Knee Pain, When to see the Doctor?

knee-pain

Knee pain is one of the most common causes of musculoskeletal complaint which brings people to the concerning doctor. With today’s increasingly active society, the number of people with a knee problem is increasing. Knee pain has a wide variety of specific cause and treatment.

When you have tried the over the counter medicines of anti-inflammatory pain meds but there are not many changes in your knee pain then you must set up an appointment with a doctor, physical therapist or orthopedic (bone and muscles specialist) for further evaluation of the pain. If you cannot put burden on your knee, feel unwell, have fever or your knee is red and hot, you should think about going to doctor for possibility of fracture or infection.

  • Many fractures may require immobilization in a specific position or surgery
  • Infection needs immediate attention of a doctor. They can be managed but require timely care.
  • Postponement to seeing a doctor may hamper healing
  • Excruciating pain
  • Pain that does not improve with rest
  • Pain that wakes you
  • Large wounds
  • Puncture Wounds
  • Swelling, if you are on blood thinner or have bleeding disorder

Diagnosis of your knee

The process will include the physical exam of your knee and around the knee area. Orthopedic Doctor will inspect the knee and press around to see exact location of the pain and tenderness. He may perform a number of drills to stress the ligament, tendon and menisci of the knee and evaluate the integrity of each of these. Depending on the history and other physical exams he may ask for X-ray of the knee. X-ray will most likely show any kind of fracture, and dislocation of bones in knee as well as arthritis.

Rarely the doctor may ask for CT scan of the knee to precisely define a fracture or deformity. If the doctor is suspecting that there is any problem with ligaments and tendons he may ask for MRI.

There may be knee filled with fluid. The symptoms may suggest infection or crystalline arthritis such as gout, your physician may have to remove the fluid with a needle from the knee. This fluid is sent for further analysis. The doctor may also perform a blood test to evaluate for signs of infection or disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and diabetes. Surgeon may choose to perform arthroscopy if you have chronic pain