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Types of Knee Implants

The types of knee Implants used in total knee replacement surgery are highly individualized, and there is no single type or size that fits all. Knee implants vary depending on design, materials, and fixation.

The choice really depends on what the surgeon thinks is the best type of knee implant for you, with careful consideration of factors such as age and lifestyle.

Knee Replacement Prosthetics

Implants for knee replacement surgery have several components, such as femoral, tibial, and patellar prosthetics. The femur is your upper leg bone, the tibia is your lower leg bone, and the patella is your kneecap. Any or all of these can be replaced with prosthetic materials. 

The area of your knee that needs to be replaced will determine the type of prosthesis your surgeon will use in your knee implant surgery. Let’s take a look at a couple of the options in a knee replacement surgery:

Fixed-Bearing Knee Implants 

This is the most commonly recommended knee prosthesis. Fixed-bearing implants have the tibial section made of a polyethylene cushion, and this is fixed to a metal base. This allows the upper femoral component to easily glide over it during movement.

Fixed-bearing implants are long-lasting and effectively restore a good range of motion. However, excess weight or excessive physical activity can cause it to loosen or wear down quickly – although this is very unlikely.

Mobile-Bearing Knee Implants

This type of rotating-platform knee implant is usually recommended to younger, physically active, or overweight patients. It is typically designed for longer wear and performance with its bearing surface.

The polyethylene insert in the tibial component (top of the lower leg bone) has the ability to rotate inside the metal tibial tray. This allows a greater degree of movement to the medial and lateral side of the knee.

Due to their greater mobility than fixed-bearing implants, this type of knee prosthetic needs more support from the existing knee ligaments – they need to be strong. 

No studies have shown whether the mobile-bearing or the fixed-bearing type of knee implant is better, so your doctor will determine which type may be best for your knee depending upon what needs to be repaired.

Advanced Orthopedic Care in Colorado Springs

Here at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence, our goal is to provide comprehensive orthopedic care under one roof. Our surgeons, podiatrists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other medical staff collaborate to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal problems – and provide you with world-class orthopedic care. We have been an official partner of various U.S. Olympic teams, including the Paralympics.

Walking and knee movements are very important to quick recovery after surgery. We recommend exercise to our patients as soon as the day after surgery. The Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence offers physical therapy and rehabilitation services right here, so you don’t have to look elsewhere for your post-surgery recuperation. 

If you have any questions about our orthopedic services or you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians or therapists, please call us today at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online. We look forward to getting you back in the game!

Symptoms of Patellar Tendonitis

Getting a Jump on Patellar Tendonitis

Patellar Tendonitis, better known as “Jumper’s Knee” is a condition caused by damage to the patella tendon just below the kneecap.1 Basketball and volleyball players are frequent sufferers of this ailment, that stems from repetitive jumping movements. According to Runners Connect, the condition accounts for 5% of all running injuries. There are also many contributing causes – both genetic and environmental. 

Obesity, tight or uneven leg muscles, and chronic diseases that weaken the tendons, are factors that can exacerbate the pressure placed on the knee’s tendons. Sometimes, the details of our workout routine can make us more susceptible to Patellar Tendonitis. Wearing poorly padded shoes for sports, or exercising on hard, unforgiving surfaces can lead to wear and tear over time.2 Those who commit to a life of intense sports training and routines are prone to knee injury. 

According to Healthline, tenderness, pain, swelling, and burning in the kneecap are common indicators of Jumper’s Knee.2 Over time, applying undue pressure or stress to the knee may cause tiny tears to develop in the tissue. It’s important to note that these tears in muscles and tendons can repair after an extreme workout routine; however, adequate rest must be taken. If you can’t cease the activity altogether, modify your behaviors to place less stress on the tendons of the knee.3

Patellar Tendonitis develops gradually, so it’s imperative that you get R&R when you feel pain in this region during or after a workout. In addition to pain, weakness and stiffness can be felt in the knee. What starts as discomfort during exercise can advance to a more severe case – where everyday tasks such as walking, kneeling, squatting, or climbing stairs may cause pain.4 

There are many ways you can alleviate the pain at home. Start a “Cryotherapy”, or icing regiment by applying ice packs to the affected area for 20 minutes every 2 hours. Your physician may recommend the use of a patellar tendon strap. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, infrapatellar straps are shown to decrease the localized strain of the patellar tendon. There is also a perceived decrease in pain for those utilizing the straps.5  

Never underestimate the power of listening to your body; pain is its way of signaling that something is amiss. Jumper’s Knee goes through four main stages, and knowing the signs of each will allow for earlier diagnosis and treatment.6 In stage one, you may only feel discomfort after activities, and it won’t prevent you from functioning. Stage two is marked by pain during and after an activity. This can be a confusing stage, as many athletes are still able to perform as required, and may be fooled into thinking the problem will subside on its own. In stage three, performance will begin to decrease – and the sufferer will feel pain both during and after athletics and everyday tasks. Once Jumper’s Knee progresses to stage four, a tear has typically occurred which can only be repaired through more invasive surgical measures.

Never jump to conclusions when it comes to a musculoskeletal condition; you owe yourself an expert opinion that will offer peace of mind. The Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence offers comprehensive care for conditions such as Jumper’s Knee. With board-certified Orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists on site, you’ll have access to a multitude of restorative methods and techniques. For more information, call 719-623-1050.

 

1Knee-pain-explained.com/patellar-tendonitis.html

2Healthline.com/health/patellar-tendonitis#causes

3Sportsmd.com/sports-injuries/knee-injuries/how-to-treat-tendonitis/

4Kidshealth.org/en/parents/jumpers-knee.html

5Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3445162/

6Webmd.com/fitness-exercise/jumpers_knee#2

Why Should You Consider Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Have you or a loved one been battling knee pain that just won’t go away? Have you been to the doctor to determine its cause but haven’t had any luck? If this seems familiar, you may have a condition that can be relieved with arthroscopic knee surgery. During an arthroscopy, your surgeon inserts a flexible tube with a tiny camera through a small incision in the skin, which allows the physician to look in and around the knee joint for potential problems.

Arthroscopic surgery is a way to diagnose and treat a variety of knee issues. Below are some examples of conditions treated with arthroscopic knee surgery:

·       ACL, PCL ligament issues – The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) serve the important role of holding the knee in place. If these ligaments are torn, arthroscopic surgery can fix them.

·       Cartilage issues – Cartilage is a connective tissue that exists between joints in the body. If your cartilage is torn, an arthroscopy can treat it.

·       Bone issues – It’s possible your knee pain is caused by an out-of-place or fractured bone in the knee. This can cause a lot of pain and may require surgery. An arthroscopy can fix a variety of bone issues.

Knee pain can be caused by a variety of reasons and it’s important to figure out what is behind your symptoms. Treating the pain without locating its source is only half the battle. When the cause of your pain is difficult to determine, arthroscopic surgery can be used to visually identify a problem. A diagnosis and fix may be done in the same procedure.

There are many reasons to consider arthroscopic knee surgery.

·       To identify the cause of your knee pain. Arthroscopic surgery is used to not only treat a variety of knee issues but also find the reason behind symptoms. An arthroscopy may be called for when other diagnostic methods fail to identify a cause. In situations like these, arthroscopic knee surgery can figure out the cause and, in many cases, it can fix the issue right then and there.

·       It’s minimally invasive. Arthroscopic surgery is far less invasive than more traditional knee surgeries that involve opening up the knee and cutting through muscles, tendons, and ligaments to access the joint. An arthroscopy is performed using a smaller incision, and results in far less tissue trauma and scarring in the surgery area.

·       Recovery is faster. Because arthroscopic surgery is less invasive, this means that there is a shorter recovery time needed after the surgery. You can get back to your regular routine much quicker than you would after other types of knee surgeries.

If you are experiencing knee pain and want to find a solution to it, it’s important to speak to an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in joint and bone issues and will be able to diagnose and treat your knee pain. Your surgeon will lay out the options to fix your knee problems and will be the best person to identify whether arthroscopic knee surgery is right for you.

The Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence can diagnose and treat your orthopedic issue. We’d love to discuss your treatment options, including arthroscopic knee surgery. Call (719) 623-1050 to make an appointment with one of our highly trained doctors.

Weak in the Knees: Regaining Strength with Knee Ligament Reconstruction

ACL injuries account for 40% of all sports injuries.1 According to a study by researchers at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), there has been an epidemic of ACL damage among young athletes – with many of these patients requiring subsequent surgeries later in life.2 So, why is the Anterior Cruciate Ligament so susceptible to damage? 

Located at the center of our knees, this ligament – or band of tough, elastic connective tissue, holds great responsibility. It offers stability to the joint – especially when subjected to high-intensity activities that require weaving, pivoting, or kicking.3 Athletes that experience a harsh collision or awkward landing, may lose their full range of movement and experience pain, swelling, and instability.4 If your ACL discomfort isn’t responding to the RICE method of rest, icing, compression, and elevation, or activity limitations – or you simply can’t afford much more time on the sidelines, you may be a candidate for knee reconstruction. 

Because patients with a torn ACL are at risk for secondary complications in the future, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends ACL reconstruction.4 Executed by a physician who specializes in surgical procedures of the bones and joints – an orthopedic surgeon, reconstruction surgeries are suggested for those who are young and active, plan on continuing high-impact sports, or have multiple damaged ligaments.5

A torn ACL shouldn’t be sewn back together but rather grafted by harvesting tendons from another area of the leg, and then fusing this new tissue to it.1 Your surgeon will either collect tissue from your own body (autograft), or a donor (allograft), and it can be sourced from a variety of areas. The strips are typically “borrowed” from the hamstring tendons, or the patellar tendon – which runs from the bottom of the kneecap to the top of the shin6; the latter is considered the “Gold Standard” for ACL repair.

Consider the pros and cons of any surgery before going under the knife. Patellar Autografts have the lowest rate of failure, but a greater incidence of post-op stiffness and pain behind the kneecap. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, hamstring tendon grafts offer lower cost and higher reliability.8 Additionally, HT grafts allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery.4   

Your physician will examine your knee to select the best course of treatment for your condition. Be patient, as some doctors recommend bracing the knee so it can heal a little prior to the procedure.

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows your surgeon to get a better view of the damaged knee using a small incision – and even smaller arthroscope, or camera. Through this process, they access the damage to the ligaments and tissues of the knee.7

The torn ligament will be removed, and the graft will be cut to the right size and inserted in its place. If your surgeon suggests a four-stranded (quadruple) hamstring graft, they will bundle several tendons and muscles, together. This often results in extra stability for the knee. Holes will be drilled in the tibia (the leg bone) and the femur (the thigh bone) to place the graft. Sutures will attach the graft into place, while screws will be required to keep bone plugs secure. A tube may be placed to remove any excess fluids that build up following the surgery.9 It will take approximately six weeks for the graft to completely fuse with the bone.

Today, most ACL reconstruction is completed on an out-patient basis, which means you may be at home the very same day. Neuromuscular training and physical therapy will be a vital aspect of regaining strength and motion post-operation. Some doctors may recommend the use of a CPM – or continuous passive motion machine; this device mimics a cycling movement, to improve circulation and decrease inflammation while you rest.10 A full return to athletics will take at least 4 to 6 months, with high-intensity sports taking as long as 1 year. 

One of the most important factors with any surgery is doing due diligence. You’ll want to choose a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with extensive experience with injuries of the knee. Dedicated to providing personalized and comprehensive care, the Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence offers a full range of orthopedic services – from surgery to athletic training, and is a great resource for you on your road to recovery. For more information about ACL reconstruction, call 719-623-1050.

      

1Nhs.uk/conditions/knee-ligament-surgery/

2Sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150501103455.htm

3Physio-pedia.com/Anterior_Cruciate_Ligament_(ACL)_Reconstruction

4Orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/acl-injury-does-it-require-surgery/

5Mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/acl-reconstruction/about/pac-20384598

6Nhs.uk/conditions/knee-ligament-surgery/what-happens/

7Medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007208.htm

8Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4295687/

9Houstonmethodist.org/orthopedics/where-does-it-hurt/knee/patellar-reconstruction-acl/

10Mykneeguide.com/the-hospital/cpm-machine

Reasons to Consider Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Have you or a loved one been battling knee pain that just won’t go away? Have you been to the doctor to determine its cause but haven’t had any luck? If this seems familiar, you may have a condition that can be relieved with arthroscopic knee surgery. During an arthroscopy, your surgeon inserts a flexible tube with a tiny camera through a small incision in the skin, which allows the physician to look in and around the knee joint for potential problems.

Arthroscopic surgery is a way to diagnose and treat a variety of knee issues. Below are some examples of conditions treated with arthroscopic knee surgery:

·       ACL, PCL ligament issues – The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) serve the important role of holding the knee in place. If these ligaments are torn, arthroscopic surgery can fix them.

·       Cartilage issues – Cartilage is a connective tissue that exists between joints in the body. If your cartilage is torn, an arthroscopy can treat it.

·       Bone issues – It’s possible your knee pain is caused by an out-of-place or fractured bone in the knee. This can cause a lot of pain and may require surgery. An arthroscopy can fix a variety of bone issues.

Knee pain can be caused by a variety of reasons and it’s important to figure out what is behind your symptoms. Treating the pain without locating its source is only half the battle. When the cause of your pain is difficult to determine, arthroscopic surgery can be used to visually identify a problem. A diagnosis and fix may be done in the same procedure.

There are many reasons to consider arthroscopic knee surgery.

·       To identify the cause of your knee pain. Arthroscopic surgery is used to not only treat a variety of knee issues but also find the reason behind symptoms. An arthroscopy may be called for when other diagnostic methods fail to identify a cause. In situations like these, arthroscopic knee surgery can figure out the cause and, in many cases, it can fix the issue right then and there.

·       It’s minimally invasive. Arthroscopic surgery is far less invasive than more traditional knee surgeries that involve opening up the knee and cutting through muscles, tendons, and ligaments to access the joint. An arthroscopy is performed using a smaller incision and results in far less tissue trauma and scarring in the surgery area.

·       Recovery is faster. Because arthroscopic surgery is less invasive, this means that there is a shorter recovery time needed after the surgery. You can get back to your regular routine much quicker than you would after other types of knee surgeries.

If you are experiencing knee pain and want to find a solution to it, it’s important to speak to an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in joint and bone issues and will be able to diagnose and treat your knee pain. Your surgeon will lay out the options to fix your knee problems and will be the best person to identify whether arthroscopic knee surgery is right for you.

The Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence can diagnose and treat your orthopedic issue. We’d love to discuss your treatment options, including arthroscopic knee surgery. Call (719) 623-1050 to make an appointment with one of our highly trained doctors.

When You Should See an Orthopedic Surgeon for Knee Pain

Knee pain tends to be a common problem for people that are active, have suffered an injury, or have put many years and miles on their legs. The knees bear most of your body weight, every moment that you’re upright, while allowing an extraordinary range of motion. Additional force applied through participation in sports, an auto or other accident, or just wear and tear as we get older can cause knee pain. While some medications and physical therapy can help with pain and reduced mobility, when is it time to see an orthopedic surgeon for knee pain?

If you suffer a sports injury or accident that injures your knee, you should see an orthopedic surgeon right away to prevent further damage and start the healing process immediately. If you have a repetitive stress injury or osteoarthritis, it may be harder to determine when enough is enough. The good news is that there are many treatment options available for knee pain that are extremely effective. And if you do need surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will be able to determine which procedure will be most helpful, with the least amount of disruption and rehabilitation time. 

Here are some of the knee conditions that orthopedic surgeons treat:

·        General knee pain

·        Acute and overuse injuries

·        Sports injuries

·        Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear

·        Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) tear

·        Meniscus tear

·        Cartilage defects/flaps

·        Chondral defects

·        Patellar (knee cap) tendon tear

·        Bursitis

·        Osteoarthritis

·        Patellofemoral syndrome (pain below the knee cap)

Once you are examined by an orthopedic surgeon, some treatment options include physical therapy, injections (including viscosupplementation), or minimally-invasive surgery options. Arthroscopy can both diagnose and treat many injuries. A small tube-like instrument is inserted into a tiny incision, through which a camera shows the surgeon the inside of the knee. Damaged cartilage and tendons can be repaired by inserting precision tools through the arthroscope. Even partial and total knee replacement are now possible through minimally-invasive means, if necessary.

The Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence in Colorado Springs cares for the world’s elite athletes and all who need the best care. If you have knee pain, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons will diagnose the condition and explain your treatment options. Call (719) 623-1050 today for an appointment.

Knee Pain Doesn’t Mean Surgery: What Are the Alternatives?

Knee replacement surgery can be a tough decision to make, but it isn’t always necessary right away. Prior to taking the leap towards scheduling a surgical procedure, many orthopedic surgeons will suggest trying all reasonable alternatives to knee surgery. Knee replacement surgery is a very commonly performed procedure that involves the resurfacing of the bones of the knee with metal and plastic pieces or components. 

While there is a wealth of information and advertisements recommending which knee replacement to have, and where to have it done, there is very little published knowledge about knee replacement surgery alternatives, or alternatives to treating knee pain in general.

The most common condition leading to a knee replacement is osteoarthritis. This is typically a degenerative condition where the cartilage cushion on the ends of your bones starts wearing away.  While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are many alternatives to surgery available to treat the pain associated with it, and thus postpone the need for a knee replacement. Osteoarthritis affects nearly everyone over the age of 60, yet it can also affect those of us in our 30s or 40s if there is a genetic predisposition or a previous injury.

If your pain doesn’t improve with physical therapy, a knee compression sleeve, certain supplements, the failure of non-surgical treatments can ultimately lead to knee replacement proving to be your best available option. However, knee surgery should never be your first option. You can sometimes help your knee pain with alternative treatments instead. You and your doctor will discuss less invasive ways to ease knee pain, which may include:

1. Weight Loss and Exercise: Exercise can help you achieve your weight loss goal while strengthening your muscles and reducing pain.

2. Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can design a regimen that helps you reduce pain and strengthen the key muscles that affect your knees. They can work with you to make sure you’re doing exercises correctly.

3. Knee Injections (Hyaluronic Acid): Knee injections of hyaluronic acid lubricate the knee and act as shock absorbers. They help the cartilage and bone tissues slide more smoothly in the joint. The technique helps to reduce pain and improve knee mobility.

4. Medication or Cortisone Shots: Medication, including over-the-counter pain relievers and topical creams with the numbing agent’s lidocaine or Marcaine, may help control your knee pain. Your doctor might also recommend an injection of either steroids or cortisone.

5. Acupuncture: This ancient Chinese method uses sharp, thin needles to impact nerves and change the flow of energy within the body. Acupuncture has become more popular recently as an alternative treatment for pain.

6. Prolotherapy: Prolotherapy is an approach that uses a dextrose solution injected into the ligament or tendon to increase the blood flow and supply of nutrients. The dextrose solution is a sugar mixture. This treatment aims to stimulate the tissue so it will repair itself.

7. Stem Cell Therapy: This experimental treatment uses bone marrow stem cells from the hip to help regenerate cartilage tissue in the knee. A small but growing number of doctors are turning to cutting-edge stem cell therapy as an alternative to knee replacement surgery.

To find out more alternatives to help with your knee pain, and to avoid the possibility of knee surgery call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050, or request an appointment online.

Common Causes for Knee Pain

Many people think knee pain only affects older people, but it can affect people of all ages. Whether it’s due to arthritis or an injury, it is important to know what has caused the knee pain. Severe knee pain can lead to inflammation and mobility problems. Anyone suffering from knee pain should uncover the exact cause by seeking proper medical care, so that it can be treated properly. To understand the common causes of severe knee pain, it helps to know a little about how the knee works.

The knee is the joint between the bones of the upper leg and the bones of the lower leg. It allows the leg to bend and provides stability to support the weight of the body. The knee supports motions such as walking, running, crouching, jumping, and turning. Several parts help the knee to do its job, including bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Any of these parts are susceptible to disease and injury, which can lead to severe knee pain.

What are the most common causes of severe knee pain?

The common causes of severe knee pain can often be broken down into five categories: injury, infection, metabolic, degenerative, and connective tissue disorders. Here are five of the most common causes:

  1. Injury: Probably one of the most common places to become injured is around the knee. With so many muscles, tendons, and ligaments, the knee is quite susceptible to injury. There are many sports- and even work-related knee injuries that can occur, leading to severe knee pain. Most often, the pain will come from damage to the meniscus.
  2. Degenerative Joint disease: Osteoarthritis is a common cause of knee pain, although usually to older adults more than anybody else. The articular cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in the knee eventually wears down, which can lead to severe pain from bone on bone friction and increased inflammation.
  3. Connective tissue disorders: Connective tissue is mainly considered cartilage and fat in the body, however there are over 200 connective tissue disorders that can affect a person. Common examples could be systemic lupus or autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  4. Metabolic problems: One of the most prominent metabolic disorders to associate with knee pain is osteoporosis. This is often the result of the body not being able to process certain essential vitamins and minerals correctly, most notably calcium and vitamin D.
  5. Infection: It is possible to have a bacteria infection inside the knee, causing the joint tremendous pain. This is commonly known as septic arthritis, and it is a treatable condition.

If you have been experiencing severe knee pain or another orthopedic problem, call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050, or request an appointment online. Remember, while these are some examples of what causes knee pain, you won’t know for sure until you get an honest diagnosis from a board-certified orthopedic specialist.

Could Your Sports Career Lead to Knee Pain?

The knee is made up of bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, all working as one. The knee sits in the middle of three bones: the tibia (your shinbone), the femur (your thighbone), and the patella (the kneecap). The patella is a flat, round bone that protects the knee joint. Your knees provide stability and allow your legs to bend, swivel, and straighten. Due to their intricacies, the hip and knee joints are the least stable in the body, susceptible to accelerated aging, deterioration, strain, and repetitive injuries. If the knee becomes injured, it can be due to many different things, but your sports career is a common one. Some sports may take more of a toll on the knees than others, such as distance running and basketball, while others tend to present more opportunities for impact, such as football or soccer.

If you are an athlete, and have ever sat on the sidelines with a knee injury, you probably appreciate more than ever, about how your knees have powered you through various sports and activities: kicking, jumping, running, and pivoting. Sport injuries can affect almost any part of the body, including the muscles, bones, joints and connective tissues (tendons and ligaments).

Although a knee problem is often caused by an injury to one or more of these structures, it may have another cause. Some people are more likely to develop knee problems than others. In other words, all those working parts mean there are bunches of ways to injure a knee. Many jobs, sports and recreation activities, getting older, or having a disease such as osteoporosis or arthritis increase your chances of having problems with your knees.  Common causes for injuries are overuse from repetitive motions, sudden stops or twists, or direct blows to the knee. To avoid knee injuries, it helps to understand how your knees work and what you can do to protect them.

Common knee injuries due to sports:

  • Sprains and Strains
  • Tendonitis
  • Meniscus Tears (ACL, MCL)
  • Fractures and Dislocations

When overuse damage, orthopedic trauma, or sports injuries occur, it can be devastating to your game, your workouts, your physical health, and your mental health. That is why the sports medicine specialists at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence work just as hard as you play your game to ensure you receive an accurate diagnosis and world-class care. Our goal is to return you to play as quickly as possible, while preventing re-injury and improving your body’s response to stress. 

Whether you are an amateur or professional athlete who is experiencing knee pain, our sports medicine specialists at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence can help. Call our office at (719) 623-1050 to request an appointment, or you can request one online.

Is Kinesiology Tape Effective for Knee Pain?

Kinesiology is the study and science of human movement. It is a means of prevention, management, and performance. It’s well-known that exercise and physical activity are key to a healthy life. Kinesiologists are experts in exercise and the body’s motion, with the goal of educating and helping people move better, live longer and be healthier.

These scientists are not only committed to enhancing quality of life through the promotion of physical activity, but also the prevention and management of injury, and the overall improvement of health and performance, including musculoskeletal disorders. Kinesiologists are also responsible for lowering the risk of developing chronic diseases. The science of kinesiology’s main goal is to build strong bones, joints and bodies. However, some people, depending on age, have limited mobility and are prone to injuries, especially of the knees.

Your knee happens to be the largest joint in the body. You count on your knees to provide stability and allow your legs to bend, swivel, and straighten. Since the knee is made up of bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, knee injuries can become complicated since they could be caused by stress or damage to any of these parts. No matter what your age, you have likely experienced some sort of knee pain. Whether you are an athlete who experiences occasional soreness, or you live with chronic pain like arthritis, it is very important to know how your body works, and what you’re able to do. What is also very important is to know how to avoid or reduce the risk of knee injuries.

Kinesiology Tape and its Effect on Knee Pain:

Watch almost any modern sporting event, from a nationally televised game to a local 5k, and chances are you will encounter one thing in common: athletes wearing kinesiology tape. In the past few years, kinesiology taping has exploded in the world of athletics. A recent study has found that kinesiology tape can improve pain for people suffering from osteoarthritis, as well as improve joint mobility and decrease pain.

What is Kinesiology Tape?

Kinesiology tape is a thin, stretchy, elastic tape with an acrylic adhesive tape that is applied directly to the skin. Kinesiology tape is almost identical to human skin in both thickness and elasticity, which allows the taped area to move without restriction, while also providing support to muscles and joints.

Many people associate the use of kinesiology tape with sports and active lifestyles, yet there is growing evidence that it can be helpful in painful conditions that restrict people’s everyday function. Therapeutic kinesiology tape can benefit those people with a wide variety of musculoskeletal or sports injuries, plus inflammatory conditions. While kinesiology tape is most often used for musculoskeletal conditions (issues arising from muscles and joints), it’s also used for reducing inflammation, improving circulation, and promoting lymphatic drainage. “Taping” has become a widely-accepted form of therapy in the athletic population, but its potential to help many more people is just beginning to be tapped into.

Osteoarthritis and Taping: Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease (DJD), is a painful condition that plagues much of the older adult population. Lost cartilage and loosened ligaments result in abnormal wear on the joints that can be extreme enough to limit the ability to function in normal daily activities. Arthritis can occur in any joint, but mostly affects knees, hips, hands, feet, and the spine. Studies have shown kinesiology tape to be effective in reducing knee pain and improving the ability to perform activities, such as climbing the stairs. Research also suggests that kinesiology taping offers promise for those suffering from arthritis in other joints besides the knee.

Post-surgical healing and Taping: Major joint replacement surgery is common today, and often these are the same joints susceptible to arthritis (knees, hips, shoulders, etc.). Afterward, reducing pain, controlling swelling, and improving mobility become primary concerns in the healing process. Taping has been shown to reduce post-operative pain, swelling, and to improve knee mobility in patients with total knee replacements.

If you would like to learn more information about kinesiology tape, call the bone and joint experts at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050, or request an appointment online.