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 orthopedic surgeon 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.
Knee 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.
Chronic Medical Conditions Can Cause Hip Problems That Occur On A Regular Basis Knowing What Is Causing These Symptoms Helps Determine The Best Course Of Treatment
Knee pain can occur due to injuries, inflammatory conditions, underlying diseases, or wear and tear that affects the structures in the joint. Having this type of pain diagnosed is essential to ensure that you receive proper treatment for it. Knowing who can diagnose knee pain and who can treat it can help you understand what to expect from your knee-related medical appointments.
Diagnosing Knee PainDetermining the cause of knee pain typically begins with your primary care doctor or you can schedule an appointment directly with one of Arkansas Surgical Hospitals orthopedic surgeons. A physical exam is conducted. The exam will help determine the origin and severity of your pain.
If you are evaluated by your primary care physician and your knee pain requires more detailed evaluation, your doctor might refer you to an orthopedic surgeon, who specializes in diagnosing and treating problems with the musculoskeletal system.. Your orthopedic surgeon will most likely take imaging tests to see your knee joint in greater detail, including X-rays to check the bones in the knee joint or magnetic resonance imaging scans to check the cartilage and ligaments in the knee. Depending on the results of these imaging tests, your orthopedic surgeon may prescribe a conservative treatment plan which could include medication, exercise, joint injections or a supervised therapy program. A surgical procedure might be also be recommended if warranted.
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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When To See A Healthcare Provider About Knee Pain
Most athletes will experience some knee pain from time to time. Overuse, long training days, or bumps and bruises from contact sports often result in minor knee pain that resolves within a day or two with some rest and ice.
However, some clues indicate more serious knee pain and injuries that may need to be seen by a healthcare provider for a complete evaluation and treatment plan. Get to know the warning signs so you don’t put off necessary treatment.
- Pain that lasts more than 48 hours
- Swelling that lasts more than 48 hours
- Instability or reduced range of motion
The Pain Lasts For Weeks
Most physicians will recommend that injuries like knee sprains or bruises may be treated at home with the RICE method rest, ice, compression and elevation. Over the counter medications can also be used to help with pain and discomfort. But if you find that this method isnt lessening your pain and symptoms after a few weeks, a doctors visit is probably in order. A sore knee that refuses to get better could indicate a torn muscle, torn cartilage or even a torn meniscus which wont get better without a doctors intervention.
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The Bottom Line On Fixing Foot Pain
Ultimately, the best course of action for most serious foot issues is to visit a qualified podiatrist or orthopedist first. These foot care providers can give you a proper diagnosis and may recommend other care providers. If your problem is easily fixed with mechanical, non-surgical therapy, a pedorthist may be your best choice.
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.
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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.
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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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.
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.
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Instability Or Reduced Range Of Motion
Reduced range of motion can be related to swelling in the knee, as well as other joint injuries. If you have limited range of motion that does not begin to improve within a few days, you should contact your healthcare provider.
Instability in the knee joint or a sensation that the knee is bending or moving in the wrong direction may suggest a ligament injury to the knee.
The knee ligaments provide support and stability to the joint if they are stretched or torn due to an injury, instability is one of the most obvious warning signs.
A difference in your ability to support your full body weight on one leg, compared to the other, is another tip-off to an injury that requires attention.
Prevention Is Better Than Treatment
One can decrease the risk of sciatica by making specific changes to lifestyle. In most people sciatica occurs due to the failure of lower back muscles to tackle the stress. Regular exercises to strengthen the lower back and abdomen may help to prevent sciatica.
Quite often sciatica happens after lifting something heavy, and the main reason is the use of the wrong posture while performing physical activities. Maintaining proper position while sitting, lying, and doing physical activities may help to prevent sciatica.
Finally, learn the right way to lift bulky items, without putting undue stress on your lower back. Try to raise the things with back straight, and instead bend the knees. Most importantly avoid lifting and twisting at the same time.
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Should I See An Orthopedic Doctor For My Knee Pain
Its hard to know when to see a doctor about knee pain, and even harder, sometimes to know what type of doctor to see. If you suffer from knee pain, one of the best things to do is start with the standard treatment for knee pain or injury: over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain meds like ibuprofen along with PRICE therapy .
Your knee should begin to heal and your pain should decrease after a week of this treatment. If youre still having significant pain after a week, you should get in touch with an orthopedic doctor. As a specialist in bone, joint and soft tissue injuries, orthopedic specialists know how to track down whats causing your pain and treat it.
Whatever you do, dont just tough it out. The inflammation thats causing your pain can spread to surrounding tissue, which can make healing take even longer.
What are some common causes of knee pain that wont go away?
Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by degeneration of cartilage in the knee. It can become so severe that the cartilage will be completely eroded, with bone rubbing on bone. The good news is that osteoarthritis is usually treatable without surgery. An orthopedic physician can definitely help you with this condition.
Ligament Injury. Ligaments hold your leg bones together and keep your knee steady when you move it. Ligament injuries are especially common in athletes and can cause severe pain. Such injuries may require surgery to repair.
Some knee pain requires immediate action.
- Unbearable pain
Why You Should Avoid Back Surgery
One of the primary reasons why back surgery should be avoided is the risk. All surgeries carry the risk of infection, excessive bleeding, and nerve injury. Not to mention many people dont like being put under general anesthesia or that they may have to use potentially addictive pills to manage the pain after surgery.29 2020 .
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Can An Orthopedic Doctor Treat Sciatica
Orthopedic. For a small percentage of sciatica cases, orthopedic surgery may be the best option available for relief, such as a discectomy or laminectomy, both of which removes the source of the pain of sciatica, from herniated discs to bone spurs to other tissues creating pressure against the nerves.
What Is A Knee Specialist Called
First and foremost, you need to know what type of doctor to see for you knee pain. If you were to go to your general practitioner about your knee pain, he or she would most likely refer you to an orthopedic doctor.
The University of Utah explains in general terms that, Orthopedic doctors are doctors who focus on caring for your bones, joints, ligament, nerves, and tendons . As such, a knee pain specialist is called an orthopedic knee specialist.
Keep in mind that many orthopedic doctors specialize in just one or two parts of the musculoskeletal system, so it is important to verify with any new doctor that he or she specializes in knees before making an appointment.
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Focus On Minimally Invasive Knee Pain Treatments
Finally, its important that your knee pain doctor focuses primarily on minimally invasive treatments rather than complex surgeries or narcotics. Some of the best knee pain treatments include steroid injections, viscosupplementation, genicular nerve block, and genicular nerve radiofrequency ablation. These are all minimally invasive treatments with a negligible risk of side effects and they can provide long term relief from the actual root cause of knee pain.
When Should You See A Doctor About Knee Pain
Knee injuries can cause different forms of pain or instability that can impact your quality of life. On today’s Health Minute, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Matheau Eysser talks about common symptoms to look for when deciding whether your knee pain should be examined by a physician.
However, if your symptoms are a dull ache, pain when standing from a sitting position, or pain that improves after walking a couple of steps, this could indicate arthritis. If you are experiencing these types of symptoms, it is a good idea to have your knee checked out by your doctor.
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Experiencing Hip Or Knee Pain Visit Your Foot And Ankle Specialist
It might seem counter-intuitive, but if youre experiencing pain in the hip or knee, make an appointment with your foot and ankle specialist. The doctors at University Foot and Ankle Institute can assess your foot structure, evaluate your gait, and recommend conservative solutions that can help you to avoid surgery in the future.
If you are experiencing problems with your feet or ankles we are here to help. Our nationally recognized podiatrists and foot and ankle specialists offer the most advanced foot and ankle care along with the highest success rates in the nation. We are leaders in the field of research and treatment of all foot and ankle conditions.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call 736-6001 or visit us at www.footankleinstitute.com.
What Doctor To See For Sciatica Pain
In most cases, sciatica is caused by spine issues. Therefore, if your insurance allows it, usually the best doctor to see for sciatica pain is a spine specialist. These include disc herniation, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis and spine injury. Spine doctors are trained in these specific conditions and have the most experience treating them.
If your sciatica is the result of one of the less common piriformis syndrome or a tumor a spine doctor can help diagnose these conditions and refer you to a specialist if necessary.
Women who are pregnant and experiencing sciatica should first discuss their symptoms with their obstetrician. You can then have a conversation with your OB/GYN to determine if you should visit a spine specialist for your pain.
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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.