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.
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.
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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Orthopedic Doctor For Knee Pain In Little Rock
Dr. William Hefley is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Bowen Hefley Orthopedics with decades of experience treating knee pain. He is fellowship-trained in sports medicine and an expert in treating knee conditions.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Hefley, call 336-2412 or request an appointment online now. Our friendly staff looks forward to serving you.
What Are Risk Factors For Knee Pain
Biomechanics: The knee joint is complicated in its operation and is used frequently throughout the day. Any change in the movement of the joint can cause subtle changes and cause pain and injuries.
Excess weight: The stress on the knee joint is increased with excess weight. Obesity also increases the risk of knee osteoarthritis as the cartilage breaks down more rapidly.
Overuse during repetitive motions as are found during certain exercises or work conditions can cause breakdown of cartilage and lead to pain.
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Top 6 Types Of Knee Pain And Their Causes
Before you can treat your knee pain with any hope of not just relief but correction, we need to understand the nature of your pain. To narrow things down, were highlighting the most common types of knee pain. Were covering everything from knee pain at night, to knee pain behind the knee, knee pain when running, etc. Odds are, your knee pain will fit into one of these categories. Remember that most knee pain is ultimately caused by:
- Repeated stress on the knee
No one can stop the aging process, but there are steps you can take to minimize your pain by leading a healthy lifestyle. As far as injuries go, be sure to speak with your doctor or chiropractor if you feel any of the below issues are caused by a specific injury.
And finally, repeated stress on the knee may be due to the nature of your work or your exercise regimen. Be prepared to make a lifestyle change or slight adjustments to your workout in order to better deal with knee pain.
How Is Sciatica Affecting Your Quality Of Life
Sciatica pain may extend all the way from the lower back, through the back of your thigh, to your foot. The pain can come and go, sometimes lingering for days and even weeks. This may cause anything from mild discomfort to making the simplest tasks intolerable. Sitting could be painful with sciatica and driving even more so. Not to mention playing sports and being active.
As you contemplate surgery for sciatica, consider how much the pain affects your quality of life. If your work, hobbies, social life or relationships suffer from your being in constant pain, it may be time to think about surgery.
Although sciatica starts as nerve inflammation, it may eventually progress to nerve damage. If the sciatic nerve is damaged, it could result in numbness, tingling and, in more severe cases, weakness in the knees or legs. The longer it is left untreated, the longer it will take for numbness and weakness to go away, and they may become permanent.
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Can An Orthopedic Doctor Treat Arthritis
Orthopedic doctors treat arthritis all the time. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common reasons people see orthopedic doctors or surgeons. Severe arthritis might require a joint replacement or arthroplasty. Other forms of arthritis may also need to be treated by a Rheumatologist.
If you would like to learn more about knee replacements, this video may help.
To schedule an appointment with a knee doctor, please call schedule online or click below
Conditions That May Cause Knee Problems
Problems not directly related to an injury or overuse may occur in or around the knee.
- Osteoarthritis may cause knee pain that is worse in the morning and improves during the day. It often develops at the site of a previous injury. Other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and lupus, also can cause knee pain, swelling, and stiffness.
- Osgood-Schlatter disease causes pain, swelling, and tenderness in the front of the knee below the kneecap. It is especially common in boys ages 11 to 15.
- A popliteal cyst causes swelling in the back of the knee.
- Infection in the skin , joint , bone , or bursa can cause pain and decreased knee movement.
- A problem elsewhere in the body, such as a pinched nerve or a problem in the hip, can sometimes cause knee pain.
- Osteochondritis dissecans causes pain and decreased movement when a piece of bone or cartilage or both inside the knee joint loses blood supply and dies.
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What Causes A Bakers Cyst
The fluid found in a Bakers cyst is known as synovial fluid. Its a clear liquid that circulates within the knee joint to keep it lubricated. If too much fluid is produced, the pressure may lead to a bulge in the one-way valve. This may cause a popliteal cyst or Bakers cyst to form.
Some of the main causes of this type of injury include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Inability to flex your knee
- Inability to fully extend your knee
- Swelling behind your knee or in your leg
- Bruising on the knee or on the calf
The pain may increase if they cyst ruptures and it can range from mild to very severe.
Signs Its Time To See A Doctor For Knee Pain
It may be time to visit an orthopedic doctor if you experience any of the following, especially after an incident like an injury following athletics:
- Redness, warmth, and tenderness in the knee
- Significant swelling
- Inability to bear weight on the affected leg
- Physical deformity in the area
Chronic knee pain that is not severe enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room or urgent care may be a sign of a degenerative condition. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common conditions affecting the knee and is a result of age-related changes to the protective cartilage of joints. Osteoarthritis is progressive, meaning it will continue to get worse. If you have to take pain relievers more than a few times a month for knee pain, it is a sign that you should see a doctor.
Also seek medical attention for knee pain that is accompanied by stiffness, swelling, and a limited range of motion. These are signs that an injury or condition exists. Many people ignore such signs, especially as they get older because they think its a part of normal aging. People who are overweight also think its a normal symptom. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. Chronic knee pain, while very common, is not normal. Dont accept it as your fate. There are many treatment solutions available that can reduce or eliminate knee pain.
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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.
How To Diagnose A Bakers Cyst
The most common way for your doctor to diagnose a bakers cyst is with a physical exam. However, its possible some of the symptoms and signs may mimic a different condition, such as a tumor, blood clot, or aneurysm. Due to the possibility of a serious issue, your doctor may use the following options to diagnose a Bakers cyst:
- X-Ray It may not show the cyst, but it will be able to show arthritis in your knee, which is a common cause of a Bakers cyst.
- MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging This type of test will provide more information on what is causing the cyst.
- Ultrasound This painless test will show if a lump in the back of your knee is fluid or solid.
If youve started to feel swelling and pain behind your knee, its time to see a doctor. Any bulge behind your knee could be a sign of a Bakers cyst and you want to make sure its properly diagnosed and treated.
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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
What Kind Of Doctor Do I Need
Some health insurance plans allow you to refer yourself to a doctorthat is, if you know what is wrong, you can go see a medical specialist without having to be referred by your regular doctor. In other plans, you have to be referred to a specialist by your primary care physician . If you are trying to figure out what kind of doctor you need for your health problem or symptoms youre having, then this list will help you out. It tells you what kind of doctor treats what. Then you can find the name of a specialist by calling your local hospital, asking friends or family if they know a good doctor, or asking your primary care doctor to recommend someone.
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What Does The Licensure Process Entail
After completion of the residency program, a future neurologists journey is still not done. They now must take and pass licensure and certification tests which have both oral and written components. These rigorous exams assess a students ability to put what theyve learned into practice.
Once a student passes the written examination, administered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology , they are granted board-certified status in neurology.
Sounds demanding, right? It should be! These professionals are gaining permission to work with some of the most sensitive systems in our bodies: the brain and nervous system. Thanks to their thorough training, a patient can feel confident that their doctor will be extremely knowledgeable about the condition of neuropathy.
What Is The Outlook For People With Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain is difficult to treat completely but is usually not life-threatening. Youll get the best results from combining rehabilitation with support for your emotional, social and mental wellbeing. You will be able to manage your pain to a level that improves your quality of life with the help of a pain specialist in using some or most of the methods mentioned above.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/07/2020.
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For Pain Caused By Nerve Damage See A Neurosurgeon
If youre bothered by chronic pain in your arms or legs, youve probably thought a lot about how to get rid of that pain. You might have wondered what caused it. But you may not have considered that the cause of your pain may offer clues about the best way to relieve your pain.
For example, if your pain is caused by a tight or pulled muscle, or osteoarthritis, your primary care physician or an orthopedic specialist, such as an orthopedic spine surgeon, may well be able to treat and resolve your pain.
However, if your pain is caused by a pinched or damaged nerve, your best bet for relief may be a neurosurgeon. At Neurosurgery One, we are experienced not only at diagnosing the source of your pain, but treating and relieving pain caused by damage to the nerves.
Like bundles of electric wires, nerves transmit signals, including pain signals, to the brain. Irritation, such as with a pinched nerve, can disrupt the way those signals are transmitted, and the result can be ongoing and even intense pain.
Pinched nerves can be caused by:
- Repetitive motion
- Inflammation or pressure on a nerve root
- Pinched nerves can cause pain in the neck or lower back, and pain that radiates from the neck into the shoulder and arm.
Nerve pain has several characteristics that differentiate it from other types of pain. Those include:
- Radiation down arms and hands or legs and feet
Differences between neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons
- Total joint replacement
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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Imaging For Diagnosing Advanced Knee Osteoarthritis
X-rays are very helpful in diagnosing advanced knee osteoarthritis because the joint will have specific characteristics, including:
- Bones that are closer to each other than they should be: As cartilage wears away, the joint space between them often narrows.
- Cysts: As the body responds to cartilage destruction and attempts to stabilize the joint, cysts or fluid-filled cavities can form in the bone.
- Increased bone density or uneven joints: When bones are no longer cushioned by cartilage, they can rub against one another, creating friction. The body responds by producing more bone tissue, which increasing bone density. Increased bone creates uneven joint surfaces and bone spurs at the joint.
Whats Causing Your Knee Pain
While weve detailed the typical types of knee pain, remember that at the end of the day you can usually lump the root cause of your knee pain into three broad categories:
- Repeated stress on the knee
Now that you know the most common types of knee pain and the causal factors that lurk beneath them, you can hopefully get closer to pinpointing whats triggering your knee pain. If you are unsure of how to mitigate your symptoms or you cant seem to shake your knee pain, its a good idea to speak to a healthcare professional like a chiropractor who can help you map out a knee pain treatment plan. When in doubt, ask the pros, so that you dont end up causing any further damage to this important joint.
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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.