Knee Injuries

What you need to know

Your knee is the largest joint in your body, containing bones, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, blood vessels, and nerves. All of these parts work together to allow you to bend your leg; because of this, and because of its size and importance, the knee is sensitive – prone to a variety of injuries and painful conditions. If you are suffering from knee pain, the doctors at Westchase Orthopedics & Rehabilitation can make a diagnosis and offer medical and surgical treatment.

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Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries

More commonly known as the ACL, a sprain or tear of the anterior cruciate ligament is one of the most frequently occuring knee injuries. If you have a sprain or tear to your anterior cruciate ligament, it is likely you have damage to other parts of your knee as well. Cruciate ligaments in your knee cross each other to form an “X” and control the back and forth motion of your knee. The anterior cruciate ligament runs diagonally through the middle of your knee and provides stability to your tibia and your knee as a whole. Athletes are more likely to have ACL injuries than the rest of the population, as these injuries are often caused by direct contact, stopping or changing direction suddenly, or landing from jumping incorrectly. Symptoms may include a popping noise and your knee giving out from under you, swelling and intense pain, and an inability to walk. Surgery is the only way to repair a torn ACL, but nonsurgical options for elderly patients may also include physical therapy and bracing. Our doctors can help you understand your options for surgery and recovery!
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Collateral Ligament Injuries

Collateral ligaments are located on the sides of your knees and connect the femur to the tibia (medial collateral ligament) and to the fibula (lateral collateral ligament). These ligaments regulate the sideways motion of your knee joint and protect it from unusual or harmful movement. Athletes are more susceptible to collateral ligament injuries than the general population, as these sprains are typically caused by direct contact to the knee or hard muscle contractions (like changing directions suddenly while running). Pain on the inside or outside of your knee, as well as swelling and instability, may be signs of a collateral ligament injury. Depending on the severity of the sprain, bracing, ice, and physical therapy may be sufficient treatments, but occasionally surgery is required. We can give you a correct diagnosis and help relieve your pain!
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Combined Knee Ligament Injuries

There are four ligaments in your knee: the anterior cruciate ligament, the posterior cruciate ligament, the medial collateral ligament, and the lateral collateral ligament. Each of these four ligaments plays a vital role in the stability and movement of your knee joint. Injuring mutliple ligaments at once is a common and serious sports injury that can lead to a loss of blood supply to the leg and disruption of the muscle nerves. Symptoms may include intense pain, swelling, and instability, but a physical examination by a medical professional is required to accurately diagnose a combined knee ligament injury. Because these injuries are so severe, surgery is often recommended immediately after diagnosis. More than one operation may be needed. Our doctors can help you understand your options for treatment!
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Meniscal Tear

There are two rubbery pieces of protective cartilage in your knee known as meniscus and located between your thighbone and shinbone. They serve to cushion and stabilize your knee joint. When the menisci wear thin or tear over time as a result of aging, the bone nerves are exposed, and this results in pain, stiffness, and swelling. When an athlete twists their knee suddenly or experiences direct contact, their menisci may tear, and they may experience a popping sound, pain, swelling, and instability. Depending on the type of tear, you will most likely require surgery, but some meniscal tears do heal with rest and physical therapy. The doctors at Westchase Orthopedics & Rehabilitation can treat your mensical tear and relieve your pain!
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Posterior Cruciate Ligament Tear

The posterior cruciate ligament is one of the four knee ligaments that connect your femur to your tibia. This particular ligament is located near the back of your knee and keeps the tibia (shinbone) in place. Because it is the strongest knee ligament, and smaller, it is less commonly injured than the ACL. A powerful impact, like in a car accident or sporting event, is usually what injures the posterior cruciate ligament. Most often, this type of injury occurs in conjunction with another knee structure injury. Symptoms of a posterior cruciate ligament tear include pain, swelling, difficulty walking, and instability. Treatment options include immobilization, physical therapy, and surgery, if there are other injuries present. Our doctors can help you heal!
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Patellar Instability

The patella is your kneecap. When the complicated interaction of joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your knee keep your patella in place, you can move, jump, run, sit, squat, walk, and run easily. When the kneecap slides out of place, either due to natural aging or to direct impact like a fall, accident, or sporting injury, your kneecap can be dislocated. You can experience pain, stiffness, swelling, your knee no longer being able to support your weight, and your knee catching during movement. The best course of treatment is typically reduction (returning the kneecap to its proper place), followed by physical therapy and bracing or surgery, depending on the nature of the patellar instability. The doctors at Westchase Orthopedics & Rehabilitation can stabilize your knee and return you to activity!
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Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter Disease (OSD) occurs when the growth plate at the top of the shinbone swells and becomes irritated due to quickly changing knee structures or knee structures changing at different rates. Children and adolescents can be diagnosed with this painful condition during growth spurts, and if they participate in athletic activities that put pressure on the bones, muscles, and tendons in their knee, they are more likely to experience this condition. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and tenderness below the kneecap that worsens with activity, and/or tight thigh muscles. This condition usually only requires rest, medication, or physical therapy for treatment, and will go away between the ages of 14-18. Our doctors can help relieve your child’s pain!
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Runner’s Knee

The term “runner’s knee” can be used to describe several conditions that cause pain around the kneecap, or patella. Examples include anterior knee pain syndrome, patellofemoral malalignment, chondromalacia patella, and iliotibial band syndrome, among others. While running, as the name suggests, can be a cause of runner’s knee, any activity that puts repeated stress on the knee (like walking, skiing, biking, jumping, cycling, and other sports) can cause this condition. Middle-aged women and people who are overweight are more commonly prone to this disorder. Symptoms of runner’s knee include a dull, aching pain around the kneecap, pain during activity, or a popping/grinding sensation in the knee. Treatment may include rest, compression, elevation, physical therapy, and surgery, depending on the severity of your condition. Our doctors can diagnose runner’s knee and help you return to your active lifestyle!
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Shin Splints

Shin splints occur when the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue around your shinbone (tibia) become inflamed due to vigorous exercise activity. Runners, dancers, military recruits, athletes, and people with flat feet are at high risk for developing shin splints. Symptoms include sharp or aching pain around your shinbone that occurs during or after exercise. Treatment may include rest, compression, custom orthotics, and flexibility exercises. The physicians at Westchase Orthopedics & Rehabilitation can help you understand the best way to relieve your pain!

Patrick J. Horan, MD, MBA, FACS

Patrick J. Horan is an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist with two decades of experience. He is board-certified in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Duke University in Durham, N.C., Dr. Horan earned his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. Residency and Internship were both completed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He also received an MBA from Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.

Dr. Horan served 10 years on active duty in the US Army as an orthopaedic surgeon before entering into private practice. Dr. Horan is the founder of the Westchase Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation and the official surgeon of the Tampa Bay Rowdies. He maintains professional memberships with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Sports Medicine and the Arthroscopy Association of North America.

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Dr. Patrick Horan and the other orthopedic surgeons and specialists at Westchase Orthopedics & Rehabilitation have served hundreds of patients in the Tampa Bay area. Our patients choose us because we are able to offer them viable solutions to their pain. We offer hope to patients who have been athletes for years and suddenly find themselves faced with the possibility of never playing again, to elderly patients who want to maintain their independence and do things like drive and grocery shop alone, to parents who aren’t sure what is wrong with their children’s knees or elbows and want answers. Unlike in many other practices, you are not treated like just a number; we take the time to listen to your concerns and symptoms, accurately diagnose the source of the problem, and walk you through what will happen during the course of treatment. Get in touch with our office today to schedule an appointment!

Testimonials

Dr Horan has done a few of my knee surgeries and has always been the best surgeon. Dr Lao has been my physical therapist for every knee surgery and his results are proven and outstanding. I’d be in bad shape if it wasn’t for dr Lao and his staff who go above and beyond to do what’s needed.

Testimonials

Dr. Lao is simply the best! His intense educational training and specialty of the spine are something that you seldom come across these days. When I lived in Bradenton for 9 months I would drive over an hour just to see him because he was the only one I trusted with my physical issues. His assistant Sam is wonderful and Lisa at the front desk is always very helpful! There is another PT there that I have not treated with, but I only hear great things about him! 🙂 I will not go anywhere else.

Testimonials

This review encompasses both Dr Horan's orthopaedic side of the business & Dr Lao's physical therapy side. I have no idea if their practices are actually related, but there's only one street sign & only one Yelp check-in. Luckily, I think both doctors are excellent.

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