilage, bones in the joint grind together, causing inflammation and pain. In severe cases, a knee surgeon might recommend knee replacement or arthroscopic surgery. Fortunately, many non-invasive options help relieve the pain of arthritis in the knee.

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis: What’s the Difference?

Knee osteoarthritis is a progressive condition in which the subchondral bone suffers damage as the cartilage slowly wears away. This type of arthritis is common in middle-aged and elderly patients and happens more frequently in females than males.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disorder of the autoimmune system which leads to chronic inflammation. RA usually presents in both knees at the same time. Other joints, including fingers, toes, ankles, and wrists may also be affected.

Both types of arthritis respond to the conservative treatments listed below. However, as an auto-immune disorder, RA also requires specific medical care.

Treatments for Arthritis in the Knees

Weight Loss

For every pound of weight lost, you relieve four to six pounds of pressure from the knee. Carrying a significant amount of extra weight puts extra strain on knee joints which aggravates arthritis symptoms. However, even if you are not obese, losing just five to ten pounds could significantly relieve arthritis pain.

Avoid Aggravating Activities

While it’s important to continue exercising and moving your knees, overdoing it can make problems worse. Avoid the following activities if you notice pain or swelling up to 24 hours after participation:

  • High-impact exercise/sports
  • Kneeling/squatting
  • Walking for periods longer than 60-90 minutes without a rest break
  • Using stairs (inclining or declining)
  • Sitting in one position for more than 30 minutes without a break (such as during a long drive)
  • Standing for periods longer than 30-60 minutes

It may not be practical to avoid all of these activities every day, but reducing them as much as possible should help alleviate arthritis knee pain.

Anti-Inflammatory Medications

NSAIDs can be extremely helpful in easing arthritis pain. However, it’s important to use prescription or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications only as recommended by your physician. Overuse can cause serious side effects.

Knee Injections

Steroid or synthetic lubricant injections such as Synvisc may be recommended when diet and other lifestyle changes are ineffective.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy and “knee-friendly” exercises are often recommended to help regain strength and flexibility in the knee joint.

Knee Surgery

When conservative methods fail, it may be time to consider knee surgery. Many people automatically think of total knee replacement when they think of surgery for treating knee arthritis, but there are several other surgical options to consider:

  • Arthroscopic debridement, abrasion arthroplasty
  • Autologous chondrocyte implantation
  • Femoral osteotomy
  • High tibial osteotomy
  • Meniscus transplantation
  • Osteochondral autograft transfer
  • Partial knee replacement

You and your knee surgeon will determine the surgical option that’s best for your situation. If you have sustained additional knee injuries, other procedures may be performed simultaneously as surgery to correct arthritis.

Should I see a Knee Surgeon?

If you have tried conservative therapies, but your arthritis pain continues to get worse, it may be time to consider surgery.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

6 Tips for Parents With Kids Who Have Osgood-Schlatters Disease

Article featured on Orthogate

Anterior knee pain is a common complaint of young athletes participating in sports. As a teenager, most of the aches and pains disappear as fast as they show up. However, when the pain doesn’t go away it can be frustrating and scary to deal with as a parent. Osgood-Schlatters Disease (OSD) is one of the common ailments that cause pain in the front of knee particularly in teenage athletes ranging from 12-15 years old. Injuries at this age can be a challenge, as kids of that age have difficulty communicating their pain, understand their diagnoses, and can get frustrated with the missed time on the playing field.

Osgood-Schlatters also tends to linger and stay longer than any teenager would like. That’s when you decide to see a doctor. However, OSD is just common enough and not serious enough that some doctors might brush it off as unimportant. What’s a parent to do? Here’s a guide to help you and your growing teenager get through it and maintain the sanity of your household through the process.

What is Osgood-Schlatters Disease?

First, the word disease can be a little misleading. Osgood-Schlatters Disease is less of a disease and more of an overuse injury involving the patella tendon. OSD is most common during the adolescent growth spurt as the bones are maturing. The pull from repetitive movement such as jumping causes tension through the patella tendon on Tibial Tuberosity. This traction injury can cause inflammation, tenderness to the touch, and formation of a painful bony bump to form on the front of the shin.

Risk Factors for Osgood-Schlatters Disease?

The primary risk factors for Osgood-Schlatter disease are repetitive movements during a certain age range. Other risk factors include:

  • Age – OSD is most common during puberty and large growth spurts. The typical range for boys is 12-15 and girls from age 10-13
  • Gender – OSD occurs more frequently boys but the incidence is increasing in young girls as more young ladies are participating in sports
  • Sports – Most commonly found in sports with high force production in the legs such as running, jumping, and cutting. Basketball, hockey, and soccer are the most common sports associated with OSD.

Top Tips for Patients To Help Recover from Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Create a Schedule

This might be the most important tip to consider. Recovering from OSD requires consistency and a schedule can help. Create a daily schedule to ice the tendon, to stretch the quadriceps, and to even perform self-massage can speed up recovery. Also, schedule some downtime to allow the knee adequate rest. Kids tend to have a really hard time understanding the importance of treating their injuries seriously. For good time management skills try writing out daily, weekly, and monthly recovery goals.

Take Active Time Off

OSD is an overuse injury from repetitive patellar tendon tension. If the young athlete continues to play and practice without adequate tendon rest it could re-injure the tendon. This can prolong the recovery timeline and cause more frustration. The tendon needs proper time to heal and this can be difficult during the middle of the season, especially for a teenager. Try to help them understand that active movement and activities such as walking and biking are good but they need to take a break from jumping, running, and sports. Figure out other ways they can be involved with the team while they heal as OSD can take up to 6-8 weeks to heal in severe cases.

Brace it

For mild cases and athletes returning to their sport, a brace may help with pain and prevent a recurrence. A brace for Osgood-Schlatters changes the location of tension from the Tibial Tubercle to the brace. The tendon is allowed to heal with less tension but yet your athlete is still able to participate. This may also stop the progression of new cases of OSD before they become severe and help them get back to sports sooner.

Emphasize Proximal Hip Strengthening

The knee is a slave to the hip and ankle. The knee joint bends forwards and backward but the rotation of the knee is controlled from the joints above and below it. One of the best ways to stabilize the knee focuses on the lateral hip muscles through exercises such as the side-lying clamshell and the single-leg deadlift. The stronger the hip gets, the more stable the knee will become and it will be able to handle more stress. These exercises also won’t aggravate OSD, so they are safe to start at any time.

Talk about Expectations

Taking 4-6 weeks off during the middle of the season may seem like an eternity for a 13-year-old but it’s important to talk about expectations and timelines. The younger teens may not understand the importance of healing now to prevent future complications. They shouldn’t be running or jumping while at school. Take time to talk to them about how they feel about missing playing time. The young athlete may be seen apprehensive about losing their starting spot in the lineup or worry that they will be forgotten by their teammates. Feeling depressed about their injury is fairly common.

Prevent it with Cross-Training

One of the best ways to prevent OSD from returning or starting in the first place is through cross-training. Specializing in one sport has been shown to increase the injury rate in young athletes. The demands of participating in different sports change the repetitive trauma to the muscle, tendons, and ligaments. By playing multiple sports over the year it promotes well-rounded muscle development, better movement quality, and needed rest between seasons. Kids need to be well-rounded athletes before they can specialize.

Conclusion:

Osgood-Schlatters can be a frustrating and scary injury to deal with as a parent. However, with a solid game plan, proper communication, and maintaining active rest,  your young athlete will be back on the field in no time.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

7 Rare Causes of Knee Pain

Article featured on Healthgrades

Knee Pain Without Injury

Injury, ongoing stress, and aging are the most common causes of knee pain. But what if none apply? One of several rare causes of knee pain may be at work, including benign tumors, fluid buildup, infection, certain types of arthritis and even genetic mutations. Many of these causes have the exact same symptoms but require very different treatments. It’s important to work with your doctor to arrive at an accurate diagnosis so you can not only start easing symptoms, but also prevent long-term damage to your knee joint.

1. Tenosynovial Giant Cell Tumor (TGCT)

TGCTs are non-cancerous tumors that grow around the knee joint. They can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness that affects your mobility and stability. Your knee may lock up at times, accompanied by a popping or creaking sound (crepitus). If you have symptoms of TGCT, talk with your doctor. Left untreated, TGCT can lead to osteoarthritis that may damage your knee joint and the surrounding cartilage and bones permanently. Treatment options can include surgery, radiotherapy, or targeted medication that works in the body on a cellular level to improve symptoms.

2. Synovial Chondromatosis

Like TGCT, synovial chondromatosis is non-cancerous and can also lead to osteoarthritis that causes damage if not treated. Symptoms are similar, too: knee pain, swelling, and difficulty with movement, sometimes with a popping sound. Unlike TGCT, synovial chondromatosis doesn’t involve tumors. It’s a condition that occurs when a membrane of the knee that lubricates the joint–the synovium–produces cartilage nodules that bump into and damage healthy, protective cartilage in the joint space. Depending on the size and volume of the nodules, either non-invasive or traditional surgery may be recommended.

3. Chondrocalcinosis 2 (CCAL2)

CCAL2 is a genetic disorder caused by a mutation in the ANKH gene. The mutated gene carries calcium crystals to the cartilage around the knee joint, which damages it. Symptoms can vary significantly. They may include knee pain, swelling, and impaired mobility like other knee conditions or they may feel more like sudden attacks of pain with redness and a warm feeling. CCAL2 can’t be cured, but many effective treatments are available to ease symptoms. They include procedures to drain fluid from the knee and medicines such as corticosteroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

4. Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis

It’s not yet known what causes pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS), and the symptoms are similar to other knee conditions. When you have PVNS, the lining of your knee joint swells and grows, and fluid builds up. Your doctor may test fluid from your knee to diagnose the condition. Symptoms can come and go, so the first step may be resting your knee and taking nonprescription pain relievers. If symptoms are severe and persist over time, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove your knee joint lining. A non-invasive procedure may be an option.

5. Adult Still’s Disease

Adult Still’s disease is a type of inflammatory arthritis that can come with distinct symptoms in addition to knee pain: rash, fever, and sore throat. Your knee joint may also feel achy, and nearby muscles may hurt. It’s not known what causes Adult Still’s disease, but some research points to infection. The condition is usually treated with one or more of these medicines: NSAIDs; steroids; methotrexate; and biologic drugs that target your body’s inflammatory response at the cellular level.

6. Septic Arthritis

Septic arthritis is a joint infection, and the most common type is Staphylococcus aureus (staph). The infection can be caused by an injury such as a cut or animal bite or it can be introduced during surgery–but it’s usually caused by an infection that has traveled from another part of your body like your urinary tract or skin. Septic arthritis is painful, and it may come with swelling, redness, warmth, or fever. Treatment usually includes draining the fluid around the knee joint and taking antibiotics.

7. Reactive Arthritis

Like septic arthritis, reactive arthritis in the knee can also be caused by an infection that has travelled from another part of your body. The most common types are sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and food poisoning. Antibiotics are usually prescribed to cure the infection. Symptoms include pain and swelling, as well as irritation of the genitals or eyes. If you have any symptoms of a rare knee condition, try to write them down and note how long they last. Bring this information to your doctor’s appointment to inform the diagnosis and help speed your time to treatment.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday

Patellar Tendinitis: Causes and Symptoms

Article featured on Mayo Clinic

Overview

Patellar tendinitis is an injury to the tendon connecting your kneecap (patella) to your shinbone. The patellar tendon works with the muscles at the front of your thigh to extend your knee so that you can kick, run and jump.

Patellar tendinitis, also known as jumper’s knee, is most common in athletes whose sports involve frequent jumping — such as basketball and volleyball. However, even people who don’t participate in jumping sports can get patellar tendinitis.

For most people, treatment of patellar tendinitis begins with physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the knee.

Symptoms

Pain is the first symptom of patellar tendinitis, usually between your kneecap and where the tendon attaches to your shinbone (tibia).

Initially, you may only feel pain in your knee as you begin physical activity or just after an intense workout. Over time, the pain worsens and starts to interfere with playing your sport. Eventually, the pain interferes with daily movements such as climbing stairs or rising from a chair.

When to see a doctor

For knee pain, try self-care measures first, such as icing the area and temporarily reducing or avoiding activities that trigger your symptoms.

Call your doctor if your pain:

  • Continues or worsens
  • Interferes with your ability to perform routine daily activities
  • Is associated with swelling or redness about the joint

Causes

Patellar tendinitis is a common overuse injury, caused by repeated stress on your patellar tendon. The stress results in tiny tears in the tendon, which your body attempts to repair.

But as the tears in the tendon multiply, they cause pain from inflammation and weakening of the tendon. When this tendon damage persists for more than a few weeks, it’s called tendinopathy.

Risk factors

A combination of factors may contribute to the development of patellar tendinitis, including:

  • Physical activity. Running and jumping are most commonly associated with patellar tendinitis. Sudden increases in how hard or how often you engage in the activity also add stress to the tendon, as can changing your running shoes.
  • Tight leg muscles. Tight thigh muscles (quadriceps) and hamstrings, which run up the back of your thighs, can increase strain on your patellar tendon.
  • Muscular imbalance. If some muscles in your legs are much stronger than others, the stronger muscles could pull harder on your patellar tendon. This uneven pull could cause tendinitis.
  • Chronic illness. Some illnesses disrupt blood flow to the knee, which weakens the tendon. Examples include kidney failure, autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis and metabolic diseases such as diabetes.

Complications

If you try to work through your pain, ignoring your body’s warning signs, you could cause increasingly larger tears in the patellar tendon. Knee pain and reduced function can persist if you don’t tend to the problem, and you may progress to the more serious patellar tendinopathy.

Prevention

To reduce your risk of developing patellar tendinitis, take these steps:

  • Don’t play through pain. As soon as you notice exercise-related knee pain, ice the area and rest. Until your knee is pain-free, avoid activities that put stress on your patellar tendon.
  • Strengthen your muscles. Strong thigh muscles are better able to handle the stresses that can cause patellar tendinitis. Eccentric exercises, which involve lowering your leg very slowly after extending your knee, are particularly helpful.
  • Improve your technique. To be sure you’re using your body correctly, consider taking lessons or getting professional instructions when starting a new sport or using exercise equipment.

The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday