What Type Of Doctor Should I See For My Knee Injury
If you suffer a knee injury, should you go to an emergency room or urgent care center, your primary care doctor, or to an orthopedic surgeon? In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I discuss your options if youre dealing with a nagging knee problem that isnt getting better.
Bridget asks:A few days ago, as I was walking in the street, my left leg locked on me twice. At that time, I experienced excruciating pain in my knee. Since then my leg has locked a few times while walking, and the pain is constant at the top of my knee when I try to straighten it out. When it is bent, I do not have pain. I do not have any swelling, just pain and locking. I also feel off balance. Do you think that I should see my GP first instead of an orthopedic surgeon? Or should I just go to see the surgeon for an evaluation?
There are many benefits to seeing your primary care doctor first, even if it is for a bone or joint injury. First, many insurance companies require patients to see their doctor and get a referral. Plus they know you, and you have a long relationship with you. And you might be able to see your personal doctor very quickly.
On the other hand, they are not as familiar with evaluation of musculoskeletal injuries as orthopedic surgeons. In this video, I discuss some of the potential drawbacks of seeing your primary care doctor first and when you might consider trying to see an orthopedic surgeon first.
When Should I See A Knee Doctor To Treat My Pain
Knee pain is very common and can have different causes. Whether young or mature, you can experience knee pain. When knee pain is experienced by a young person, its usually a result of an injury. Older adults and the elderly experiencing knee pain may be due to wear and tear or arthritis.
Knee pain that does not get better warrants a visit to a doctor. Pain is your bodys way of alerting you that something is wrong. Here are a few signs that its time to see a doctor for knee pain.
Workers Compensation And Knee Injuries Go Hand In Hand
You know you have a knee injurysustained from a work-related accident. Your knee pain refuses to go away, and you wonder how to pay for the medical expenses.
You are entitled to receive workers compensation benefits for your knee pain. New York State offers medical benefits for work injuries, and a network of WCB authorized doctors who will oversee your recovery.
Wondering what doctor to see for knee pain? Call us today to find the right doctor to see for knee pain and injury. Dont delay, call 1-800-897-8440 today and get on your road to recovery!
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Sudden Onset Of Other Symptoms
When your knee is bothering you, pay attention to the rest of your health. Symptoms to look out for are sudden swelling, redness, fever, chills nausea or a warm feeling in the knee. These symptoms may indicate infection in the joint, also known as septic arthritis. If bacteria get into your joint, delay of treatment could lead to permanent disability or even septic shock so see a doctor as soon as possible.
Reasons To See A Doctor For Knee Pain
Not everyone will need to see a doctor for knee pain because the truth is, nearly everyones knees will give them some sort of trouble eventually, and most athletes will experience some knee pain from time to time. So when knee pain occurs, it can be difficult to know whether the problem will resolve itself. Here are 6 warning signs that may indicate a more serious knee injury and warrant a trip to the doctor.
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Pressing On The Knee Doesnt Hurt
If youre unable to increase your pain level by touching or pushing on your knee, the source of the pain may actually be caused by problems elsewhere in the body. For example, sciatica a condition in which a disc in the lower back presses on a nerve can cause pain down the leg and through the knee. Hip injuries may also cause knee pain. So if you push around in your knee and it doesnt hurt, consult a doctor to figure out whats really going on.
Seeking Knee Pain Treatment In Nyc Saves Money
If youre concerned about the cost of knee pain treatment, consider the alternative. Untreated knee pain leads to decreased productivity at work and possible downtime or unemployment. Left untreated, knee pain can lead to costly knee replacement, followed by physical therapist bills and pricey narcotic pain pills. Knee replacement surgery requires subsequent replacement surgeries to maintain the knees stability. Its far more costly to avoid treatment for knee pain than to address it promptly. At Pain Treatment Specialists, we accept most forms of insurance and determine your coverage before your visit. We even have a free coverage checker on our website. You wont be blindsided by unexpected bills, especially since we avoid costly procedures like surgery.
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What Painkiller Is Best For Knee Pain
Knee pain can limit daily activity. ;Knee issues are often noticed during squatting, stairs, and even with daily walking activity. ;One of the best ways to decrease pain in the knee is to place an ice pack on the knee for about 15 minutes. ;This can calm pain and decrease inflammation. ;Other methods include considering proper foot wear. ;High heels can change the mechanics in the knee and increase pain. ;Wearing flats is typically recommended for knee pain. ;Medications are prescribed based on the severity and health of a patient. ;It is best to see a physician before taking medications for pain.
Image of a knee patient
Do I Need To Go To A Rheumatologist Or An Orthopedist
With so much overlap between medical disciplines and specializations, it is often difficult for an individual to discern which type of doctor to see for their problem.
This is especially true for orthopedics and rheumatology, as both of these types of physicians treat joint pain.
Orthopedists are surgeons who address bone and joint diseases and injuries, such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, and body trauma. Rheumatologists are internal medicine physicians who focus on autoimmune conditions and the non-surgical treatment of such diseases, such as arthritis, where medications and/or physical therapy can provide the proper treatment.
It is important to understand the areas these two specialties cover in order to make an informed decision.
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Q&a My Knee Hurts When Should I See A Doctor
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The knee is a hinge joint made of the thigh bone, the shin bone, and the knee cap. The bones are covered with cartilage to absorb shock and protect the knee. The knee joint is held together with ligaments, the Anterior Cruciate Ligament , the Posterior Cruciate Ligament , and the medial and lateral collateral ligaments. Additionally, the knee bones are held together by muscles and tendons. The two groups of muscles that allow a wide range of knee movement are the quadriceps and the hamstrings that are attached to the bone by tendons. If any one or more of these structures are damaged, knee pain can result. Knee pain can be caused by normal daily wear and tear, repetitive use, aging and injury.
Dr. Jorge Chahla is a renowned orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine expert in Chicago whose focus is on complex injuries of the knee, hip and shoulder. Below, he answers your questions about knee pain and when to see a doctor.
Questions Your Doctor May Ask
Your doctor will want to know as much as possible about whatâs going on with your knee. Be ready to answer questions such as:
Your answers will give your doctor clues about the cause of your pain. For instance, a popping or snapping sound may mean that you tore a ligament. If your pain is worse when you rest and your knee is stiff when you wake up, you could have a type of arthritis.
Your doctor will also ask about:
- Problems with any other joints
- Any knee injuries or surgeries youâve had
- Other health issues that might be causing the pain
A hip problem, for example, can cause you to walk awkwardly, which throws off alignment of your knees, causing pain. Also, pain from your hip can make your knee hurt.
Let your doctor know what youâve already tried to treat your knee pain, such as medicines, braces, and physical therapy.
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When To See Your Doctor For Knee Pain
- Significant pain or swelling that does not improve within 48 hours
- Persistent tenderness or warmth around the joint
- Increasing swelling or redness around the joint
Seek immediate treatment at an urgent care or emergency room if you:
- Cant put weight on your knee or you feel your knee is going to give out
- Are unable to flex or fully extend your knee
- Heard a popping noise when your injury occurred
- See a deformity around the joint
- Have intense pain or sudden swelling
Also see a doctor if your knee discomfort, such as from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout, has worsened to the point previous treatments are no longer effective or you are unable to perform normal daily activities. Treatment will depend on the cause of your knee pain. Medication, physical therapy, cortisone injections, and braces or other supports all may help relieve your symptoms. Depending on your condition, joint replacement surgery may be an option as well.Dont Let Joint Pain Hold You BackFrom pain management and physical therapy, to surgery and rehabilitation, Virtua Health can help you get back in the game. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained sports medicine specialists and orthopedic surgeons guide your care from diagnosis to treatment, and beyond. Learn more about the Virtua Orthopedics & Spine program or call .
Facts You Should Know About Knee Pain
- Knee pain is a common problem with many causes, from acute injuries to complications of medical conditions.
- Knee pain can be localized to a specific area of the knee or be diffuse throughout the knee.
- Knee pain is often accompanied by physical restriction.
- A thorough physical examination will usually establish the diagnosis of knee pain.
- The treatment of knee pain depends on the underlying cause.
- The prognosis of knee pain, even severe knee pain, is usually good although it might require surgery or other interventions.
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Common Injuries That Physical Therapists Treat:
Recovering from almost any knee injury
Most knee injuries will improve faster with a PT. A physio can help you recover from a meniscus tear, a ligament tear, a sprain, tendinitis You name it!
The recovery process focuses on reducing pain and strengthening your muscles. This is how PTs make sure you get back on track as soon and as safely as possible.
Recovering from knee surgery
Physical therapy is key before and after knee surgery.
First, a therapist will prepare your lower leg for the surgery. The goal is to have as much strength as you can before going into the OR. This will help you recover faster.
Afterward, the physio will treat your painful knee and help you regain your range of motion.
Chronic knee pain
Chronic pain in the knee can be a consequence of osteoarthritis. Repetitive knee injuries, like bursitis or sprains, can also cause this.
And, according to studies, physical therapy is the most effective treatment for chronic knee pain.
When To See A Rheumatologist
Visit a rheumatologist if you have knee pain and:
- If it started out of nowhere .
- You have other symptoms associated with the pain. Like a fever, skin changes, digestive issues, or fatigue.
- Flare-ups or it gets better or worse with no clear reason.
- Youre taking medication for other underlying diseases. Like cardiovascular problems, for example.
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When To Call The Doctor For Knee Pain
When you are deciding whether to call the doctor about your knee pain, a good rule of thumb exists for most long-term knee injuries. If your symptoms have not gone away after trying a week of PRICE therapy and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain meds, you should set up an appointment with your doctor, physical therapist, or a sports medicine orthopaedic specialist to further evaluate the pain. This rule can also be applied to new knee injuries that are not disabling. Remember, however, that this rule should only serve as a guide. If you are concerned about the pain, you should call the doctor.
When To See A Doctor For Knee Pain
Unfortunately, knee pain is a common problem for many Americans of all ages. While younger people tend to experience knee pain after an injury, knee pain can also be caused by a number of medical conditions, obesity and arthritis.
If youre experiencing acute or chronic knee pain, you may need to see a knee specialist for treatment.
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Types Of Knee Pain Doctors
Knee pain doctors can come from various different fields of medicine such as anesthesiologists, physiatrists, neurosurgeons, podiatrists, neurologists, primary care physicians, or orthopedic surgeons.
However, broadly speaking, if you are wondering what kind of doctor for knee pain exists, there are three knee pain specialists palliative care specialists, interventional pain and spine specialists, and chronic pain specialists.
As you can see, there are a lot of options when it comes to what doctor to see for knee pain. But you should look for interventional pain specialists because theyre the only ones who can truly diagnose the root cause of your knee pain and provide long-term relief. An interventional pain specialist will use imaging tests like X-Rays, CT scans, and MRIs to determine the root cause of knee pain.
Knee Pain: Should You See A Doctor Or Just Wait It Out
Four out of every five knee pain cases resolve by themselves. But sometimes its important to see a doctor. Lets look at why knee pain is so common and four aspects of your symptoms that mean you should see a doctor.
Most knee pain goes away
Everyone has aches and pains that they occasionally experience. Sometimes they arent cause for alarm and in fact, thats true in the vast majority of cases. Eighty percent of the knee problems people have will resolve by themselves within a period of time, explains Robert Gotlin, DO, of Beth Israel Medical Center. When certain symptoms are present, though, it is important to go to the doctor.
Lets look at why knee injury statistics are so high and four times your knee pain symptoms require a doctor.
Why knee pain is so common
Knee pain is incredibly common among American adults. In fact, it is the second most diagnosed pain condition , according to data from the CDC.
The reason the knees are so frequently injured is that, in the general course of life, they are made subject to a huge amount of force: multiple times your full weight. When you walk down the sidewalk or through a room, the amount of pressure on your knees is 1.5 times your weight, according to Harvard Medical School. When you go up or down stairs, they experience 2-3 times your weight; when you squat, they are sustaining 4-5 times your weight.
#1 Difficulty walking
#3 Pressing doesnt hurt
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What Is The Recovery Time For A Knee Replacement
The most extensive form of knee treatment is knee replacement surgery or knee arthroplasty. This treatment is usually recommended for those patients whose knees have been deformed due to chronic conditions such as osteoporosis or arthritis.
Knee replacement surgery comes in different forms; depending on the extent of the deformity, you may require either partial knee replacement or total knee replacement. During the procedure itself, you will be administered anesthesia, ensuring that you are pain-free. Recovery from a knee replacement surgery can last for roughly six weeks and typically requires physical therapy. Pain medications can also be administered as needed.
If you deal with knee pain or limited motion, it’s important to visit with a surgeon as soon as possible. Learn more about the possibilities of evidence-based knee treatments by contacting a knee doctor today.
For more information on different knee replacement procedures our knee doctors perform, click the buttons below.
Instability Or Reduced Range Of Motion
A reduced range of motion can be due to swelling in the knee and many other joint injuries.
Inflammation, swelling, redness, and an increased temperature at the knee are all knee pain symptoms that need to be taken seriously.
If you have a limited range of motion that doesnt get better within a few days, you should call your doctor.
Instability in your knee joint, joint pain, and a sensation that your knee is bending or moving in the wrong direction may be an indicator of a ligament injury to the knee.
Your knee ligaments support and stabilize your knee joint. If they are stretched or torn, instability is one of the most obvious warning signs.
Not being able to support your entire body weight on one leg, compared to your other leg, is another tip-off to an injury that requires attention.
If you fear you have a ligament injury, you need to see a doctor before the damage starts affecting your quality of life.
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