Knee joint injections
Your knee joint is a relatively simple structure but essential for many of the day to day activities we take for granted. If you have experienced knee pain in the past you will be aware of how debilitating knee pain and injury can be. Knee joint injections, along side physiotherapy, can offer pain relief and restore the natural function of the knee to get you back to the things you enjoy quickly.
Your knee joint is formed where the thigh bone (femur) meets the shin bone (tibia). As physios we call this the tibiofemoral joint and there are a few important anatomical structures in this load bearing hinge joint.
Your medial and lateral meniscus are made of strong cartilage and these are the key structures for the stability in your knee, shock absorption, distributing contact pressure and maintain your balance. Whether a traumatic injury or a degenerative problem due to ‘wear and tear’, injury to the meniscus often can make load bearing activities painful. Meniscal injuries can be effectively managed with treatments such as injections, ‘hands on’ therapy and restoring the muscle strength. Knee joint injections can offer pain relief and restoration of the function, particularly load bearing activity such as walking or running.
There are 4 key ligaments in the knee which are incredibly strong structures and are rarely affected unless there is a traumatic injury such as a fall or sporting injury. If you have knee pain resulting from a traumatic injury it is important to get this assessed by an experienced physiotherapist or your GP. You will probably have heard about the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) which forms a ‘X’ shaped bracing in the middle of the knee with the PCL (posterior cruciate ligament). Further stability comes from the medial and lateral collateral ligaments which reinforce the sides of the knee. Rarely are these structures injured in day to day life but in some degenerative conditions can result in pain in the ligaments. With advanced arthritis, the progressive load bearing on the inside of the knee can strain the ligament causing inflammation and producing pain. Assessing these ligaments will form part of your knee examination. We have a range of injection optionsto combat this including reducing the inflammation (steroid) and assisting the load bearing capacity of the joint (hyaluronic acid).
The PFJ is important for bending and straightening the knee, allowing the quadriceps to exert their force easily. Check out the video below to see how important your knee cap is for the performance of your knee. Some people experience pain under their knee cap due to injury or an underlying condition. With all PFJ presentations, physiotherapy and conditioning exercises are vital to restore the muscles and progressively load the PFJ. In some cases, a knee joint injection, can assist with pain relief and increasing the capacity for the PFJ to accept load.
The PFJ can be a common site for tendon pain such as Runners Knee. Do check out our other resources for this condition.
Knee joint injections
Knee joint injections can be an extremely useful adjunct to physiotherapy by reducing pain and restoring the natural function of the knee. It is important to note that an injection presents only part of your treatment and we strongly suggest that you continue with physiotherapy and conditioning exercises to achieve a solid recovery. Here at The Physios we offer a range of injection options which include hyaluronic acid, corticosteroid or a combination of both. The first step in this process is to examine your knee in detail and then we can advise on the best option for you – you may not need an injection at all!