The knee is a complicated joint, more than just a hinge that allows your leg to bend and straighten. Ligaments, tendons and bones assist the joint with bending, twisting, and stabilizing weight and movement. One of the primary functions of the knee is to support the body by bearing its weight. When the knee joint is compromised, so goes the body. A person whose knee suddenly gives out or buckles is at risk of a sudden fall and further injury.
It’s not normal for a knee to buckle, and while it might at first seem like a fluke it could be a serious problem. Your health professional may order an X-ray or an MRI to receive an accurate assessment, in order to properly diagnose the knee problem. In many cases, an orthopedic specialist can provide the best treatment options for problems affecting the musculoskeletal system, especially joints like the knees.
Medical conditions that could cause knee buckling
When cartilage that has calcified detaches, it can get caught in the joint. The knee can buckle as a result of that cartilage floating around in the joint space. Your doctor may refer to the obstruction as a loose body. In addition to giving way, the knee might also catch due to the impingement.
Trauma to the knee is a common cause of a loose body, which is also referred to as a joint mouse. Trauma can also weaken ligaments and render the knee unstable, increasing the chance for falls.
Knees that buckle due to floaters can typically be treated through arthroscopic surgery. An orthopedic surgeon will remove the fragment(s) by making two incisions, shining a light and camera through one of the incisions for sight. He will then use an instrument to remove the fragment through the second incision. Arthroscopic surgery is minimally invasive, with a fairly quick recovery time.
Inflammation in the knee joint caused by arthritis could cause the knee to buckle. The symptoms that are associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis include pain, swelling, and reduced mobility. Both forms of the disease can cause stiffness in joints that can culminate in them feeling locked in place.
Physical therapy, over-the-counter medications, and injections ordered by your physician will assist with easing symptoms associated with arthritis and other knee injury or instability. For chronic conditions such as arthritis, your orthopedic doctor can provide a knee brace that will help to stabilize the knee and keep it from giving way.
A disease that affects the immune system, causing nerve signal disruption between the brain and body. Knees giving out and weakened legs are possible symptoms of the disease, which also causes fatigue and tremors. Unfortunately, a cure hasn’t been discovered for multiple sclerosis, but symptoms can be treated by a health professional. Corticosteroid injections, immunosuppressants, and muscle relaxants might be prescribed.
If your knee gives out, it might be due to patellar instability. The patella, commonly known as the kneecap, is situated within the pocket or groove of the femur. As the knee bends, a normal patella moves up and down, but stays within the groove at the femur’s end. When the patella is abnormal it can become displaced, popping outside the bounds of the femur’s groove. This is one of two types of patellar instability: patellar dislocation (totally moves out of place) or subluxation (moves out of the groove, but only partially).
There are multiple reasons why a knee gives out, and there are almost as many treatments. Exercise, medication, and surgery are just a few of the options available. Your health professional will diagnose the condition of your knee and then provide the correct treatment for the situation. He or she might also suggest certain changes to your lifestyle. Losing weight, for instance, will reduce stress on the knee joint.
Knee instability should be treated sooner than later, to prevent potentially disastrous falls, which could lead to more damage, such as a fractured hip or wrist. Contact Advanced Bone & Joint today to schedule an appointment with our orthopaedic specialists. Call (636) 229-4222 today, or schedule an appointment online.