What is knee instability and how is it treated?
Knee instability is the sensation of the knee giving out and is usually the result of an injury to a ligament. Injuries to one or more ligaments can lead to the two sides of the joint not being held tightly enough in position.
Usually symptoms of instability occur with twisting or side-to-side movements. Knee swelling, called a knee effusion, can also make the knee feel unstable by increasing the space between the femur, tibia, and patella.
Initial treatment consists of a hinged knee brace and crutches for pain relief. The patient can then start isometric and range of motion exercises immediately. When the patient can walk without limping, crutches are taken away. Depending on the cause of instability, follow up treatment may include the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and possibly even reconstructive surgery.
If surgery is needed, there may be another option. Injections of stem cells is thought to cause torn tissue to rebuild itself, without the pains and risks of open surgery.