If you are experiencing knee pain, the first step is to determine the cause. Knee pain can be caused by a variety of factors, such as arthritis, injuries, and infections. In some cases, it may be necessary to see an orthopedic doctor for treatment.

When to see an orthopedic doctor for knee pain is the main objective of this blog post.

The Knee Joint

The knee is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body. It is made up of bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. The knee joint is responsible for bearing the weight of the body and allowing us to move our legs. This joint is a hinge joint, which means that it allows the leg to move in a forward and backward motion.

There are three bones that make up the knee joint: the femur (thighbone), tibia (shinbone), and patella (kneecap). The femur and tibia are connected by the knee ligaments, which help to stabilize the knee joint. The patella or kneecap is a small bone that sits in front of the knee and protects it from injury.

The knee joint is surrounded by a thin, slippery tissue called cartilage. This cartilage allows the bones to move smoothly against each other. The knee also has a fluid-filled sac called the bursa, which acts as a cushion between the bones and muscles.

Knee joint pain can be caused by a variety of factors. Prior to looking into common conditions that cause knee pain, let’s first take a look at the types of pain you could be enduring.

Types of Knee Pain

There are two types of knee pain:

Acute: This is a sudden, sharp, severe pain that often occurs after an injury, such as a fall, car accident, or sports injury.

Chronic: This is a dull, persistent pain that can be caused by conditions like arthritis or tendonitis.

If you are experiencing acute knee pain, it is important to seek medical attention right away. This type of pain can be a sign of a serious injury, such as a fracture or torn ligament. The following symptoms are normal for acute knee pain:

– severe pain

– swelling

– bruising

– difficulty walking

If you are experiencing chronic knee pain, it is important to see a doctor so that they can determine the underlying cause. chronic knee pain is often caused by conditions like arthritis, bursitis, or tendonitis. The following symptoms are normal for chronic pain:

– stiffness

– dull, aching pain

– swelling

– difficulty moving the joint

Injuries or Conditions Leading to Knee Pain

One of the most common causes of pain in the knee joint is a knee injury. The knee is a vulnerable joint and is susceptible to injuries, such as fractures, dislocations, and sprains. Knee injuries can be caused by a fall, car accident, or other trauma. The most common injuries to the knee are:

– Ligament tear

– Meniscus tear

Patellar tendon rupture

– Knee dislocation

In addition to injuries, there are a number of conditions that can lead to knee pain.

Arthritis and Knee Pain

Another potential cause of your knee pain is arthritis. Arthritis is a general term used to describe inflammation of the joints. There are many different types of arthritis, but the two most common types that affect the knee are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when the cartilage between the bones breaks down. This can happen due to age, injury, or overuse of the joint. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness, and swelling.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack the joints. This can lead to inflammation, pain, and damage to the cartilage and bones. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include fatigue, fever, and weight loss.


Orthopedic Treatment for Knee Pain

In some cases, a knee injury may only result in minor pain that goes away within a few days or weeks. However, more severe injuries or conditions can lead to chronic knee pain that lasts for months or even years. If you are experiencing knee pain that does not go away, it is important to see an orthopedic doctor for an evaluation.

To see specialized knee surgeons or orthopedic doctors it is important to first visit your primary care doctor. Your primary care physician will take a complete medical history and conduct a physical examination. They will also order X-rays or MRI scans to evaluate the knee joint. Based on the results of these tests, your doctor may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon or knee specialist.

An orthopedic doctor or orthopedic specialist is a type of doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal system disorders. This includes conditions and injuries of the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. An orthopedic physician can provide you with a diagnosis and create a treatment plan to relieve your knee pain based on an accurate diagnosis from medical imaging and special tests.

When to See Orthopedic Doctor for Knee Pain

Generally, if you do not see a relief in symptoms after 4 weeks you should consult with your healthcare provider for further guidance. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, it is important to see an orthopedic doctor right away:

– Severe pain that prevents you from bearing weight on your knee

– Intense swelling that does not subside after a few days

– Inability to fully extend or flex your knee

– A deformity in the knee joint

– A popping or grinding noise when moving your knee

– Redness, warmth, or bruising around the knee

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see an orthopedic doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Only an orthopedic specialist can provide you with the care you need to get relief from your knee pain.

How to Ensure You’re Getting the Best Orthopedic Knee Specialist

Here are a few tips to ensure you’re getting the best possible care:

Make sure to see a board-certified orthopedic surgeon or sports medicine specialist. Board certification indicates that a doctor has completed additional training and testing in their specialty.

Ask about the doctor’s years of experience treating your particular condition or injury. Be sure to ask how many times they have performed the procedure you are considering.

Find out what type of follow-up care is available after your treatment. This is important to ensure that your recovery is on track and that any complications are quickly addressed.

Get a second opinion. If you are considering surgery, it is always a good idea to get a second opinion from another orthopedic surgeon. This will help you be sure that surgery is the best option for you.

Receiving treatment from an experienced and board-certified orthopedic specialist is the best way to ensure you get the care you need to relieve your knee pain. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor today.

Types of Surgeries an Orthopedic Knee Specialist Provides

Some of the most common types of knee surgeries an orthopedic surgeon provides include:

Arthroscopy: This is a minimally invasive surgery that is used to diagnose and treat various knee conditions. It is often used to repair torn ligaments or cartilage.

Osteotomy: This surgery involves cutting and reshaping the bones around the knee joint to relieve pain and improve function. It is often used for patients with arthritis.

Joint Replacement: This surgical procedure involves replacing the damaged parts of the knee joint with artificial implants. It is often used for patients with severe arthritis or other degenerative conditions. A total knee replacement is the most common.

If you are experiencing knee pain, make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist today. They will be able to provide you with a diagnosis and create a treatment plan to relieve your pain and improve your quality of life.


Conservative Treatment Options for Knee Pain Management

There are a number of conservative treatment options that can be effective in treating knee pain. These include:

Rest: Avoiding activities that aggravate your knee pain is important in the healing process. You may need to limit your activity, use crutches, or wear a knee brace to support the joint and protect it from further injury.

Ice: Applying ice to the knee can help reduce pain and swelling. Do this for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times per day.

Compression: Wearing an elastic compression bandage can help reduce swelling.

Elevation: Keeping your knee elevated above heart level when you are sitting or lying down can also help reduce swelling.

Anti-inflammatory Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help reduce pain and inflammation.

Physical therapy: Physical therapists can teach you exercises to improve flexibility, strength, and range of motion. They can also provide guidance on how to properly use crutches or a knee brace.

Physical and Occupational Therapy can enhance your quality of life and ensure you get back into your normal activities as quickly as possible.

In some cases, conservative treatment options are not enough to relieve knee pain. If this is the case, your orthopedic doctor may recommend one of the following additional minor procedures:

Corticosteroid injections: These injections can help reduce pain and inflammation.

Platelet-rich plasma therapy: This treatment involves taking a small sample of your blood and spinning it in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets. The platelets are then injected into the knee joint to promote healing.

Weight Loss to Reduce Knee Pain

Lowering your body weight can help reduce the amount of stress on your knees and improve pain. If you are overweight or obese, talk to your doctor about a weight loss plan that is right for you. They can refer you to a dietitian or nutritionist who can help you create a healthy eating plan.


If you are experiencing knee pain, there are a number of treatment options available. Your orthopedic doctor will be able to recommend the best course of treatment for your individual needs.

In some cases, simple conservative measures such as rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication may be enough to relieve your pain. However, if your pain is more severe, you may require additional treatment such as physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, or platelet-rich plasma therapy.

If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can also help reduce the amount of stress on your knees and improve pain.

Talk to your doctor today about the best treatment options for your knee pain!

About the Author

Hi there! I’m Dr. Keagen Hadley, OTD, OTR/L. Straight out of the University of Mary, I’m all about blending my know-how in knee health, well-being, and medical technology. As a licensed occupational therapy doc, I’m here to translate complex concepts into clear, actionable insights – whether it’s knee care or groundbreaking healthcare tech.

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