Knee Pain

Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara

Orthopedic Surgeons & Sports Medicine located in Santa Barbara, CA & Solvang, CA

Knee pain can be caused by a number of conditions affecting the joints, bones, ligaments, and cartilage. The Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, California, helps patients determine the cause of their knee pain and the best treatment for reliable relief. The practice is led by board-certified orthopedic surgeon William R. Gallivan, MD, and specializes in patient-centered, individualized treatment. To speak with Dr. Gallivan about your knee pain, call the office or book an appointment online.

Knee Pain

What causes knee pain?

Knee pain can affect patients of all ages and can be caused by a number of injuries and medical conditions. The severity of your knee pain depends on the underlying cause. Symptoms of knee pain include:

  • Stiffness
  • Redness and swelling
  • Weakness
  • Warming sensation
  • Difficulty putting weight on knee
  • A loud popping sound or sensation
  • Difficulty straightening the knee

It’s especially important to seek medical treatment if your knee shows signs of an obvious deformity, as this can be a sign of a broken bone. Minor knee pain often can be managed with at-home remedies. 

If your knee pain is persistent or severe, the orthopedic specialists at the Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara provide timely and effective treatment. 

What are some common knee injuries?

Knee pain can result from a number of common injuries. They include:

ACL injury

ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries are most common among athletes and people who lead highly active lifestyles. Sudden stops, turns, and drops can all result in a torn ACL. When the anterior cruciate ligament is torn, it’s all but impossible to continue normal physical activity.


The bones in the knee can become fractured in a number of ways. Collisions, falls, and weakened bones can result in knee fractures. The intensity of your knee pain depends on the severity of the fracture. 

Loose bone

Certain injuries and fractures cause bone and/or cartilage to break off. This loose material can become lodged in the knee, causing pain and limiting your mobility. If your knee pain persists, the fragments of bone and cartilage must be removed to prevent further damage. 

Can arthritis cause knee pain?

Arthritis is a condition that causes swelling and inflammation in the joints, including the knees. There are a number of different types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and septic arthritis, which occurs when your knee joint becomes infected. 

The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear-and-tear on the joints that gradually degrades the cartilage that cushions the bones. It usually starts slowly and continues to worsen over time. 

How is knee pain treated?

To determine the cause of your knee pain, you and your doctor discuss your symptoms and medical history. Your doctor also performs a physical exam, checking for swelling, pain, tenderness, warmth, and bruising. 

X-rays give your doctor a better look at your knee and allow them to determine the status of your condition. Additional tests like an MRI or ultrasound may also be required. Treatments offered at the Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara include:

  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
  • Computer-assisted surgery
  • Stem cell injections
  • Arthroscopic surgery
  • Partial knee replacement surgery

If you’re ready for an accurate diagnosis of your knee pain, book an appointment at the Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara by phone or online today.