knee

About Knee Pain

Our commitment is to assist patients with knee pain who have a diminished quality of life by using state-of-the-art, proven treatments using both surgical and non-surgical methods. Treatment is provided by the most experienced knee specialists in the Intermountain West.

When a knee is damaged by disease or injury, the proper treatment ranges from therapy to arthroscopic surgery or an artificial knee replacement.

Contact Us

(801) 587-7109

Knee Pain and Problems

Brief anatomy of the knee

The knee is a vulnerable joint that bears a great deal of stress from everyday activities, such as lifting and kneeling, and from high-impact activities, such as jogging and aerobics.

The knee is formed by the following parts:

  • Tibia. This is the shin bone or larger bone of the lower leg.

  • Femur. This is the thighbone or upper leg bone.

  • Patella. This is the kneecap.

Each bone end is covered with a layer of cartilage that absorbs shock and protects the knee. Basically, the knee is 2 long leg bones held together by muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

There are 2 groups of muscles involved in the knee, including the quadriceps muscles (located on the front of the thighs), which straighten the legs, and the hamstring muscles (located on the back of the thighs), which bend the leg at the knee.

Tendons are tough cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Ligaments are elastic bands of tissue that connect bone to bone. Some ligaments on the knee provide stability and protection of the joints, while other ligaments limit forward and backward movement of the tibia (shin bone).

What are some common knee problems?

Many knee problems are a result of the aging process and continual wear and stress on the knee joint (such as, arthritis). Other knee problems are a result of an injury or a sudden movement that strains the knee. Common knee problems include the following:

  • Sprained or strained knee ligaments and/or muscles. A sprained or strained knee ligament or muscle is usually caused by a blow to the knee or a sudden twist of the knee. Symptoms often include pain, swelling, and difficulty in walking.

  • Torn cartilage. Trauma to the knee can tear the menisci (pads of connective tissue that act as shock absorbers and also enhance stability). Cartilage tears can often occur with sprains. Treatment may involve wearing a brace during an activity to protect the knee from further injury. Surgery may be needed to repair the tear.

  • Tendonitis. Inflammation of the tendons may result from overuse of a tendon during certain activities such as running, jumping, or cycling. Tendonitis of the patellar tendon is called jumper's knee. This often occurs with sports, such as basketball, where the force of hitting the ground after a jump strains the tendon.

  • Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that affects the knee. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative process where the cartilage in the joint gradually wears away, and often affects middle-age and older people. Osteoarthritis may be caused by excess stress on the joint such as repeated injury or being overweight.

    Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the knees by causing the joint to become inflamed and by destroying the knee cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis often affects persons at an earlier age than osteoarthritis.

How are knee problems diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for knee problems may include the following:

  • X-ray. A diagnostic test that uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body; can often determine damage or disease in a surrounding ligament or muscle.

  • Computed tomography scan (also called a CT or CAT scan). A diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.

  • Arthroscopy. A minimally-invasive diagnostic and treatment procedure used for conditions of a joint. This procedure uses a small, lighted, optic tube (arthroscope), which is inserted into the joint through a small incision in the joint. Images of the inside of the joint are projected onto a screen; used to evaluate any degenerative and/or arthritic changes in the joint; to detect bone diseases and tumors; to determine the cause of bone pain and inflammation.

  • Radionuclide bone scan. A nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected into the patient's bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.

Treatment for knee problems

Specific treatment for knee problems will be determined by your doctor based on:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history

  • Extent of the disease, injury, or condition

  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies

  • Expectations for the course of the disease, injury, or condition

  • Your opinion or preference

If initial treatment methods do not provide relief, and X-rays show destruction of the joint, the orthopaedist may recommend total joint replacement for the knee.

Stephen K. Aoki, M.D.

Dr. Stephen K. Aoki, Assistant Professor, specializes in hip and knee sports medicine. His clinical practice and research focus on both adult and pediatric sports injuries. Current interests include hip preservation in the young adult, hip arthroscopy, the pediatric and adolescent athlete, ACL tears in children,... Read More

Specialties:

ACL Reconstruction, Femoroacetabular Impingement, Hip Arthroscopy, Hip Preservation, Knee, Knee Preservation, Labral Tear, Minimally Invasive Joint Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine

Locations:

Pediatric Orthopaedics (801) 662-5600
University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7109

Robert T. Burks, M.D.

Dr. Robert Burks, Professor, specializing in the field of sports medicine and shoulder surgery. His practice focuses on injuries to and degenerative conditions of the shoulder and knee. Dr. Burks graduated from St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1978. He completed his orthopedic residency at the Universi... Read More

Specialties:

ACL Reconstruction, Knee, Orthopaedic Surgery, Shoulder, Sports Medicine

Locations:

University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7109

Aaron Campbell, M.D.

Aaron D. Campbell, M.D., is a board-certified family medicine and sports medicine physician. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, UT, and completed a sports medicine fellowship at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN. In addition, he has c... Read More

Specialties:

Family Medicine, Sports Medicine

Locations:

Centerville Health Center (801) 213-8844

Jeffrey W. Cline, M.D.

Jeffrey Cline, M.D., is a pediatrician and sports medicine specialist. He received a bachelor of science degree from Lehigh University in 1996, and obtained his medical degree at the University of Utah in 2001. He completed a pediatric residency at UCSD in 2004, and went on to finish a sports medicine fellowsh... Read More

Specialties:

Pediatric General Pediatrics, Sports Medicine

Locations:

Greenwood Health Center (801) 213-8840

Kim Cohee, M.S., MBA, MHA, OCS, P.T., DPT

Kim Cohee, MS, PT, DPT, OCS, Manager - Graduated from the University of Utah with an undergraduate degree in Physical Therapy (1984), and her MS in exercise physiology (1993). She then received her DPT degree and her OCS designation both in 2006. Currently, Kim is the manager of the University of Utah Orthopedic... Read More

Specialties:

Physical Therapy, Sports Medicine

Locations:

University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7070

Leslie W. Cooper, M.D.

Leslie Cooper, M.D., M.S., is a board-certified family medicine physician and Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She received a Master of Science degree in physiology at North Carolina State University and obtained her medical deg... Read More

Specialties:

Family Medicine, Sports Medicine

Locations:

A location has not yet been added by this physician.

Jill A. Erickson, PA-C

Jill Erickson has worked with our Adult Reconstruction Surgeons since 1999, and with Christopher Peters, M.D. exclusively since 2003 with Joint Replacements as well as Hip Preservation procedures. She is an integral member of our University of Utah Joint Replacement Center team and coordinates our research and s... Read More

Specialties:

Adult Reconstruction, Femoroacetabular Impingement, Hip Arthroscopy, Hip Preservation, Hip Replacement, Joint Replacement, Knee Replacement, Minimally Invasive Joint Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Periacetabular Osteotomy, Physician Assistant, Surgical Dislocation

Locations:

University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7028

Robert J. Evers, M.D.

Robert Evers, M.D., is a family medicine physician specializing in sports medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1976. He went on to complete a residency program in family medicine at the University of Utah in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. Additionally, ... Read More

Specialties:

Family Medicine, Sports Medicine

Locations:

Redstone Health Center (435) 658-9262

Christopher A. Gee, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Gee is a Board Certified Emergency Physician who focuses on the treatment of emergent conditions at the University Hospital and South Jordan Health Center Emergency Departments. He is a member of the teaching faculty at the University Hospital and educates resident physicians and medical students through cl... Read More

Specialties:

Emergency Medicine, Sports Medicine

Locations:

South Jordan Health Center (801) 213-4500

Jeremy M. Gililland, M.D.

Dr. Gililland specializes in adult reconstructive orthopedic surgery of the hip and knee. He performs routine and complex primary and revision joint replacement operations. Additionally, his focuses include partial knee replacement and direct anterior total hip arthroplasty. He considers himself very fortunate ... Read More

Specialties:

Adult Reconstruction, Hip Replacement, Hip Revision, Joint Replacement, Knee Replacement, Minimally Invasive Joint Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Patello-Femoral Arthroplasty (PFA), Uni-Compartmental Knee Arthroplasty

Locations:

University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7109

Patrick E. Greis, M.D.

Dr. Patrick Greis, Board Certified Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, joined the Department of Orthopaedics in March of 1997 and specializes in sports medicine, knee and shoulder surgery. His interests include all aspects of knee and shoulder surgery, including arthroscopic surgery, ACL reconstruction, shoulder i... Read More

Specialties:

ACL Reconstruction, Knee, Orthopaedic Surgery, Shoulder, Sports Medicine

Locations:

University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7109

Emily J. Harold, M.D.

Emily Harold, MD, is a board-certified physician specializing in sports medicine. She received her bachelor's degree from Washington University, where she also played basketball and contributed to three National Championship teams. Dr. Harold received her medical degree from Ohio State University, and went on to... Read More

Specialties:

Foot and Ankle, Internal Medicine, General, Sports Medicine

Locations:

Redwood Health Center (801) 213-8841
University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7109

A. Michael Henrie, D.O.

A. Michael Henrie, D.O. is a sports medicine physician at the University of Utah. Dr. Henrie received his medical degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. He completed a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation followed by a sports and musculoskeletal medicine fellowship at the U... Read More

Specialties:

Back, Concussion, EMG, Electrodiagnosis, Foot and Ankle, Neck, Non-operative Musculoskeletal Disorders, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Spine, Sports Medicine

Locations:

South Jordan Health Center (801) 213-4500
University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7109

Richard W. Kendall, D.O.

Dr. Richard W. Kendall holds board certifications from The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with a sub-specialty certification in pain management. Dr. Kendall's focus is on rehabilitation treatments and diagnosis of back and neck pain using interventional spine procedures, electrodiagnosit... Read More

Specialties:

Back, EMG, Electrodiagnosis, Neck, Non-operative Musculoskeletal Disorders, Osteopathic Care, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Spine, Spine Evaluation, Sports Medicine

Locations:

University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7109

Erik N. Kubiak, M.D.

Erik Kubiak, MD is an Associate Professor at the University of Utah Medical Center. As an Orthopaedic Trauma and Adult Reconstruction surgeon, Dr. Kubiak's clinical interests include treatment and reconstruction of pelvic trauma and high-energy articular injuries involving the tibia, femur, elbow, and shoulder. ... Read More

Specialties:

Adult Reconstruction, Joint Replacement, Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Trauma

Locations:

University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7109

Travis G. Maak, M.D.

Dr. Travis Maak’s practice is focused on sports medicine and arthroscopic treatment of the knee, hip, and shoulder. Dr. Maak is originally from Salt Lake City and a graduate from Stanford University. He completed his medical school at Yale School of Medicine and surgical internship at New York Presbyterian Hosp... Read More

Specialties:

ACL Reconstruction, Cartilage Restoration, Femoroacetabular Impingement, Hip Arthroscopy, Hip Preservation, Minimally Invasive Joint Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine

Locations:

Primary Children's Hospital (801) 662-5600
South Jordan Health Center (801) 213-4500
University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7109

Theodore S. Paisley, M.D.

Theodore S. Paisley, M.D. is a board-certified family medicine physician who also specializes in sports medicine. He received his medical training from Dartmouth Medical School and completed his residency in family medicine at the University of Utah. Dr. Paisley also completed a fellowship in sports medicine at... Read More

Specialties:

Family Medicine, Sports Medicine

Locations:

Madsen Health Center (801) 213-8846
UUHC - Park City Ski Clinic (435) 655-7970

Christopher E. Pelt, M.D.

Dr. Pelt specializes in hip replacement and revision, knee replacement and revision, and hip preservation. Minimally invasive joint replacement, partial knee replacement (unicompartmental, patellofemoral), cruciate preserving knee replacement, direct anterior hip replacement, surgical dislocation and debridemen... Read More

Specialties:

Adult Reconstruction, Direct Anterior Hip Replacement, Femoroacetabular Impingement, Hip Arthroscopy, Hip Dysplasia, Hip Instability, Hip Preservation, Hip Replacement, Hip Revision, Joint Infection, Joint Replacement, Knee Preservation, Knee Replacement, Knee Revision, Labral Tear, Minimally Invasive Joint Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Oxford Partial Knee Replacement, Patello-Femoral Arthroplasty (PFA), Periacetabular Osteotomy, Surgical Dislocation, Uni-Compartmental Knee Arthroplasty, Unicompartmental Knee Replacement

Locations:

University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7109

Christopher L. Peters, M.D.

Dr. Chris Peters, Professor specializes in adult reconstructive orthopaedic surgery of the hip, and knee. He performs routine, and complex joint replacements and bioregenerative hip preserving operations. One of his specialties includes, the treatment of hip pain in young adults from acetabular dysplasia and/or ... Read More

Specialties:

Adult Reconstruction, Femoroacetabular Impingement, Hip Dysplasia, Hip Preservation, Hip Replacement, Hip Revision, Joint Replacement, Knee Replacement, Labral Tear, Minimally Invasive Joint Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Periacetabular Osteotomy, Surgical Dislocation, Uni-Compartmental Knee Arthroplasty

Locations:

University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7109

David J. Petron, M.D.

Dr. David Petron, Assistant Professor (clinical) is a primary care orthopaedic/sports medicine specialist. He originally trained in family practice and then completed a fellowship in primary care orthopaedics and sports medicine at Michigan State University. Dr. Petron is the Director of Primary Care Sports Medi... Read More

Specialties:

Family Medicine, Foot and Ankle, Shoulder, Spine Evaluation, Sports Medicine

Locations:

UUHC - Park City Ski Clinic (435) 655-7970
University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7109

Amy P. Powell, M.D.

Dr. Amy Powell, Assistant Professor, (clinical) is a board certified Sports Medicine physician serving as a team physician for the University of Utah Utes. She specializes in the care of athletes and active people of all ages, focusing on attaining and maintaining a patient’s physical performance goals. Dr. Powe... Read More

Specialties:

Foot and Ankle, Shoulder, Sports Medicine

Locations:

University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7109

Specialties:

Family Medicine, Foot and Ankle, Mild Brain Injury, Physician Assistant, Shoulder, Sports Medicine

Locations:

University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7109

Patty Trela, DPT

Patty Trela, PT, DPT, CMPT, SCS, is a Physical Therapist at the University Othopaedic Center. She received a Physical Therapy degree in 1986 from Temple University. Manual Therapy training and certification was completed through NAIOMT in 2002. She graduated from Creighton University in 2005 with her Doctoral d... Read More

Specialties:

Osteoporosis & Metabolic Bone Disease, Physical Therapy, Sports Medicine

Locations:

University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7005

Specialties:

Adult Reconstruction, Joint Replacement, Orthopaedic Surgery, Physician Assistant

Locations:

University Hospital (801) 587-5240

Pamela A. Hansen, M.D.

Dr. Pamela A. Hansen is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, specializing in musculoskeletal sports and spine rehabilitation. Dr. Hansen's clinical interests include rehabilitation of musculoskeletal problems, interventional spine procedures, and electrodiagnostic testing.... Read More

Specialties:

Acupuncture, Back, Cancer Rehabilitation, EMG, Electrodiagnosis, Foot and Ankle, Neck, Non-operative Musculoskeletal Disorders, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Spine, Spine Evaluation, Sports Medicine

Locations:

Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 587-4585
University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7109

Stuart E. Willick, M.D.

Stuart Willick, M.D. is a fellowship trained, board certified sports medicine physician. He has worked with numerous elite sports organizations, including the University of Utah, United States Ski and Snowboard Association, US Speedskating, US Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, and the International Olympic and P... Read More

Specialties:

Spine, Sports Medicine

Locations:

Redstone Health Center (435) 658-9262
University Orthopaedic Center (801) 587-7109
University Orthopaedic Center 590 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
Map
801-587-7109
South Jordan Health Center 5126 W. Daybreak Parkway
South Jordan, UT 84095
Map
801-213-4500
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