Taping the knee has become a standard method of treating pain caused by a poorly aligned kneecap ( patella ). The idea is that the tape helps hold the kneecap in better alignment. But does the tape actually improve the position of the kneecap? Past research is unclear. This study involved 16 young women with alignment problems of their patella. Researchers took pictures of the bones of the subjects' knees using computed tomography (CT). The CT scans were used to see the position of the knee caps before and after taping the knee, and with or without having the subject tighten the quadriceps muscle. Only four knees showed even a slight improvement in patellar alignment with taping. In the rest of the knees, taping made no difference in alignment at all. Patellar taping may indeed help ease pain or provide support for the knee cap. But the authors conclude that the benefits from taping do not seem to be from correcting the alignment of the patella. Reference: Antonio Gigante, MD, et al. The Ef...
In this year of Hillary and Sarah, it is interesting that gender issues in medicine are becoming important... and profitable.
In 2006, Zimmer, Inc. received clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration to market an artificial knee that is gender-specific. This is based on studies that have focused on the anatomical differences between men and women. Specifically, men have been found to have an increase in the contact area where the knee cap meets the rest of the knee joint compared to women. And women appear to have a more narrow space when one looks at the inner and outer aspect of the knee.
Osteoarthritis of the knee is a major cause of chronic pain and disability, and the concern up to this point is that perhaps the orthopedic profession and its suppliers of artificial knees are doing a disservice to some patients by not taking into account the differences between a male knee and a female knee. All of us know patients who have chronic pain even af...
One of the first questions I sometimes hear from people who have knee pain is: Doc, do you think it is arthritis? The answer is, invariably, please tell me more about your pain. There are many causes of knee pain and arriving at an accurate diagnosis begins with a full, comprehensive medical history and physical examination. Osteoarthritis is one of the more common causes of knee pain in people over the age of 55. However, there are many other potential causes in this population of people as well. For example, knee pain can be due to:
Ø A meniscus tear
Ø A ligament tear, sprain, or strain
Ø Malalignment of the patella (knee cap) leading to pain beneath the patella
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