The term “overuse” injury refers to the effects of repeated, minor trauma to the knee joint. This trauma may result from recreational or competitive running, or jumping as a sport or as part of a sport, such as in basketball. The injury occurs gradually, and symptoms may not interfere with the performance of the activity at first. When symptoms do appear, they are usually noticed within 24 hours of performing the activity that is producing trauma to the knee. These symptoms may include a dull ache, a specific type of discomfort when the joint is moved a certain way, such as a burning sensation or shooting pain, and sometimes pain when the affected area is touched or pressure is applied to the leg. Pain may be accompanied by swelling.
Resting the knee and using first aid measures, such as elevation and ice therapy, may bring relief. However, you should consult an orthopedic specialist if you cannot change your activities to rest the knee or if symptoms persist. In some cases, your activities can be modified to lessen the trauma on the affected knee, or special equipment may be used to provide additional support to the joint.The orthopedic specialist can help prevent a recurrent injury by prescribing exercises to improve the strength and mobility of the affected knee and its supporting structures.
For more information about knee overuse injuries, please call (918) 494-AOOK (2665).