Ask the Sports Doc: Pain in the knee

Published 10:07 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2011

AD Writes: Dr. Patel, I have been told by an orthopedist that there isn’t anything that can be done with my knee. The cartilage is all but gone. It grinds when I climb stairs.

A relative told me to find another doctor. What do you think?

Dr. Patel writes: Dear AD, the wear and tear in anyone’s knee is when the cartilage in the knee starts to deteriorate. Eventually, everyone will wear down the cartilage in the knee, some at a faster rate than others.


Email newsletter signup

The rate the cartilage wears down depends on many things including weight, stability of the knee, any history of trauma, genetics and activity level of the individual.

As the cartilage wears downs, the raw bones begin to grind with each other. This can lead to pain and swelling.

It sounds as though you have lost the most cartilage from under your knee caps and that is why you have grinding with going up and down stairs and when you stand from a seated position.

There are options in treating the cartilage disorder. You can try chondroitin and glucosamine for six weeks to see if that helps.

Also there are supplemental injections in the knee that can help. They are a series of three to five injections to help with cartilage damaged knees.

If you are not at your ideal body mass index, you may want to get into a weight loss program as well.

Finally, since you are having pain with stairs, I would recommend that you try physical therapy as well.