When Does Knee Pain Require A Visit to Your Orthopedic Surgeon?

The knee is a complex joint and there are many opportunities for minor or major damage that causes pain or discomfort. Knee pain can come on slowly due to degeneration or very quickly as a result of a significant trauma. Just as there are many ways to injure the knee, every injury must be evaluated individually to determine the appropriate treatment option.

Generally speaking, if knee pain comes on slowly, it may be the result of a relatively minor injury or results from particular strenuous activity, degeneration or overuse. In this case, caring for the knee at home is often appropriate. Rest, ice, compression and elevation are a great way to reduce inflammation and swelling in the knee and minimize pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Aleve or Advil can be taken for a few days as needed to relieve discomfort. The knee pain should be monitored for a few days to see if it begins to improve.

If the knee pain is the result of a more serious injury that causes significant pain, swelling, tenderness and redness in the area around the knee, or if range of motion is limited, it is definitely time to see the doctor. If you begin to develop a fever or the pain begins to interfere with your sleep, schedule an appointment with a qualified orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible or visit an urgent care center.

Urgent Care or Emergencies

Severe injury that creates a deformity in the knee, a popping noise at the time of the injury, limited ability or complete inability to walk, extreme pain and serious swelling should be evaluated at an urgent care center or emergency room. This may indicate a serious problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

Outcomes of Knee Pain

After a thorough evaluation of your knee pain from an orthopedic surgeon, there are one of two options – non-surgical conservative care or surgical treatment. Surgical treatment is usually reserved for more serious injuries that will not recover on their own or for athletes that need special intervention. For many, however, non-surgical treatment including home care, pharmaceutical or injection therapy and in some cases physical therapy may minimize the pain so normal activities can be resumed with little or no dysfunction.

The best way to determine the appropriate course of action is to visit a qualified orthopedic surgeon such as Dr. Manning. Scheduling a consultation with Dr. Manning can immediately yield an understanding of the nature of the injury and diagnostic testing may be performed to confirm the diagnosis. No matter the injury, an experienced and trusted orthopedic surgeon such as Dr. Manning can offer a range of treatment options depending on the cause and severity of the problem.

map of Dr. Manning's Orthopedic Office Get Directions