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.
When To See The Doctor For Neck Pain And Dizziness
While most cases of dizziness are mild and quickly go away on their own, sometimes the problem requires medical attention. If dizziness persists and interferes with routine activities or quality of life, it should be examined by a doctor.
In addition, any type of pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness that radiates down into the arm or hand should be evaluated by a doctor. If neck pain and/or dizziness are accompanied by severe headache, nausea, feeling faint, bowel/bladder dysfunction, and/or trouble with coordination or walking, medical attention is needed immediately.
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What Are The Symptoms
You may feel a knot, stiffness, or severe pain in your neck. The pain may spread to your shoulders, upper back, or arms. You may get a headache. You may not be able to move or turn your head and neck easily. If there is pressure on a spinal nerve root, you might have pain that shoots down your arm. You may also have numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm.
If your neck pain is long-lasting , you may have trouble coping with daily life. Common side effects of chronic pain include fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
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When To See A Doctor 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 doctor 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
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.
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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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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 doctor.
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.
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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.
Schedule An Appointment With Your Doctor
Pain Treatment Specialists has some of the best knee doctors in the country. Our knee pain doctors Dr. George Hanna, Dr. Namrata Khimani, and Dr. Michael Nguyen are board-certified interventional pain specialists who have graduated from Ivy League universities. They diagnose the root cause of your knee pain using X-Rays, CT Scans, and MRIs and then they treat it using the latest minimally invasive knee pain treatments. For more information, please schedule an appointment with your doctor today.
What Does An Orthopedic Doctor Do
Orthopedic doctors are doctors who focus on caring for your bones, joints, ligaments, nerves, and tendons . These parts of your body are also referred to as your musculoskeletal system.
- bone tumors
- age-related conditions like osteoporosis
Even though primary care doctors treat some of the same injuries, it can be a good idea to see a doctor whos an expert in treating these problems.
Thats because orthopedic doctors have advanced knowledge and training beyond your primary care doctor to treat musculoskeletal problems.
Different orthopedic doctors specialize even further in specific areas of your bodylike your hip, ankle and foot, or shoulder.
Some orthopedic doctors specialize in treating children. Pediatric orthopedists monitor bone growth problems in childrenlike scoliosisor developmental problems that children are born with, like clubfoot or hip dysplasia.
Signs That It Is Time To Go To The Doctor For Neck Pain
Sometimes, neck pain responds to self-care that includes heat, ice, and rest. Other times, though, treatment is needed. If you are dealing with neck pain and unsure if you need to visit a doctor, then there are more severe symptoms keep in mind. Anyone dealing with the following symptoms should contact their primary care practitioner or walk into an Urgent Care facility:
- Muscle spasms in the neck
- Neck pain that gets worse
- Neck pain that continues to linger
- If you injure your neck
- Pain moves from the neck to the shoulders, causing numbness or weakness
- Flu-like symptoms when your back aches
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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.
Do You Have To Be Referred To An Orthopedic Doctor
Fortunately, if you need to see an orthopedic specialist, theres a good chance your primary care doctor will refer you to one. .
But if you have long-lasting pain or discomfort, you may want to consider making an appointment on your own without a doctors referral.
If this sounds like your situation, it can be helpful to understand what orthopedic doctors do so you know if its beneficial to see one.
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Pain That Wont Go Away
Does it seem like youve been dealing with pain for ages? Youve rested your shoulder, applied ice, and tried over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.
No matter what you do, the pain is still there. This is yet another sign that you need to visit an orthopedic specialist.
Pain is the bodys way of telling you that something is wrong. After you receive a diagnosis, you can begin treatment.
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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The Region’s Most Comprehensive Knee Care
At the Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center, our experienced knee doctors and staff are proud to offer exceptional orthopedic care to people throughout the communities of northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Our doctors are available at our office in St. Joseph, Missouri, as well as at the Mosaic Medical Center in Maryville, Missouri, the Northwest Medical Center in Albany, Missouri, the Wright Memorial Hospital in Trenton, Missouri, the Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, and the Hiawatha Community Hospital in Hiawatha, Kansas.
Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Daniel Smith, Dr. Brett Miller, Dr. Corey Trease, Dr. Brian Duncan, Dr. Blake Peterson, and Dr. Michael Smith, have years of experience in treating patients with a variety of knee injuries or conditions. Our orthopedic knee surgeons have the knowledge and skills to perform a thorough evaluation and provide an accurate diagnosis and viable treatment options. Conservative methods will always be recommended first, but there are some cases when knee surgery is required to help eliminate pain and restore proper function.
If a knee injury or condition is keeping you from living the life you love, schedule an appointment with one of our specialty-trained knee surgeons by requesting an appointment online or calling 233-9888.
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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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.
You Feel Like Your Knee Will Give Out
Instability in the knee or the feeling that your knee will collapse if you put pressure on it often indicates a ligament injury. Injuries to one or more of the knee ligaments, which are the structures that connect the bones, can lead to the bones not being held tightly enough in position. If they are stretched or torn due to an injury, instability is one of the most obvious warning signs. While it is also possible for people to experience instability symptoms from less severe knee injuries, the only way to tell the difference is by having your knee examined by a doctor.
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Can Neck Pain Be Prevented
The best way to prevent neck pain is to keep your spine flexible and your muscles strong. You can do this with regular exercise 30 minutes on most days. Make sure you take plenty of breaks throughout the day to stretch.
Its important to develop good posture especially when youre sitting, at work or driving. Try not to slouch or to poke your chin out. A supportive pillow is also important to prevent neck pain.
Swelling For More Than 48 Hours
The first thing that can happen after an acute injury is swelling around the site of the injury.
When the knee is injured, it can swell as a result of inflammation or possibly bleeding into the knee joint. This swelling can causes pain and loss of motion, which limits the use of the knee.
Swelling is usually obvious and can be seen, but occasionally you may just feel as though something is swollen even though it looks normal.
Swelling within a joint can cause pain and stiffness. It may sometimes lead to a clicking sound as the tendons snap over one another after having been pushed into a new position from the swelling.
If the knee looks deformed or misaligned, don’t delay in seeking treatment. It could be a sign of a fracture or dislocation. These injuries should be evaluated and addressed in a timely fashion to address the source of injury and prevent long term effects.
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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.