When Should You see a Doctor For Knee Pain? Here are 5 good reasons.

When Should You see a Doctor For Knee Pain? Here are 5 good reasons.

 

So, you've got pain in your knee. You may or may not know why. (Here's a blog post to help you figure it out).

So now what do you do?

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.

Try resting and icing your knee to see if that alleviates the pain.

  1. Resting the knee.
  2. Icing the knee.

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:

1. when You Have Knee Pain Lasting More Than Forty-Eight Hours, you should see a doctor

when-to-see-a-doctor-for-knee-pain

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.

2. if You Have Swelling That Lasts More than 48 Hours, see a doctor 

knee-swelling.jpg

48 Hours of Knee Swelling?

See a doctor

When you have suffered an acute injury to the knee, the result will be increased, noticeable swelling about the injury itself.

Soft tissue will swell when there is damage, resulting in pain, loss of motion, and severe limitations in mobility.

Note: sometimes swelling can be observed visually. On other occasions, you can't see it with the naked eye.  Pain, stiffness, or clicking as injured tendons snap over one another are all indications that something is wrong. 

3. You Experience Instability/Lack of Support from the Knee

knee-instability.jpg

Knee Instability?

See a doctor.

The knees are one of the fulcrums of stability when it comes to your body. If you are having trouble standing or walking on your knee and experience a loss of stability in the joint, it could be bad enough to warrant a visit to the doctor.

Likewise if you feel as if your knee won't even support you when you put weight on it.

4. he Knee "Looks Wrong"

knee-injury.jpg

If The Knee Looks Wrong

See a doctor

This might seem to be a rudimentary way to judge whether you have a knee injury or not, but if one side of the knee looks deformed or "wrong" in comparison with the side that is pain-free, go get it checked out.

5. If you Have an "Obvious" Meniscus or ACL Tear

meniscus_tear.png

ACL or Meniscus Tear?

See a doctor

ACL Tears and Meniscus Tears are two of the major injuries that we see in athletes. If you think you've suffered an ACL or Meniscus tear, you should pay a visit t a specialist. 

So how will you know if you've suffered one of these injuries? Here are some short videos to help you:

What does an ACL Tear feel like when you injure it? Most of the time you'll hear a pop, followed by swelling.
What does an ACL Tear feel like? Initial pain and swelling, followed by Instability of the knee.
What does a mensicus tear feel like? Locking, catching, and a "pebbly feeling in your knee." With Dr. Bill Sterett, Orthopaedic Surgeon/Knee Specialist and Head Physician for the U.S. Women's Alpine Ski Team

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...

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 hope that helps! Feel free to email sterettteam@vsortho for specific questions.


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