What Is An Mri
Magnetic resonance imaging is a test that provides pictures of organs, bones, and joints. It makes these images by using a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy. MRI gives a good picture of the size of a meniscus tear and where it is. It also shows ligaments, cartilage, and tendons.
MRIs of the knee are helpful to identify a meniscus tear and to find any related injuries to the ligament, cartilage, and tendons.
The Pain Gets Worse Instead Of Better
If you iced the knee, put it up for a few hours, and took some ibuprofen and the knee hurts even worse a few hours later, that can be an indication that home treatments arent going to cut it in this case. Maybe you have a more serious injury than you thought at first that a professional needs to diagnose.
These are five situations where the practical and safe thing to do is to seek immediate medical attention. But whether you decide on an emergency room visit or stick with urgent care, remember to let someone else drive. Driving with undiagnosed knee pain is unsafe, especially if its in the leg you use to drive with.
A Doctor Will Usually See You More Quickly At Urgent Care
Since emergency rooms prioritize life-threatening health problems, urgent care can get you in and out more quickly if you have a minor medical concern. the ER, patients often wait hours to be seen for their potentially non-life-threatening concern, Alexis Halpern, M.D., an emergency medicine physician at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, tells SELF.
There are even some technology-based urgent care services where you can see a provider ASAP, such as NYU Langones Virtual Urgent Care center. For $126 , people in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania can book appointments to see an NYU Langone doctor virtually for nonemergency concerns.
Were going to go ahead and emphasize that nonemergency bit. If you need care for a concern that feels like a serious threat to your health, the emergency room is a better option than virtual or even IRL urgent care. Also, emergency rooms are open 24/7, whereas many urgent care centers are closed late at night, Dr. Tan says. They do typically stay open later than doctors offices, though.
Recommended Reading: How Do They Do Knee Replacement Surgery
When Is It Time To See A Doctor For Knee Pain
Firstly, try the following to alleviate the pain:
Try resting and icing your knee to see if that alleviates the pain.
These are tangible steps that you can take to reduce swelling and stop the pain. If you take these steps,;and are still experiencing pain, you may need to see a doctor.
Let’s get a little more specific. Here’s when you should pay a visit to your physician:
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.
Read Also: Can Knee Pain Cause Fever
How Do You Know When To Go To The Er
We covered a lot of factors to consider when deciding whether you should go to an urgent care center or an emergency room. Keep in mind that if you or a loved one are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, you should not hesitate to get emergency medical attention immediately.
Some symptoms, like prolonged vomiting, might not seem like a life-threatening symptom but could lead to serious complications, like dehydration. Know what to look out for and when to recognize a medical emergency. Signs of a medical emergency include:
- Uncontrollable bleeding
- Severe vomiting
- A broken bone that pierces through the skin
The following conditions are common causes of death or health complications and require immediate attention. If you suspect any of the following, do not wait and get to an ER:
- Heart Attack:About 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack every year, according to the CDC. With a heart attack, its important not to ignore the early warning signs of chest pain or discomfort, pain in the arms, jaw or back, shortness of breath, cold sweats and nausea. Although you can experience chest pain for various other reasons, consider the risk factors. If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and if you smoke, you dont want to take a chance with chest pain.
Are You Confused When To Seek Medical For Your Knee Pain Read Our Article Below For More Information Call Us Or Schedule An Appointment Online We Serve Patients From Coral Springs Fl Parkland Fl Tamarac Fl Margate Fl North Lauderdale Fl Coconut Creek Fl
If you have a profusely bleeding leg or a broken bone, you probably will call 911. But if your knee pain isnt quite that dramatic, how do you make the distinction between something that a doctor should definitely look at right now and a minor strain that just needs to be iced?
Here are five situations in which you should seek medical attention for your knee pain.
Don’t Miss: What Type Of Doctor Treats Knee Pain
You Have A Sprain Thats More Than A Pain
Sprains are common injuries that occur when one of your ligaments the tissues that connect bones at a joint become stretched or torn. Theyre usually caused by falling, twisting, or getting hit. You may feel a tear or pop when it happens. Sprains happen most commonly in the ankle and wrist.
Symptoms of sprains typically include pain, bruising, swelling and the inability to move your joint. And while these symptoms are certainly a nuisance, theyre usually not a cause for alarm.
Most sprains can be treated with a little RICE: Rest, ice, compression, elevation. Your physician may also recommend painkillers or physical therapy.
However, there are times when a sprain requires more immediate medical attention.
If you have a sprain, and experience any of these symptoms, its time to take a trip to an Express Care Clinic:
- Red streaks or redness that spreads out from the injury
- Inability to put weight on an injured leg
- Inability to use your injured joint
- The joint feels numb or unstable
You should also go to Express Care if you have reinjured an area that you have injured several times in the past, or if the sprain seems severe.
These symptoms can point to infections, broken bones or completely torn ligaments. You may need a brace, splint or surgery if the Express Care providers determine that its a severe injury.
When To Go To The Doctor For Knee Pain
Make an appointment to see a doctor right away if:
- You experience pain that significantly limits your range of motion.
- You cannot fully bend or straighten your leg.
- Your knee is locked.
- Your knee pain is accompanied by a fever, redness, and swelling.
- You have difficulty putting weight on your knee.
- You have pain with an obvious deformity in the knee joint.
- Your pain continues for more than two to three weeks.
- Your pain does not get better or worsens over time.
University of Utah Health has a walk-in Orthopaedic Injury Clinic with extended weekday hours if you need a same-day appointment and cannot get in to see one of our orthopedic doctors. Providers at the clinic can treat your immediate injury and refer you to an orthopedic specialist for follow-up care.
Also Check: What Is The Mcl In Your Knee
How Did Your Knee Pain Emergency Happen
Knee injuries are common with athletes playingsports or running long distances. Many work-related injuries happen to knees asa result of lifting heavy objects or repetitive motion. Simply missing a coupleof steps or tripping and falling can cause a knee injury as well.;
If you took a hard fall or landed wrong whileplaying soccer or football, an ER visit can quickly diagnose the injury andhelp you get back on the field. A trip-and-fall injury at home could be assimple as putting your feet up and sitting with an ice pack for a while.
With an on-the-job injury, its best to seek immediatemedical attention at the ER.;
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.
Read Also: How To Avoid Knee Replacement
Something In My Knee Is Out Of Place
Dislocations of the kneecap happen with all kinds of sports and are very common. ;Usually if your straighten out your leg, it will naturally go back into place, but this doesnt work, this is a good reason to be seen right away for your knee. ;Also, if you think your entire knee is out of place, its best to get an X-ray and have an emergency room physician evaluate your knee.
These situations are rare, but are important to recognize. ;Whenever worried, its best to be seen and evaluated for possible serious injury.
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.
You May Like: How To Exercise With Knee Pain
Urgent Care Wait Times Vs Er
Wait times in emergency rooms and urgent care centers can vary greatly depending on many circumstances. Generally, if you go to an urgent care center, you will be seen quicker than if you went to an emergency room. According to a 2015 survey conducted by the Urgent Care Association of America, the average urgent care wait time is 30 minutes or less, and most patients were treated in 60 minutes or less.
On the contrary, emergency rooms take care of patients with the most life-threatening conditions first. So, if you go to the ER with only a sore throat, it may be a long time before you are back home in bed.
When a patient arrives in the ER, a triage nurse evaluates the severity of their condition. Those who are severely ill or injured are the priority in an emergency room, and patients with mild or minor ailments are left to wait.Treatment times are also longer for patients in emergency rooms. According to the CDC,thefive triage levels are as follows:
The CDC also reported the time difference for different triage levels. For example, those considered to be in need of immediate care were to be seen in less than a minute, whereas as semi-urgent patients were triaged as needing to be seen within one to two hours. Nonurgent patients were triaged to be seen between two and 24 hours thus one of the reasons to avoid the ER for the common cold.
Visiting The Er For Chronic Pain
How to reduce stress and suspicion when seeking chronic pain medications.
Youâre a chronic pain patient who takes several prescription narcotics to control your symptoms. Then one weekend, excruciating pain lands you in the emergency room. There, a doctor grills you about your medications, in part to make sure that youâre a legitimate pain patient, not someone seeking drugs. What can you do to help the ER doctor to believe you?
Itâs not always easy to tell chronic pain patients from drug-seeking patients, says Howard Blumstein, MD, FAAEM, president of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine and medical director of the North Carolina Baptist Hospital emergency room.
Patients with chronic pain visit the ER for various complaints, he says. âSome of these patients have demonstrable disease, like sickle cell disease or chronic pancreatitis. I think that physicians are more likely to give them the benefit of the doubt when they come in and say they have pain.â
âOther patients are prone to have problems that you can never objectively demonstrate, like chronic back pain and chronic headaches,â he says. âWe just have to take their word for it. You canât look into anything and tell whether or not theyâre actually having pain.â
Regardless of which group patients fall into, Blumstein says, âthere are some patients who, because of their behavior or their frequent visits, still get labeled as being addicted to drugs or abusing drugs.â
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Black Knees
Should I Go To The Emergency Room Forknee Pain In Many Cases Yes
If youve hurt your knee, dont spend too much time wondering, Should I go to the emergency room for knee pain? In many cases, the emergency room is the best place to diagnose and treat a knee injury effectively.;
Community;First ER is open 24 hours and seven days a week. Dont let a knee injury get worse before you decide to seek treatment!;Contact us;with questions or to let us know youre on the way!
Symptoms That Warrant A Trip To The Er
It can be hard to tell when your best bet is to rush to the emergency room.
When you wake up in the middle of the night with an alarming symptommaybe it’s a high fever or splitting headacheit’s hard to know whether to rush to the emergency room or not. You don’t want to overact, but you definitely don’t want to underreact either. So how do you know when that stomach pain needs to be treated ASAP or if that numb feeling can wait until morning to deal with? We spoke to Ryan Stanton, MD, a board-certified emergency physician and spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians to find out.
Read Also: How Soon Can You Fly After Knee Replacement
The Knee Is Misshapen Swollen Or Hot
A warm, swollen knee can mean you have an infection or a serious injury. If the knee is misshapen, that can indicate a physical injury such as a dislocation. In that case, your knee wont heal normally with just home care. Kneecap dislocation is also a possibility. In either of these cases, you need to seek medical care at once.
Urgent Care Centers Generally Cost Less Than Emergency Rooms
Of course, what youll pay will depend on your insurance, but urgent care is often much cheaper.
Because most urgent care clinics dont have as much equipment or specialist availability as an emergency department, the cost to provide care is less, and many insurance companies will require a lower copayment for evaluation, Paul L. Nadler, M.D., medical director of adult urgent care and a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, tells SELF.
Read Also: What Is The Best Knee Walker
What Kind Of Doctor Should You See For Knee Pain
The bottom line is, if you have any reason to think you have suffered a serious injury, that’s enough reason to go see a specialist. And speaking of who to visit…
Look for an orthopaedic specialist in your area to give you an accurate diagnosis. The knee is a very intricate, very important part of the body. As such, there are many talented and experienced doctors who specialize solely in the field of knee surgery.;
If you are an athlete, I also recommend visiting an Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Specialist who has experience with the specific needs of athletes and what it takes to successfully get them back on the field performing at a high level.;
I Feel Numbness In My Foot I Feel Coolness In My Foot
This can be an incredibly devastating knee injury to either a nerve or a blood vessel in your leg.; Blood vessel injuries start a time clock ticking; usually about 6 hours; before permanent damage can be done to the leg and foot.; Muscles start to die and you can become quite sick.; NEVER wait to be seen if you think you cant feel a pulse in your foot or if you have no blood flow to the foot.; Similarly with nerve injuries this is most commonly a stretch to the nerve that goes to your foot.; Be seen quickly if you think you may have a nerve injury.; Fortunately, these are very rare.
Don’t Miss: Is It Possible To Regenerate Knee Cartilage