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When Should You Go To The Doctor For Knee Pain

Severity Of Pain Vs Patient Age Vs Life Span Of Knee Replacement

When should you go to a doctor after a knee injury?

If you are like me, I was concerned that if I had the surgery too soon that I might wear out the new joint and need another replacement later on. I had been told that the life of a knee replacement would be 15-20 years.

I preferred to wait and tolerate the pain so that the knee joint would outlive me. I did not want to have the surgery in my late 40s or early 50s hoping that new medical improvements might eliminate the need for surgery or that a better, longer lasting knee replacement might be developed.

These are all thoughts that went through my mind while I was considering TKR.

If the pain was sudden and had come on without notice I may have thought different. But, when the pain slowly increases over a period of 40 years you learn to live with it.

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

Peripheral Arterial Disease And Claudication

Peripheral artery disease can reduce blood flow in the arteries of the lower legs, leading to claudication . This is due to narrowed or blocked arteries in the mid-thigh or the knee.

With claudication, you may feel pain in your buttock, hip, thigh, calf, and/or foot upon walking short distances. Some people experience pain in their leg while lying in bed at nightthis is a sign that the condition is getting worse.

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Lower Leg Bone Fracture

A bone break or fracture in one of your lower leg bones may be caused by falling or by a traumatic blow to your leg, such as a car accident.

This injury may cause severe calf pain. Additionally, your lower leg may be quite swollen, making it difficult to walk or bear any weight on your leg.

A complete bone break can cause your leg to look deformed. This can also happen if the broken bone does not heal properly. To prevent this from happening, you may need a cast or, in some cases, surgery.

Knee Replacement Pain: After Three Months

What You Should Know About Leg Pain

a patient walking with support after after total knee replacement surgery, Credits: pexels

Swelling and bruising might continue for three months or more following knee replacement surgery. However, it varies from patient to patient and depends on the condition you were in before surgery. Many patients are back to their activities without the pain they had before surgery by this stage of recovery.

If you find that any movement or activity is still exceedingly painful after three months, you may be experiencing chronic pain. Chronic pain is defined as pain persisting for three months or longer. Its a condition that affects roughly 20% of knee replacement surgery patients. It can develop and increase in intensity in the weeks and months following surgery and impact your overall quality of life.

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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.

The Pain Keeps Coming Back

Maybe at first you dont think your knee pain is worth taking to a doctor. If you dont think you injured the knee and the pain is just an ache that goes away after a gentle ice treatment and some rest, you might have just let the pain keep going. But if your knee hurts mysteriously on a regular basis, you need to have a doctor check your knee out. Patellofemoral syndrome often causes mysterious knee pain.

Going to urgent care while you have an episode of knee pain may be the most practical solution. After all, if you make an appointment with your doctor, the pain may be gone again by the time of the appointment. And your doctor is likely to ask you to move your leg around and tell them if it hurts, which will be much more productive if youre in the middle of an episode at the time.

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What Is The Best Way To Treat Knee Pain

If your pain is tolerable, there are numerous ways to try to improve it. First and foremost, time can improve your pain on its own. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation is the best first approach for knee pain caused by a minor injury or an arthritis flare. Give your knee some rest, apply ice to reduce swelling, wear a compressive bandage, and keep your knee elevated. Anti-inflammatories can also help alleviate pain at first. If youre not sure which motions are safe or how much you can do, talk with your doctor.

Schedule An Appointment With Your Doctor

Top 7 Knee Pain Relief Treatments – Ask Doctor Jo

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.

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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.

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
  • Fever
  • 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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Other Injections: Hyaluronic Acid Botox And More

Some people have used other types of injections for OA of the knee.

However, experts from the American College of Rheumatology and the Arthritis Foundation dont currently recommend using these, as theres not enough evidence that they work.

Examples of other types of injections include:

  • hyaluronic acid injections, also known as viscosupplementation

You may not know exactly what type of injection youre receiving or what the effect might be.

Always discuss the pros and cons of any treatment with your doctor before starting, so that you can make an informed decision.

Inability To Put Weight On Your Knee

When should you go to a doctor after a knee injury?

As the largest and strongest joint in your body, your knee is capable of supporting a significant amount of weight. Your knee joint supports a load equal to four times your body weight. The amount of pressure increases during activities like walking up steps or squatting to reach the floor.

When you have knee pain and your knee feels like it will give out if you stand, it may indicate a ligament injury. A ligament is a band of tough, flexible, connective tissue that holds your knee together by connecting bones to each other.

A ligament injury results in knee instability and a limited range of movement. Its often accompanied by a loud pop or crack at the time of injury. The anterior cruciate ligament , which connects your thigh bone to your shin bone, is the knee ligament thats injured most often.

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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.

Should I See A Doctor For A Knee Injury

Ashley asks: Dr. Geier, I was on a trampoline 3 weeks ago and landed wrong. I heard a loud pop followed by shooting pain. I waited to go to the doctor until last week where they did an x-ray and said I may have overstretched it.

A week later, I am still experiencing shooting pain in certain movements, and I cant fully straighten it without feeling like something is in the way.

Should I go back to the doctor or just wait this out?

Many people try putting ice on their knees, use crutches to limit weight on it, use a compression bandage and take anti-inflammatory medications for a few days or weeks after a knee injury. At some point, they might wonder if it is getting better. In this video, I discuss ways that you can decide whether you should see a doctor for a knee injury.

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What Is Knee Pain

The knee is a joint that permits the leg to bend and straighten. Knee pain is common due to injury, age-related degeneration, inflammation, and infection.

What Are Symptoms of Knee Pain?

Symptoms of knee pain include:

  • Sudden, intense pain at the knee
  • Swelling
  • Inability to bend or fully straighten the knee
  • Clicking, crunching, or catching sound in the knee joint when walking

Signs knee pain may be serious include:

  • Extreme pain
  • Feeling or hearing a popping when injury occurs
  • Joint instability
  • Inability to bear weight on affected leg
  • Inability to straighten leg
  • Knee buckles under when you try to walk

Knee Pain That Requires Immediate Medical Attention

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Seek immediate medical attention when knee pain is severe, especially when accompanied by weakness and limited range of motion.

Intense Pain: Go to urgent care or the emergency room if you have severe knee pain, especially from a forceful impact.

Deformed joint: Go to urgent care or the emergency room when your knee joint is deformed. A dislocation and or break is likely.

Popping Noise: Go to urgent care or the emergency room if there was a popping noise when your knee was injured.

Sudden Knee swelling: Go to urgent care or the emergency room if your knee swells up suddenly.

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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.

Knee Pain Treatment In Houston And Dallas

You dont need to rush to the ER for non-severe knee pain symptoms, but you should schedule a doctors appointment. Texas Pain Physicians team of board-certified pain specialists are experts at diagnosing, treating, and managing knee pain.

Put your best foot forward by booking an appointment online or calling us today at 636-5727.

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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.

When To See A Doctor About Knee Pain

Which Doctor I Should Go To For Knee Pain?

Your knee is a complex joint that consists of bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage that work together to enable movement. Damage to any of these structures can result in debilitating knee pain that can interfere with your daily activities and affect your quality of life.

Knee pain can affect anyone at any age, with sensations ranging from a dull ache to a piercing jab. Many types of knee pain can improve with RICE therapy at home. However, when the source of knee pain is a serious injury or degenerative condition, you need to seek medical treatment to improve your symptoms.

Whether your knee pain originates from an injury or arthritis, determining the source of your discomfort is key to finding the right treatment. Our interventional pain management specialist, Shoeb Mohiuddin, MD, at Regenerative Pain & Spine in Chicago, Illinois, specializes in diagnosing and treating all types of knee pain.

Dr. Mohiuddin has the expertise to identify the cause of your knee pain and determine your treatment options based on your medical history, current condition, and the results of diagnostic tests such as X-rays.

Depending on your condition, you may benefit from medications, casting, physical therapy, epidural injections, or regenerative medicine. Serious injuries may require knee surgery or knee replacement.

Here, we discuss common symptoms that can indicate whether your knee pain requires a medical evaluation.

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What Else Could It Be

If you are still not sure what is causing your severe knee pain, visit the knee pain diagnosis section where we help you work out what is going on by thinking about the location of the pain e.g. front, back or side of the knee.

Alternatively, in the knee symptoms guide we look at other symptoms typically linked with knee pain such as pain when running or bending, knee locking, sharp pain or pain on the stairs. And remember, if you are suffering from severe knee pain, get checked out by your doctor as soon as possible.

Page Last Updated: 10/06/21

Can Knee Pain Come Back After Treatment

Frequently, knee pain will occur for a short period of time and then resolve. Sometimes it can return a few weeks or months later. For chronic knee pain, it is important to get it evaluated to avoid further damage to cartilage, bones, or ligaments. Prognosis depends on the underlying causes of the pain.

With modern surgical techniques, it’s possible to relieve many of the knee pain syndromes and return to an active lifestyle.

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