Knee Pain Treatment in Kirkland, WA

Patellofemoral Pain Specialist

Knee pain is a common symptom in people of all ages. Because you use your knee so much, it is vulnerable to injury. Knee pain is one of the most common reasons people visit a pain specialist or a doctor. Most knee problems can be prevented or treated with simple measures like exercise or training programs, while others may require surgery.

As a fellowship-trained board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Camille Clinton delivers state-of-the-art treatment to patients throughout the Seattle area that are experiencing knee pain.  Dr. Clinton is dedicated to providing patient-centered care and takes the time to discuss all treatment options in an effort to preserve and improve patient lifestyles.

As a former collegiate athlete, Dr. Clinton understands the desire to return to the sports and activities you love and utilizes an individualized approach to ensure optimal care and results.  Call (425) 899-4810 to schedule an appointment at our orthopedic surgery office in Kirkland, WA.

A Closer Look at Your Knee

Your knee is one of the largest and most complex joints in your body. Your knee helps to join your thigh bone to the shin bones and your kneecap. Your knee also contains cartilage to help your knee move smoothly acting as shock absorbers for your body.

Because there are so many complex parts of the knee, it can often be at risk for pain or injury.

You may also be at increased risk for knee pain if you:

  • Are overweight and putting increased stress on your knee joints
  • Overuse your knee
  • If you have a history of arthritis
  • Lack muscle flexibility or strength to help stabilize and protect your joints
  • Participate in sports or activities with jumping, turning, running, or other movements
  • Have a physically demanding job such as construction or farming
  • Suffered from a previous knee injury

What are Common Causes of Knee Pain?

It may start suddenly, often after an injury or exercise. Knee pain also may begin as a mild discomfort, then slowly get worse. Knee pain can have many different causes.

Some common causes of knee pain include:

  • Strain or sprain – Minor injuries to the ligaments caused by sudden or unnatural twisting
  • Dislocation of the kneecap
  • Bursitis – Inflammation from repeated pressure on the knee, such as kneeling for a long time, overuse, or injury
  • Fracture of the kneecap or other bones
  • Iliotibial band syndrome – Injury to the thick band that runs from your hip to the outside of your knee
  • Patellofemoral syndrome – Pain in the front of your knee around the kneecap
  • Torn ligament – An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, or medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury may cause bleeding into your knee, swelling, or an unstable knee
  • Torn cartilage (a meniscus tear) – Pain felt on the inside or outside of the knee joint

Knee Pain Locations

Anterior Knee Pain

Patellofemoral knee pain, or anterior knee pain, is the most common cause of knee pain, especially in females. It usually causes a deep pain in the front area of the knee, which often is worse with climbing stairs, squatting, running, and sitting with the knees bent. There is usually no swelling, catching or locking, but the knee may feel like it is going to buckle.

Kneecap Pain

The kneecap—or patellofemoral—area is prone to pain for a number of reasons. The kneecap is a small bone but bears a great deal of load. During certain activities, 3 to 6 times a person’s body weight may be placed across the patellofemoral joint. Certain anatomic factors predispose some people to patellofemoral pain and overload.  Dynamic factors, like tightness in the iliotibial band or weakness in the quadriceps and hip can also contribute to patellofemoral knee pain.

What Can I Do to Relieve Knee Pain?

Sometimes rest is all our knee needs to get back to normal function. Other times, it can be more serious and require a provider’s attention.

We are specially-trained to help you with your knee pain, but some things you can do at home will also aid you in your recovery. Simple causes of knee pain often clear up on their own while you take steps to manage your symptoms. If knee pain is caused by an accident or injury, you should contact Dr. Camille Clinton.

If your knee pain is not severe, you can:

  1. Rest and avoid activities that cause pain.
  2. Avoid putting weight on your knee.
  3. Apply ice. First, apply it every hour for up to 15 minutes. After the first day, apply it at least 4 times per day.
  4. Cover your knee with a towel before applying ice. Do not fall asleep while using ice or leave it on too long.
  5. Keep your knee raised as much as possible to bring down any swelling.
  6. Wear an elastic bandage or elastic sleeve, which you can buy at most pharmacies. This may reduce swelling and provide support.
  7. Sleep with a pillow underneath or between your knees.
  8. Take medicationibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxyn (Aleve) for pain and swelling.
  9. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help relieve pain, but not swelling.
  10. Talk to Dr. Clinton before taking these medicines if you have medical problems, or if you have taken them for more than a day or two.

When Should I Seek Treatment?

We are specially trained to assist you with your knee pain and help you get back to normal functioning.

We can talk with you about your concerns and work with you to get you the right treatment. We can also help advise you regarding other specialties or surgeries if that is necessary.

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Clinton if:

  • You cannot bear weight on your knee.
  • You have severe pain, even when not bearing weight.
  • Your knee buckles, clicks, or locks.
  • Your knee is deformed or misshapen.
  • You cannot flex your knee or have trouble straightening it all the way out.
  • You have a fever, redness or warmth around the knee, or a lot of swelling.
  • You have pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or bluish discoloration in the calf below the sore knee.
  • You still have pain after three days of home treatment.

How Can Knee Pain be Treated?

We have many options to help get you the relief you need. Knee pain can limit your mobility, your self-esteem, and the quality of your life.

If you’ve been dealing with knee pain, we can visit with you to get you the relief you need.

Non-Surgical Treatment for Knee Pain

Patellofemoral knee pain is treated initially with activity modification and physical therapy. This is successful for most patients. If these measures are unsuccessful or if there is cartilage damage surgical treatment may be considered. If non-surgical options fail to provide the desired relief, it may be time to consider surgery.

Surgical Options to Relieve Knee Pain

Surgical procedures used to treat patellofemoral knee pain include: tibial tubercle osteotomy, lateral release, and cartilage replacement surgeries when appropriate.

Tibial Tubercle Osteotomy

The tibial tubercle is the bony prominence right below the knee joint where the patellar tendon attaches. Some patients are predisposed to patellofemoral problems because of the angle the quadriceps and patellar tendon make as they cross the knee and attach onto the tibial tubercle. Patients with severe patellofemoral knee pain, that is not resolved with physical therapy, may be candidates for tibial tubercle osteotomy. Tibial tubercle osteotomy can also be used to treat patellofemoral arthritis in selected patients, patella instability and can also be used in combination with other procedures such as cartilage replacement surgery.

Tibial tubercle osteotomy involves cutting the bone where the patella tendon attaches and moving it slightly. The tendon is usually moved toward the inside of the knee to decrease the angle of the quadriceps. It can also be moved forward to decrease the force across the kneecap.

Lateral Reticular Release

The lateral retinaculum is the soft tissue along the outside of the knee. It is often tight in patients with patellofemoral knee problems. A lateral release involves releasing this soft tissue along the outside of the knee. This is done arthroscopically. The procedure is most often done in combination with other patellofemoral procedures such as tibial tubercle osteotomy or MPFL reconstruction. Selected patients with patellofemoral knee pain and a tight lateral retinaculum may be candidates for isolated lateral release as a minimally invasive way to treat their pain.

Schedule an Appointment

Dr. Camille Clinton delivers state-of-the-art treatment to patients throughout the Kirkland, Eastside Seattle, and Redmond area experiencing knee pain.  Dr. Clinton is dedicated to providing patient-centered care and takes the time to discuss all treatment options in an effort to preserve and improve patient lifestyles.  Call (425) 899-4810 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Clinton today!

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