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Knee pain can make it difficult to continue enjoying the activities you love. Finding the right treatment option can help you stay active and get relief.

Types of Pain

There are several types of knee pain, and each can be caused by a variety of factors. Some of the most common types include:

* Osteoarthritis: a chronic condition that involves swelling and joint inflammation caused by a gradual breakdown of knee cartilage.
* Rheumatoid arthritis: when your body’s cells attack your tissue, causing cartilage to wear away and sometimes producing excess fluid in the knee.
* Bursitis: the inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that protect the body’s joints.
* Tendonitis: the inflammation of the tendons or tissues that connect the muscles to the bones, caused by repetitive movements.
* Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS): a painful grinding sensation caused by walking up stairs, jumping or squatting.


There are several treatment options for knee pain. Some of the most successful ones include:

* At-home care: This is a conservative treatment option that can be implemented at home, such as resting, applying ice/heat to the area, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, weight loss and using a brace.
* Physical therapy: If at-home treatments aren’t working, your doctor may suggest physical therapy as the next step. You would then participate in exercise programs to help recover from your injury and ease pain.
* Injections: Having a steroid, or cortisone, injected into the knee is another option. This can reduce inflammation and relieve the pain caused by swelling.

Surgical Options

In some cases, surgery may be the best option. If you are experiencing unbearable or chronic knee pain, you may want to consider one of these options:

* Arthroscopy: A minor surgery that uses a small camera to identify the area of pain. The orthopedic surgeon will repair the tissues and cartilage tears to ease the knee pain.
* Focal knee resurfacing: This replaces the area of the knee cartilage surface that is specific to the pain and can be a great alternative to a knee replacement.
* Partial knee replacement: This is a minimally-invasive surgery that replaces only the compartments of the knee with damage and is a good option if only parts of your knee compartments are damaged.
* Total knee replacement: This involves a total removal of all broken down cartilage and bone and insertion of an artificial joint and is a good option if all compartments of your knee are damaged.

If you are experiencing any of the knee pain mentioned above and want to seek a treatment option, visit your doctor to discuss the best plan for you. He or she can refer you to an orthopaedic specialist if it is determined that you need surgery.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.

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