The knee joint is a simple single plane of motion joint, connecting the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). It is classified as a synovial hinge joint, and it is designed to help absorb impact during weight-bearing activities like walking, running, and jumping.

The knee joint is supported by four ligaments: the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the medial collateral ligament (MCL), and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL). In addition, there are two crescent-shaped pieces of cartilage called menisci, which act as shock absorbers and distribute weight evenly across the joint and through the lower limbs.

Pain and discomfort in the knee is extremely common and can be caused by many different reasons, including: 

  • Osteoarthritis: a degenerative condition that causes the cartilage in the knee to wear away over time, leading to pain, stiffness, and inflammation.
  • Meniscus Tear: A tear in either meniscus can cause locking and/or buckling and must be addressed quickly to prevent long-term irreversible damage. 
  • Ligament Sprain or Tear: Injuries to the ACL, PCL, MCL, or LCL can result in significant instability in the knee, making it difficult to simply walk or stand.
  • Patellar Tendinitis: Inflammation of the patella tendon that crosses over the patella (kneecap) to the tibia, is very common in runners and can cause significant discomfort. 
  • IT Band Syndrome: The Iliotibial band is a thick collection of inflexible fibrous tissue running along the outside of the hop down to the later aspect of the knee, and can become uncomfortable for no reason at all. 
  • Runner’s Knee: A condition caused by repeated stress through the knee joint, which can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty with movement. Can occur to others, not just runners. 
  • Patella-Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS): Pain, discomfort, swelling and decreased range of motion in the knee joint caused by the patella (kneecap) moving improperly during flexion and extension.
  • Baker’s Cyst: a fluid-filled sac that forms in the knee joint, usually in the back of the knee.
  • Cartilage Injuries: Damage to the cartilage in the knee joint can lead to early onset arthritis and requires strengthening of the muscles around the joint to support it.
  • Chondromalacia: A condition in which the cartilage on the back of the patella softens and breaks down, no longer providing cushioning to disperse forces.
  • Patellar Dislocation: When the patella becomes dislodged from its normal position, usually through a traumatic event. 
  • Knee Dislocation: A serious injury that occurs when the bones of the knee joint are forced out of alignment. This can result in various impairments of the knee, including damage to the meniscus and ligaments. 
  • Knee Plica: Irritation and inflammation of the synovial membrane around the knee joint. 
  • Hoffa's Syndrome (Fat Pad Impingement): A condition in which the soft tissue behind the patella tendon becomes irritated and inflamed.
  • Osgood-Shlatter’s Disease: This disease affects mostly children and adolescents due to their bones growing faster that the muscles and tendons can keep up, and can cause pain in the knees.
  • Total Knee Replacement (TKA): A surgical procedure in which the damaged knee joint, usually as a result of severe arthritis, is either partially or fully replaced with an artificial hardware. 
  • Patella Maltracking: A condition in which the patella does not move properly within the groove of the femur while crossing the knee joint during flexion and extension, resulting in increased friction and inflammation.
  • Gait Deviations: Abnormalities in the way that a person walks or runs, which can put excess stress on the knee joint and can cause pain not only in the knee, but also in the hip, foot, ankle, and lower back.

At Lifestyle Physical Therapy, our team of experienced Physical Therapists are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of knee conditions, using a variety of techniques including manual therapy, exercise therapy, and modalities such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation. Our goal is to help our patients abolish pain, improve function, and return to their daily activities as quickly and safely as possible.

For more information, call us today at (212) 577-9313 to schedule a consultation and get started on your path to pain-free living!

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  • Time goes by so fast during every appointment! He also has his therapy pup in the office sometimes, and he's an absolute lovebug! Highly recommended!

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Our Blogs
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    Pilates for the Older Adults Read
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    Physical Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis (OA) Read
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    Pilates for Runners Part 2 Read
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