When should I go and visit a knee orthopedic doctor?

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If you have acute or  severe knee pain, you have likely been working with your primary care physician for support. Unfortunately, there are times when you require support that goes beyond what your family doctor can provide you. If acute knee pain is taking over your life, there are reasons for working with an orthopedic knee doctor.

How to identify you have acute knee pain

Experiencing knee pain can have serious life impacts. A person might have pain that makes them unable to work and function because they are not able to walk, bend, or flex the way that they need to. Knee pain can be difficult to manage, may cause require serious treatment, and sometimes it might be hard to identify when a person needs to see a doctor related to their acute knee pain.

Symptoms of acute knee pain

There are several ways to know that your knee pain is acute and in need of evaluation by a physician. The following signs and symptoms that are consistent with acute knee pain are swelling and stiffness of the knee; redness and warmth of the knee when you touch it; weakness or instability in the knee(s); a popping or crunching noise when moving the knee; and finally the inability to strengthen the knee completely.

You will know that your knee pain is acute and increasing because you might start experiencing sharp or stinging pain whereas before it was dull and aching. You might also experience an increase in pain. Where before perhaps your pain level was a 4/10 and now it is an 8/10. This is an indicator of acute pain and a change in status. This should lead you to see a physician for more support and management.

When to see an orthopedic doctor because of acute knee pain

Most people might be tempted to try to treat these symptoms at home by resting, icing, and taking anti-inflammatory medications. These can be helpful interventions, but there comes a point when a person needs to see an orthopedic knee doctor because the pain becomes too acute.

The following signs are indicators that a person should get in right away to see an orthopedic knee doctor for acute knee pain: inability to bear weight on a knee or the knee feels extremely unstable; the knees are swelling and not the swelling isn’t going down; the knee cannot be fully flexed; there is a deformity in the knee or leg; the individual has a fever as well as the redness and swelling; and severe knee pain is not being managed.

What happens when a doctor evaluates someone for knee pain

If you have identified that you cannot keep managing your acute knee pain and you have decided to see someone in orthopedics, it is a good idea to be aware of what the physician’s evaluation will be like.

You should expect when you go in to discuss your pain to have a full examination of the knee. The orthopedic doctor will physically touch and even press on certain areas of the knee to see the response. After a physical examination, the doctor will potentially send you for x-rays or radiology testing. This could include an MRI to see if there are any soft tissues tears or damage. An x-ray will identify if there is any bone damage or fractures.

In addition to imaging, the doctor might ask that you complete bloodwork. This will help the doctor to identify if any underlying conditions are causing your pain. For example, an autoimmune condition like Rheumatoid Arthritis may require blood testing for diagnosis. The treatment for a condition like this will be very different than the treatment for an injury or other type of condition. Finally, the orthopedic doctor might remove fluid from the knee joint to send for testing. This is likely to be the case for someone who might have gout or arthritis. If fluids need to be drained, this could greatly relieve the acute knee pain someone is experiencing.

How can I find an orthopedic knee doctor near me?

If it is time, you will need to reach out to see which orthopedic knee doctors near you are in-network to your insurance. If you are local to New York, we are in-network to many different types of insurance and provide orthopedic knee care and would like to see you. We are the best orthopedic knee doctor near you. If you are not local to New York, contact your insurance and ask for the orthopedic knee doctors near you with the highest patient satisfaction rate. This will help ensure you find a strong knee doctor in orthopedics who can provide the best support possible.

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