Knee pain can be debilitating, but a misdiagnosis can delay proper treatment and cause your suffering to continue longer than necessary. Two conditions that can easily be mistaken for each other are osteoarthritis and a meniscus tear. Here are the symptoms of each, and how to distinguish between the two, so you can get the treatment you need.
Knee osteoarthritis and a torn meniscus can have very similar symptoms, such as:
- Pain around the knee joint, especially after exercise or activity where the knee is used.
- Swelling from inflammation. This can make the knee feel warm and painful to the touch.
- The sensation of the knee locking in place, making it difficult to bend the joint.
Even though these conditions have similar symptoms, the part of the knee that is affected is different. Osteoarthritis affects the articular cartilage, the material that covers the top of the femur and tibia, as well as the back of the patella. A torn meniscus is damage to the flexible cartilage that acts as a cushion between the femur and tibia.
Arthritis usually comes on gradually, increasing in intensity as we age. An injury is usually to blame for a torn meniscus, including injury from playing sports such as soccer and basketball. A meniscus tear can occur at any age, but osteoarthritis is more prevalent in older individuals, due to the degenerative nature of the condition.
Differences in Pain
People who suffer from a torn meniscus describe the pain as sharp, usually occurring immediately following an injury. Osteoarthritis sufferers describe pain that can be alleviated with rest, but reoccurs with increased activity.
If you suffer from knee pain but feel that you have not received the proper diagnosis, Caliber Pain can help. Dr. Michael Fakhry and the Caliber Pain team can examine your knee and give you the proper diagnosis and treatment plan that will get you back to an active lifestyle. Call (212) 203-5987, or visit us here to schedule a consultation. You do not have to live in pain. Let the Caliber Pain team help you find the solution.