What Are Knee Pain Symptoms And Signs
- Chronic use/overuse conditions: osteoarthritis, chondromalacia, IT band syndrome, patellar syndromes, tendinitis, and bursitis
Below is a list of some of the more common causes of knee pain. This is not an all-inclusive list but rather highlights a few common causes of knee pain in each of the above categories.
Acute knee injuries
Fractures: A direct blow to the bony structure can cause one of the bones in the knee to break. This is usually a very obvious and painful knee injury. Most knee fractures are not only painful but will also interfere with the proper functioning of the knee or make it very painful to bear weight . All fractures need immediate medical attention. Many fractures require significant force, and a thorough examination is performed to detect other injuries.
Ligament injuries: The most common injury is the ACL injury. An ACL injury is often a sports-related injury due to a sudden stop and change in directions. The remaining ligaments are injured less frequently.
Meniscus injuries: The menisci are made of cartilage and act as shock absorbers between bones in the knee. Twisting the knee can injure the meniscus.
Dislocation: The knee joint can be dislocated, which is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. Knee dislocation can compromise blood flow to the leg and have other related problems. This injury often occurs during a motor-vehicle accident when the knee hits the dashboard.
Who To See For Knee Pain
Trauma-related knee pain will be evaluated at first by an emergency room provider, who may then call on an for diagnosis and treatment. If you have chronic knee pain that needs attention, you can start by visiting your primary care provider. Your doctor might refer you to an orthopedic or for further testing, diagnosis and treatment. You also can schedule an appointment directly with an orthopedist, but remember that some insurance companies require you to obtain a referral before seeing a specialist.
Depending on the cause of your knee pain, you may also work with physical therapists, hydrotherapists, or other health professionals to get you back on your feet as soon as possible.
can be a nuisance that causes you to miss work or cut back on fitness activities. By seeking prompt medical attention for knee pain that persists longer than a week or two, you may be able to treat the condition with conservative measures that relieve the pain and get you back in action quickly.
Our Specialized Knee Pain Treatment
At Aurora, our orthopedists are committed to providing compassionate care for knee pain. We offer:
- Emphasis on prevention: A healthy, active lifestyle can help you prevent knee pain and painful joints. Our primary care doctors can help you maintain orthopedic wellness and prevent injuries at every age.
- One of the largest health care providers in Wisconsin: If your knee pain becomes serious, your doctor can immediately refer you to the right specialists and resources. Thats because our large team of experts is connected by a single, fully integrated health system.
- Seamless chain of care: Whether you need orthopedic specialists, primary care doctors, integrative medicine providers, physical therapists or a combination approach, our providers work together to give you the best care possible.
- Top-tier specialists: Our expert team includes over 70 orthopedic surgeons, many of whom are fellowship trained. This team sees many people for orthopedic care and joint replacement surgery, which translates to deep experience in treating all types of orthopedic problems – including knee pain.
- Faster, more advanced surgery: We offer leading-edge treatments that arent widely available elsewhere. Many of these treatments involve minimally invasive surgery options, which can help you recover faster. Learn more about minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery.
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What Does A Rheumatologist Do
Rheumatology studies the causes, impact, and treatments of inflammatory autoimmune disorders on the human body. In an autoimmune disorder, a patients own immune system malfunctions and turns its attack on his own healthy body tissue, rather than on invading or external disease agents.
Rheumatologists can be internists or pediatricians who have additional training and qualifications. ;They have the experience to diagnose and treat many of the over 100 systemic forms of adult, juvenile, and temporal arthritis. ;They treat mechanical joint, bone, muscle, and soft and connective tissue diseases.
Often referred to as arthritis doctors, rheumatologists treat many other diseases too.
When To See A Knee Doctor
Not all knee pain requires medical treatment most minor tweaks, sprains and injuries can be treated at home with rest, ice and elevation. If youre experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should contact an orthopedic knee specialist for a consultation.
- Have distinct knee swelling or an obvious deformity
- Cant bear weight on your knee
- Your knee gives out when you try to walk
- Have a fever in addition to redness and swelling
- Are in severe pain
Chronic Knee Pain
Living in constant pain and being unable to live a normal, active life shouldnt be your norm.
If youve been experiencing chronic knee pain, its time to see a knee pain specialist. While some chronic knee conditions cannot be cured, treatments can help reduce your symptoms and pain.
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Dont Let Knee Pain Linger
If you have knee pain, then you should immediately do something about it.
- Start with some research. You may find a solution or see that you just have fatigued limbs and need some rest.
- See your doctor if thats not enough. Your doctor will diagnose your condition and treat it or send you to a specialist.
Yes, you can go straight to a specialist, but its best to take knee pain and injury in stages. No matter what though, do not let that pain or injury go unchecked.
Do You Need To See An Orthopedic Physician Or A Rheumatologist
Patients should use the guidelines below to help determine if they should choose an orthopedic physician or rheumatologist for their arthritis and joint pain.
Patients might need an orthopedic physician if they have:
- Joint or musculoskeletal pain that began after an injury
- Gradually progressive hip or knee pain that is worse with weight bearing
- Joint pain that is severe and interfering with function
- Moderate or advanced arthritis of the knee or hip
- Previous unsuccessful;treatment for joint pain
- Been told by their doctor they might need a joint replacement
Patients might need a rheumatologist if they have:
- Pain involving many joints
- New joint pain not associated with any injury
- Joint or musculoskeletal pain associated with morning stiffness, fever, fatigue, rash or chest pain
- Joint pain that followed a tick bite
- Joint pain associated with back pain
- Joint pain and psoriasis
- Muscular pain with or without any other symptoms
- New headaches or muscle aches and are over the age of 50
- Back pain with or without pain in the legs
- Unexplained, ongoing symptoms such as fever, sweats or weight loss
A patients’ medical needs are important and unique, that is why UMass Memorial Medical Center offers specialty trained physicians that have devoted their education and career to treating specific medical conditions to serve you.
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How Do You Know When Your Knee Pain Is More Serious
Sometimes knee pain can be serious and require professional care. There are some simple rules for when to see a doctor for knee pain: if your knee pain is severe, if medication doesnt work, if your pain is affecting your regular activities, or if the pain has lasted longer than 3 months. If your pain falls into one or more of those categories, then you should see an orthopedic doctor. Long-lasting pain is called chronic pain, and it requires the care of a professional.
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.
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Should I See An Orthopedic Doctor For Knee Pain
Choosing the whether to see an orthopedic doctor for your knee pain should depend on the severity. ;I you have been in an accident or took a blow to the knee and you cannot put weight on it, the emergency department is the usually the first stop. ;The ER doctor will likely take X-rays and consult an orthopedic surgeon if needed. ;If the knee injury is not an immediate emergency, you may make an appointment to see a knee doctor at their office. ;
If you have knee pain that is not from trauma, your primary care doctor may be able to manage the knee pain.
Stem Cell And Prp Therapy
Many orthopedic doctors also use regenerative medicine to relieve pain and boost injury healing. Stem cell therapy and PRP therapy use components taken from your blood. In stem cell therapy, adult stem cells are harvested and injected into the knee to promote the healing of damaged tissue. In PRP therapy, blood is taken from your body, platelets are isolated and concentrated using a centrifuge machine, and injected into the knee. The platelets contain growth factors that can boost the repair and healing process. Patients with soft tissue injuries and osteoarthritis may benefit from stem cell therapy and PRP therapy.
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What Are The Complications Of Knee Pain
Frequently, knee pain will disappear without ever finding a specific cause. Depending on the underlying cause of the pain, the condition can progress and lead to more serious injuries or complications. Usually, these complications are long term and result in worsening pain or an increasing difficulty to walk.
What Is The Treatment For Knee Pain
Treatments for knee pain are as varied as the conditions that can cause the pain.
Medications might be prescribed to treat an underlying medical condition or for pain relief.
If you are taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medications regularly for your knee pain, you should see your doctor to be evaluated.
Sometimes physical therapy sessions to strengthen the muscles around the knee will make it more stable and help guarantee the best mechanical movements. Working with a physical therapist can help avoid injuries or further worsening of an injury.
Injecting medications directly into your knee might help in certain situations. The two most common injections are corticosteroids and lubricants. Corticosteroid injections can help arthritis and other inflammations of the knee. They usually need to be repeated every few months. Lubricants that are similar to the fluid already in your knee joint can help with movement and pain.
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When You Have Knee Pain Lasting More Than Forty
48 Hours Of Knee Pain?
Time to see a doctor!
If you have consistent pain for more than 48 hours, it’s likely that you are experiencing an issue with the joint, not the muscle. Muscle problems will usually subside sooner, but if you feel pain in the knee for two days straight, go in and pay your doc a visit.
The key here is determining whether the pain is centered on the joint or the muscle. ;If you feel pain within the joint for more than 48 hours, get yourself to a doctor and get it checked– it’s probably not a muscle problem in this case.
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.
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How Does An Orthopedic Doctor Treat Knee Pain
The knee is made up of the tibia, patella, and femur, and has a supporting system of soft tissues such as cartilage, ligament, and muscle. When the knee joint gets damaged, it can impact function significantly. Without functional knees, you cant stand, walk, or run.
Throughout your life, you may experience knee pain due to injuries or in your more advanced years, due to a degenerative disease called osteoarthritis. Knee pain can have many causes and a proper diagnosis is a critical step before receiving treatment. Acute knee pain can be addressed with rest and painkillers. Chronic knee pain has to be addressed with other treatments.
While a primary care doctor can examine your knee and prescribe medication to ease pain, an orthopedic doctor is a specialist on the musculoskeletal system and can provide options for treating knee pain more effectively.
Here are some ways orthopedic doctors treat knee pain.
What If You Do Need To See A Specialist For Your Knee
If you let a knee pain or injury go for too long, then you will likely need to see a specialist. This can happen because you let the original problem progress without seeing a doctor or doing anything to mitigate it. There are also some conditions that can affect the knee, such as arthritis, or various infections.
While these conditions have specialists all their own, they may cause the type of damage to your knee that your regular doctor cannot do anything about. In such cases, your doctor will likely refer you to an orthopedic surgeon.
An orthopedic surgeon is a specialist that deals with the musculoskeletal system. Theyre best qualified for dealing with knee pain and injuries. However, you will need to seek out an orthopedic surgeon that specializes with knee injury.
They all have a working knowledge of the musculoskeletal system, but some specialize further in specific areas, such as the knee. You may also need to see a physical therapist as well.
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If You Have Swelling That Lasts More Than 48 Hours See A Doctor
48 Hours of Knee Swelling?
See a doctor
When you have suffered an acute injury to the knee, the result will be increased, noticeable swelling about the injury itself.
Soft tissue will swell when there is damage, resulting in pain, loss of motion, and severe limitations in mobility.
Note: sometimes swelling can be observed visually. On other occasions, you can’t see it with the naked eye. ;Pain, stiffness, or clicking as injured tendons snap over one another are all indications that something is wrong.;
Torn Acl Symptoms And Signs
With an acute injury, the patient often describes that they heard a loud pop and then developed intense pain in the knee. The pain makes walking or weight-bearing very difficult. The knee joint will begin to swell within a few hours because of bleeding within the joint, making it difficult to straighten the knee.
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Will Surgery Treat And Cure Knee Pain
Knee operations range from arthroscopic knee surgery to total knee replacement. Arthroscopic knee surgery is a very common surgical procedure that allows the physician look inside your knee through a few small holes and a fiberoptic camera. The surgeon can repair many of the injuries and remove small pieces of loose bones or cartilage. This is a common outpatient procedure.
Partial knee replacement: The surgeon replaces the damaged portions of the knee with plastic and metal parts. Because only part of the knee joint is replaced, this procedure has a shorter recovery then a total knee replacement.
Total knee replacement: In this procedure, the knee is replaced with an artificial joint.
What Are The Most Common Treatments For Knee Pain
When you visit an orthopedic doctor for knees,;you will be given a treatment recommendation that corresponds to the nature and extent of your knee injury. The treatment method could be as minor as physical therapy or as major as a total knee replacement.
One common form of treatment is arthroplasty, which essentially means replacement of all or part of the knee joint. Total or partial joint replacement;can be an especially effective means of treatment for those who deal with arthritis. ACL reconstruction is also a common surgical treatment.
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The Best Conservative Knee Pain Treatments
As weve already highlighted, knee replacement surgery and other invasive treatments arent always the best option for health. Long-term use of pain medication and unnecessary surgery carries risks, such as bleeding, wound infections and long recovery periods.
At the VIP Medical Group, our team of Board Certified pain doctors believe in the importance of a holistic approach to healthcare. Thats why they offer the latest treatments that maximize health through minimally invasive procedures and treatment options. Lets take a look at the latest treatments in pain medicine:
- Genicular Nerve Block the doctor injects the knee with local anesthetic. This blocks nerves from transmitting pain and provides pain relief.
- Genicular Nerve Radio Frequency Ablation this is an option for longer-term pain relief. It stops the nerve supply by placing heated needles to prevent the patient from feeling pain. A small amount of local anesthetic can also be used during this procedure.
- Iovera this is when an iovera machine applies low or sub-zero temperatures to freeze the peripheral nerves. This produces instant pain relief without the need for pain medication.
- Steroid or cortisone injection the doctor applies anesthetic spray to numb the area before injecting anti-inflammatory pain medicine into the knee joint.
- Viscosupplement knee injection the doctor anesthetizes the area before injecting viscosupplement medicine. This is when lubricating fluid is injected into the knee joint.