Top 3 Solutions for Chronic Knee Pain

Chronic knee pain can significantly impact your quality of life. It hinders mobility and causes persistent discomfort. Luckily, there are several options for managing this issue. In this article, we will explore the top ways to treat chronic knee pain.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is often a first-defense treatment in the domain of orthopedics for addressing chronic knee pain. In PT, you are guided through individualized, tailored exercise programs. These exercises are aimed at strengthening the muscles around the knee joint, improving flexibility, stability, and range of motion. This in turn will reduce stress from the repetitive pounding forces of walking and running on the knee.

In PT, you will also be treated with pain-relieving modalities such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation. These aid in reducing inflammation and promoting healing. Regular, consistent sessions with a physical therapist can help you embrace a proactive approach to managing chronic knee pain.  

Medication and/or Injections

For more immediate relief from your knee pain, medications and injections are a salient option. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen are commonly recommended OTC medicines to reduce inflammation and pain.

Stronger prescription medications in the same class of drug are also available for inflammation and pain relief. Additionally, corticosteroid injections directly into the knee provide swift relief from joint pain by targeting inflammation right at the source.

Recently, advancements in orthopedics have seen hyaluronic acid injections come onto the scene. These are possibly more effective for knee pain relief than other painkillers. This medication serves as a lubricant for the knee joint. It eases the effects of friction and pounding forces and improves mobility.

Surgery

Sometimes, conservative treatments will fall short of improving joint pain to your satisfaction. At this point, it is time to discuss surgical options with your doctor. Several surgical procedures exist that repair or replace damaged tissues or deteriorated joints.

When ligaments and other structures in the joint have been worn down over a long period causing chronic knee pain, surgery is almost always a last resort. Surgery requires a period of downtime to fully recover but also can provide long-term pain relief and improved function. This is a result that you may not otherwise be able to achieve.

Another Alternative: The MACI Procedure

A revolutionary treatment for knee pain in the field of orthopedics is MACI (Matrix-Induced Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation). The MACI Procedure is a stem cell therapy. This unique approach involves extracting some of your own cartilage stem cells; then specially treating them in a lab to grow new cartilage and using this new cartilage to repair the damaged cartilage in the knee joint. MACI holds promise in providing a lasting solution for chronic knee pain as a form of regenerative medicine.

Stem cell therapy is a prominent feature of the MACI procedure. It harnesses the body's natural healing processes to refresh damaged cartilage in the knee. This approach is not a band-aid technique, only addressing the symptoms. MACI targets the root cause of your chronic knee pain. The MACI procedure is very promising, offering renewed hope to individuals who have tried many treatments for chronic knee pain to no avail.

Maci Procedure: Showing Knees with Damaged Cartilage Some Love

Knee pain is a challenging issue. Fixing it doesn’t have to be. Joint pain in the knee often stems from damaged cartilage. Traditional treatments for knee pain often fall short, and innovative procedures like MACI (Matrix-Induced Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation) offer renewed hope for individuals who have tried other, more conventional knee pain treatments that have failed to relieve discomfort. In this article, we explore the world of MACI; its purpose, target audience, and the surgical and recovery process. We will also discuss how you can determine if you qualify for this revolutionary procedure.

What is MACI?

MACI is a groundbreaking procedure in the realm of orthopedics with the sole purpose of addressing knee pain that arises from damaged cartilage. It is stem cell therapy that involves using the patient’s own cells to regenerate and repair damaged cartilage in the knee.
Specialized cells responsible for cartilage production, called chondrocytes, are extracted from your knee. These stem cells are then cultivated in a laboratory, grown on a specialized matrix, and then implanted back into the knee, covering, or replacing the area of damage.
The advantage of MACI is that this procedure focuses on addressing the root cause of the problem and restoring the natural structure and function of the cartilage. This offers a more long-term solution for people suffering from chronic knee pain. This procedure harnesses the body’s regenerative capabilities, which is the secret sauce for long-term pain relief.

Who is MACI Intended For?

MACI is designed specifically for individuals experiencing knee pain due to cartilage damage. Conditions like osteochondritis dissecans, focal chondral defects, and other cartilage injuries that have not responded to other, more conservative treatments are perfect candidates for MACI.
Orthopedics specialists assess a patient’s suitability for MACI whether a patient is a suitable candidate for MACI based on the size, location, and nature of the cartilage damage. Age is also a determinant as this procedure has not yet been proven effective for those outside the age range of 18-55 years old.

What is the Surgery & Recovery Process Going to Look Like?

The MACI Procedure is performed arthroscopically. Arthroscopic surgeries are less invasive and promote a quicker recovery. The damaged cartilage is removed completely or significantly cleaned up. Next, the MACI implant is precisely placed over or in place of the damaged cartilage. Your MACI implant will resorb onto your knee joint and provide fresh new cartilaginous protection.
The recovery process after surgery involves a gradual return to normal activities. Physical therapy plays a crucial role, aiding in returning your knee joint to optimal strength, range of motion, and function. Patients are advised to follow a customized rehabilitation plan. If you know that you will be unable to adhere to a specific rehabilitation plan, you may not be a candidate for MACI at this time.

Reaching Out to Dr. Burke. Orthopedics to See If You Qualify

Dr. Burke is a renowned orthopedic surgeon who can provide a comprehensive evaluation to determine if MACI is the right fit for you.
Dr. Burke will assess your medical history, conduct a physical examination, and may order additional diagnostic tests such as imaging techniques like MRI or X-rays to evaluate the extent of cartilage damage.
If you are interested in learning more about this procedure, schedule a consultation with us by calling (713) 436-3488.

Top 3 Most Common Causes for Chronic Knee Pain

It would be very difficult to find one person in your life who has never been affected by knee pain. Chronic knee pain affects millions of individuals every year. To effectively manage pain, you must get an accurate diagnosis. Read on as we discuss the top three common causes of knee pain: osteoarthritis, previous knee injuries, and overuse/misuse.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is at the top of the list regarding common causes of knee pain and other joint pain. This condition occurs over time, gradually wearing down protective cartilage in the knee joint. This ‘wear and tear’ on the knee joint leads to stiffness, inflammation, and ultimately, mild to severe knee pain. Seeking the expertise of doctors who specialize in orthopedics is crucial for accurate diagnosis which will guide individualized, tailored treatment plans.

OA is insidious as it may go unnoticed for years. Or it may only present as a mild, nagging knee pain for a long time, leading the affected individual to think “It’s not a big deal, it will will go away on its own.” In some cases, this is true and the pain will subside. But in others, as the condition progresses, the pain can enter into chronic territory and be present all the time.

OA can significantly impact daily activities. Orthopedics plays a huge role in managing osteoarthritis, which may involve one of the following treatments or, all of them, or a combination of some: medication including steroid injections, bracing, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery.

Previous Knee Injuries

Past injuries to the knee often pop up to haunt you and cause pain again. A sports-related injury, a torn ligament, a fracture – these can all lead to lingering discomfort and pain.

To effectively manage the chronic pain associated with prior knee injuries it is essential to understand the link between the two. Knowing that the discomfort you are feeling is likely stemming from a previous injury rather than a new one can make all the difference in treatment. Ignoring the aftermath of a knee injury can make the problem worse. If you think there still may be a problem, you should visit a specialist in orthopedics ASAP.

Overuse/Misuse

Overuse injuries are probably the most common source of joint pain in the younger population. An active participant in sports or someone who works a manual job will often perform repetitive movements. Also, there may be an unintentional improper use of the knee joint, leading to injury.

Overuse or misuse injuries benefit most from holistic treatment that includes both lifestyle modifications and orthopedic management and guidance. Knowledge about appropriate footwear, exercise and body mechanics are invaluable lessons you can learn from your orthopedic specialist. This type of information is critical to recognizing the impact of overuse on your joints and preventing and managing chronic knee pain.

What Dr. Burke Orthopedics Can Do for You

Orthopedic specialists, such as the experts at Dr. Burke Orthopedics, play a central role in diagnosing and treating chronic knee pain. Whatever is causing your pain, advanced diagnostic tools and personalized treatment plans will be utilized to address it.

3 Pros Who Got Injured This Season in Football & Basketball

No one is immune from an orthopedic injury. They happen to everyone, no matter where someone lies on the spectrum of novice to elite athlete. Below are 3 names you may recognize that suffered severe orthopedic injuries recently.

Kevin Durant, MCL Sprain

The first name you may recognize is Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets. Earlier this month, he sprained his right MCL in a game during a collision with a member of his opposing team. The MCL is in the knee, it’s called the medial collateral ligament. It exists on the inner side of the knee connecting the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (lower leg bone). Its function is to stabilize the knee and primarily prevent valgus stresses. A valgus stress on the knee is a blow to the outside of the knee and forces it inward. The MCL also protects against rotational forces, but not as much.

When those forces override the strength of the ligament, it will sprain or tear. Even in professional athletes. And guess what? This is his second MCL sprain in a year. Last year in the same month, he sprained the MCL of his other knee.

He will be out for at least a few weeks because of this injury. Human beings need rest and downtime to recover from an injury and there is no shame in that.

Matt Waletzko, Shoulder Subluxation

Let’s switch to football, where shoulder injuries are fairly common. Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle learned this firsthand this year. And this is not his first time receiving this lesson, it’s his third. Three times in 2022 he has subluxed his left shoulder, the latest in October.

A shoulder subluxation is a step before complete dislocation. The bones are still in their proper places, they have not fully dislocated, but the ligaments holding the shoulder together have been severely stretched. They are very lax and no longer provide proper support to the shoulder.

Third time’s a charm, right? He had surgery for this recurring condition and will be out for the rest of the season.

Deebo Samuel, Ankle Sprain

Samuel Deebo of the San Francisco 49ers has an impressive injury history. One of his more recent injuries from December is a high ankle sprain. There are two types of ankle sprains, high and low. Unfortunately, he suffered the more extreme of the two.

What everyone thinks when they hear ‘ankle sprain’ is a low one. This means that a ligament connecting the very bottom of the lower leg bone to the foot is overstretched and no longer able to provide support. A high ankle sprain is...higher. It involves the overstretching of the ligament that connects the bottom of the two bones in the lower leg, the tibia and fibula. High ankle sprains generally have a worse prognosis.

Thankfully, he avoided a very serious injury and is already back on the field.

Contact us

Injuries happen to us all. You can’t avoid an orthopedic injury or two, or many more throughout your lifetime. If you do suffer an injury, know that we’ve all been there, and this is why we will treat you with the utmost empathy and sensitivity. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Burke Orthopedics by calling (713) 436-3488.

When is Knee Pain Serious?

Knee pain is a very common complaint.  Your knee pain may be an innocuous annoyance, but when it is serious enough that it is affecting your day-to-day life, this is when to see an orthopedic doctor for your knee pain.

When knee pain becomes a constant nagging occurrence in your life, and especially if it has been present for more than a few days and does not seem to be going away on its own; this is when to visit an orthopedic knee specialist.

Affecting your daily life may be in the form of limiting your activities of daily living, such as simply walking, and moving around your home.  Or your knee pain may be impairing your ability to get adequate rest and sleep.  It may be affecting your performance at your job, or your knee pain may be limiting your participation in sports – these are all reasons that you should make a consultation with a knee doctor specialist.

When knee pain limits and impairs any kind of function, whether a minor interruption in your daily activities or intrudes on your ability to participate in work and sporting events; you should schedule a consultation with an orthopedic knee specialist.

Do loose bodies in the knee go away?

Loose bodies in your knee won’t simply disappear on their own. You will need to have the issue diagnosed and treated by a medical professional. However, there are limited options available from a non-surgical perspective when dealing with loose bodies. This condition often leads to symptoms that will continue to impair your movement until the fragments can be removed.

The use of anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy can aid in alleviating or reducing the symptoms and pain associated with the presence of loose bodies and improve your chances of maintaining a flexible joint.

Most of the time, the gold standard treatment for loose bodies in the knee will be an arthroscopic surgery. This is a kind of surgical procedure that is popularly known as a “clean out” procedure. This minimally invasive treatment allows a surgeon to thoroughly examine the knee for any loose bodies and remove them completely.

Woman wearing sports clothes suffering from pain in knee. Close-up painful knee with bones

When is Knee Pain Serious?

Knee pain is a very common complaint.  Your knee pain may be an innocuous annoyance, but when it is serious enough that it is affecting your day-to-day life, this is when to see an orthopedic doctor for your knee pain.

When knee pain becomes a constant nagging occurrence in your life, and especially if it has been present for more than a few days and does not seem to be going away on its own; this is when to visit an orthopedic knee specialist.

Affecting your daily life may be in the form of limiting your activities of daily living, such as simply walking, and moving around your home.  Or your knee pain may be impairing your ability to get adequate rest and sleep.  It may be affecting your performance at your job, or your knee pain may be limiting your participation in sports – these are all reasons that you should make a consultation with a knee doctor specialist.

When knee pain limits and impairs any kind of function, whether a minor interruption in your daily activities or intrudes on your ability to participate in work and sporting events; you should schedule a consultation with an orthopedic knee specialist.

What Doctor Should I See for Knee Pain?

The type of doctor that should be seen for knee pain is an orthopedic specialist.  These specialists have expert knowledge of the anatomy of the knee.  They will be able to determine the source of the pain. Based on your diagnosis, your orthopedic specialist will be able to recommend the most appropriate treatment strategy for your knee pain.

An accurate diagnosis is vital before determining how to best treat your knee pain. Orthopedic knee specialists like Dr. Burke will make that accurate diagnosis through imaging techniques such as an MRI or x-ray before suggesting an intervention.  These imaging techniques allow the doctor to view a picture of the inside of the knee, giving a more thorough and accurate view of what may be causing your knee pain.

The treatment strategy recommended by your orthopedic doctor can range from a few days of rest and taking NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to a course of physical therapy and steroid injections.  When the source of your pain is considered to be severe enough that non-invasive strategies will likely not help, surgery may be recommended as a last resort.

woman with knee joint pain; muslim woman with hand holding injured knee; portrait of asian woman suffering from knee pain injury, girl with knee joint injury; young muslim woman health care model

Orthopedic Knee Specialist at Dr. Burke Orthopedics

The orthopedic specialists at Dr. Burke Orthopedics are experts at treating knee pain.  Knee pain is one of the most common complaints seen by Dr. Burke’s clinic.  You do not need to live with this pain, nor should you.

Your knee pain may go away on its own, but if you have been experiencing pain for days, weeks, or even years, it is time to see an orthopedist.

Do loose bodies in the knee go away?

Loose bodies in your knee won’t simply disappear on their own. You will need to have the issue diagnosed and treated by a medical professional. However, there are limited options available from a non-surgical perspective when dealing with loose bodies. This condition often leads to symptoms that will continue to impair your movement until the fragments can be removed.

The use of anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy can aid in alleviating or reducing the symptoms and pain associated with the presence of loose bodies and improve your chances of maintaining a flexible joint.

Most of the time, the gold standard treatment for loose bodies in the knee will be an arthroscopic surgery. This is a kind of surgical procedure that is popularly known as a “clean out” procedure. This minimally invasive treatment allows a surgeon to thoroughly examine the knee for any loose bodies and remove them completely.

Woman wearing sports clothes suffering from pain in knee. Close-up painful knee with bones

Open surgical procedures are less common due to the availability of arthroscopy as a much less stressful and invasive experience, but still may be required given the issues of the condition. Open surgery still may be needed in cases where the loose bodies causing the symptoms are particularly large, or there are a number to be removed.

Reach out today and make an appointment to consult with Dr. Burke regarding the best treatment options for knee pain.  New and repeat patients can choose between in clinic or Telemedicine Video clinic appointments, whichever is most comfortable.  The knee pain relief you need is just a phone call or click away.  Please make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Burke by visiting the website or by calling (713) 436-3488.

When is Knee Pain Serious?

Knee pain is a very common complaint.  Your knee pain may be an innocuous annoyance, but when it is serious enough that it is affecting your day-to-day life, this is when to see an orthopedic doctor for your knee pain.

When knee pain becomes a constant nagging occurrence in your life, and especially if it has been present for more than a few days and does not seem to be going away on its own; this is when to visit an orthopedic knee specialist.

Affecting your daily life may be in the form of limiting your activities of daily living, such as simply walking, and moving around your home.  Or your knee pain may be impairing your ability to get adequate rest and sleep.  It may be affecting your performance at your job, or your knee pain may be limiting your participation in sports – these are all reasons that you should make a consultation with a knee doctor specialist.

When knee pain limits and impairs any kind of function, whether a minor interruption in your daily activities or intrudes on your ability to participate in work and sporting events; you should schedule a consultation with an orthopedic knee specialist.

What Doctor Should I See for Knee Pain?

The type of doctor that should be seen for knee pain is an orthopedic specialist.  These specialists have expert knowledge of the anatomy of the knee.  They will be able to determine the source of the pain. Based on your diagnosis, your orthopedic specialist will be able to recommend the most appropriate treatment strategy for your knee pain.

An accurate diagnosis is vital before determining how to best treat your knee pain. Orthopedic knee specialists like Dr. Burke will make that accurate diagnosis through imaging techniques such as an MRI or x-ray before suggesting an intervention.  These imaging techniques allow the doctor to view a picture of the inside of the knee, giving a more thorough and accurate view of what may be causing your knee pain.

The treatment strategy recommended by your orthopedic doctor can range from a few days of rest and taking NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to a course of physical therapy and steroid injections.  When the source of your pain is considered to be severe enough that non-invasive strategies will likely not help, surgery may be recommended as a last resort.

woman with knee joint pain; muslim woman with hand holding injured knee; portrait of asian woman suffering from knee pain injury, girl with knee joint injury; young muslim woman health care model

Orthopedic Knee Specialist at Dr. Burke Orthopedics

The orthopedic specialists at Dr. Burke Orthopedics are experts at treating knee pain.  Knee pain is one of the most common complaints seen by Dr. Burke’s clinic.  You do not need to live with this pain, nor should you.

Your knee pain may go away on its own, but if you have been experiencing pain for days, weeks, or even years, it is time to see an orthopedist.

Do loose bodies in the knee go away?

Loose bodies in your knee won’t simply disappear on their own. You will need to have the issue diagnosed and treated by a medical professional. However, there are limited options available from a non-surgical perspective when dealing with loose bodies. This condition often leads to symptoms that will continue to impair your movement until the fragments can be removed.

The use of anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy can aid in alleviating or reducing the symptoms and pain associated with the presence of loose bodies and improve your chances of maintaining a flexible joint.

Most of the time, the gold standard treatment for loose bodies in the knee will be an arthroscopic surgery. This is a kind of surgical procedure that is popularly known as a “clean out” procedure. This minimally invasive treatment allows a surgeon to thoroughly examine the knee for any loose bodies and remove them completely.

Woman wearing sports clothes suffering from pain in knee. Close-up painful knee with bones

Open surgical procedures are less common due to the availability of arthroscopy as a much less stressful and invasive experience, but still may be required given the issues of the condition. Open surgery still may be needed in cases where the loose bodies causing the symptoms are particularly large, or there are a number to be removed.

Reach out today and make an appointment to consult with Dr. Burke regarding the best treatment options for knee pain.  New and repeat patients can choose between in clinic or Telemedicine Video clinic appointments, whichever is most comfortable.  The knee pain relief you need is just a phone call or click away.  Please make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Burke by visiting the website or by calling (713) 436-3488.

Physical injury of leg / knee / joint at home.

Home Remedies for Knee Pain

Knee pain is a common complaint and can be incredibly irritating, affecting your ability to walk and impairs other functional abilities in your life.  Your knee joint pain may be caused by a myriad of issues.  When pain is not severe, and not affecting the ability to adequately perform necessary tasks in your everyday life, there are a number of home remedies for knee pain relief that can be attempted.

The first home remedy for knee pain is necessary if you notice any swelling in the area.  If you do notice this, follow the protocol RICE.  This stands for:

There will not always be swelling when your knee is bothering you; however, when you do not notice edema in the knee and only pain, try cold therapy for the first few days, then try heat.  A commonly used knee joint pain treatment home remedy is to ice the area, which will numb the pain and hopefully stop any inflammation or infections within the knee joint from progressing.

After a few days of icing it and it continues to bother you, try heat.  The heat will help to get things moving, facilitate blood flow and help to flush out the accumulation of any bad particles that may be left in your knee as a result of your body sending white blood cells to the area of pain in an attempt to fight off and fix whatever the issue is.  Do not apply heat to the area for longer than 20 minutes, and make sure it’s a comfortable temperature.  You want heat, but not enough heat that you burn the skin around the knee.

But, along with the above, the most helpful knee pain natural remedy that you can employ involves prevention.  Managing weight is a crucial component of knee health.  The knees bear the weight of the entire body during ambulation.  If you are overweight, this places a great amount of unnecessary stress on the knees. So, following a good diet and exercising consistently will improve the immune system and overall health of the body.

Strengthening the knee joint and all muscles surrounding it are the key to a fully functioning, pain-free knee throughout your life.  Some wonderful low-impact strengthening activities and exercises are:

When to see an orthopedic doctor

If you have attempted one or all of the above pain relief home remedies for your knee pain and they have failed to help, this is when you need to consult with an orthopedic doctor.  Even if you have not attempted any of the above-mentioned home remedies, and the pain that you are experiencing is so severe that it is affecting your ability to function, indicates it is also the time to see an orthopedic doctor.  Your doctor will be able to obtain an accurate diagnosis and determine if anything more involved and sinister may be causing your knee pain. Then, you and your physician can determine the best treatment strategy moving forward.


Show Your Joints Some Love with Stem Cell Therapy

Whether you’re suffering from an orthopedic injury, degenerative disease, or simply chronic pain, stem cell therapy is a minimally invasive technique that offers relief for patients in Pearland, Texas. This revolutionary treatment can save you from having to undergo a reconstructive surgery. At Dr. Burke Orthopedics, we know you want to show your joints some love, so we’ve laid out some reasons to choose stem cell therapy to treat pain:

Stem cells can help repair damaged or swollen tissues within the body. This is why stem cell therapy is an especially beneficial treatment for people suffering from arthritis and inflammatory conditions. During the weeks following the treatment, stem cells locate the damage in the affected joint and restore the synovium and cartilage with healthier cells. This not only prevents pain, but it also begins the healing process of the joint. For stem cell therapy to treat joint pain effectively, stem cells are often injected in combination with platelets and natural growth factors, which further enhances the innate healing capacity of the body. As an added benefit, patients experience a reduction in pain without the need for intense pain medications.

Senior man with back pain. Spine physical therapist and paient. chiropractic pain relief therapy. Age related backache

Stem cell therapy allows you to resume your daily activities more quickly when compared to surgical treatment methods. This is a key benefit for many patients that need to get back to their normal routine. Stem cell therapy speeds up the overall process of recovery and reduces the amount of time needed for the body to heal. Stem cells tend to reproduce quickly, and many patients experience a dramatic reduction in pain quickly. Even though it may take as many as 3 months before full benefits are felt, many patients report improvement in pain and mobility within 1-2 weeks.

Happy senior couple dancing together in kitchen

Stem cell therapy is a minimally invasive procedure and has a much lower risk profile than surgical procedures. However, because the procedure does not require any major incisions to be made into the body, risks such as infections and clotting are significantly reduced. Additionally, stem cell therapy is an all-natural procedure. Stem cells grow naturally within the body. This helps in reducing the risk of any major complications. Typically, patients report only mild side effects with stem cell therapy.

Selective focus of chiropractor examining patient shoulder in massage cabinet at clinic

Stem cell therapy can take care of a number of conditions, and we are learning more uses for stem cells within the medical community. At Dr. Burke Orthopedics, we are proud to offer this cutting-edge treatment to patients in the Pearland, Texas, area. Give us a call at (713) 436-3488 or visit https://drburkeortho.com/specialties/stem-cell-therapy/.


ACL vs MCL Tear: Differences, Causes and Treatments

Which is Worse Torn ACL or MCL

Within the knee joint, there are four essential ligaments that provide stability to the knee. A ligament connects bone to bone and protects against movements of hypermobility in the joint. The four ligaments in the knee are the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), and the medial collateral ligament (MCL).

The ACL is located in the interior of the knee joint and connects the bottom, back of the thigh bone (femur) to the front, top of the shin bone (tibia). The MCL is located on the inner side of the knee, connecting the bottom of the thigh bone to the top of the shin bone, the tibia.

While not always the case, an ACL tear is in most cases going to be the more severe injury. It is considered worse than tearing the MCL because ACL tears are in general more complex to treat and require a longer recovery time after surgery. A medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear can even at times heal on its own without the need for surgery.

What Causes ACL and MCL Tears

The causes of ACL and MCL tears are similar, and they will also exhibit similar symptoms. However, there are key differences that might be able to let you know which ligament may be damaged. Both injuries can occur as a result of a hard blow to the knee, or a twisting or pivoting motion where the foot is planted on the ground but the body continues moving.

In both cases, at the time of injury you may hear a popping sound and feel as though you have immediately lost stability in the leg. This is where the main difference lies. The medial collateral ligament protects against extreme valgus stresses on the knee. A valgus stress is one that causes the lower leg to be in a more lateral position than is normal relative to the upper leg. Think of your knee collapsing inward from the side, this is a valgus stress on the knee and this is what the MCL is intended to prevent.

The ACL is intended to prevent hyperextension of the knee. Think of your knee bending the wrong way. It is an excessive straightening of the knee, and when the force that causes the knee to hyperextend is greater than the ACL can withstand, it tears.

You may continue to be able to walk after a tear of the ACL but you may not. After a MCL tear, you most likely will still be able to walk. It all depends on the severity of the injury. But in both cases, you will feel significant instability of the injured knee.

A meniscus tear in the knee is often accompanied with a ligament tear. By itself however, a tear to a meniscus will not cause the same amount of instability as with a ligament tear, but the symptoms will be similar as far as pain, swelling, and redness.


How Long to Recover from ACL and MCL Tear?

Recovery from these injuries is very different. ACL tears almost always require surgical intervention to fix, and proper recovery can take 6 months to a year.

MCL tears, on the other hand, sometimes have the ability to heal without surgery requiring just a course of physical therapy. If surgery is required to repair your MCL, the recovery process will not be as long as for an ACL repair recovery and will usually only last a few weeks or months.

Treatments at Dr. Burke Orthopedics

An accurate diagnosis is the critical first step in determining how to treat your knee. The specialists at Dr. Burke Orthopedics are quite experienced with treating ligament disorders of the knee and will be able to determine exactly what is injured, how severely, and figure out the best course of treatment.


Pediatric Sports Medicine – 3 Reasons Why People Choose Dr. Burke Orthopedics

Dr. Burke Specializes in General Orthopedic Care and Sports Medicine

Orthopedic medicine is a specialty that physicians decide to pursue in order to become experts about the human body.  A physician that specializes in orthopedics has knowledge of human anatomy and physiology that is next to none.  Sports medicine is a component of orthopedic care that generally makes up a large percentage of the services provided by an orthopedic and sports medicine clinic.  Dr. Burke’s practice includes an orthopedic sports clinic near Houston.

Whenever a bone is broken, a joint is damaged, or a ligament is torn, etc, an orthopedist will know how to guide you or your child to the best treatment.  This is the case whether the injury is sports-related or not.

Dr. Burke Orthopedics is a Sports Medicine Clinic for All Ages.

Often children are the individuals who experience orthopedic injuries that are caused by participating in sports.  Dr. Burke and his staff of highly trained specialists are wonderful choices when in need of a pediatric sports medicine physician.  Sporting injuries are certainly not limited only to adults.

When treating a child who is not fully developed yet, with immature bones and ligaments, specific individualized care is vital.  Physicians that specialize in pediatric sports medicine take into account the extra care that is needed for not yet fully matured aspects of the human body and how healing after an injury may be different than in an adult.  Children are still growing and need to be treated accordingly.

Rest assured, there are pediatric sports medicine doctors in the Houston area that are fully equipped, educated, and trained in the treatment and management of injuries in children.

Friendly Staff Committed to Patient Care at Dr. Burke Orthopedics

The staff at Dr. Burke’s orthopedic and sports medicine clinic are all dedicated, friendly, and empathetic providers that will make you and your child feel comfortable.  You can put your mind at ease when placing the care of your child in the hands of a pediatric sports medicine physician at Dr. Burke’s practice.

Providing the best patient care is always the top priority when treating anyone that seeks out help for an injury, be it an adult or child.  The professionals that specialize in pediatric sports medicine at this clinic will take the time to consider the best treatment options that will yield the optimal long-term result.  A treatment will not be recommended if your child is not an appropriate candidate for the procedure and the physician is not certain that the ultimate outcome will be optimal after healing has occurred.

When your child is injured, we understand that it is a scary time and you may not know what to do.  When searching for a pediatric sports medicine physician in the Houston area, you can have peace of mind knowing that your child is receiving the best care possible when treated by Dr. Burke or a member of oh team at his orthopedics and sports clinic.

pediatric orthopedics

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