What kind of doctors treat knee pain?
Often knee pain can be evaluated and treated by your primary care doctor. If the knee pain requires surgery or the cause of the pain needs further evaluation, an orthopedic surgeon will usually be consulted. With arthritis, gout, or inflammatory joint problems a rheumatologist may be consulted.
What is the treatment for knee pain?
Treatments for knee pain are as varied as the conditions that can cause the pain.
Medications might be prescribed to treat an underlying medical condition or for pain relief.
If you are taking over-the-counter pain medications regularly for your knee pain, you should see your doctor to be evaluated.
Sometimes strengthening the muscles around the knee will make it more stable and help guarantee the best mechanical movements. Working with a physical therapist can help avoid injuries or further worsening of an injury.
Injecting medications directly into your knee might help in certain situations. The two most common injections are corticosteroids and lubricants. Corticosteroid injections can help arthritis and other inflammations of the knee. They usually need to be repeated every few months. Lubricants that are similar to the fluid already in your knee joint can help with movement and pain.
What is the treatment for knee pain? (Continued)
Knee operations range from arthroscopic knee surgery to total knee replacement. Arthroscopic knee surgery is a very common surgical procedure that allows the physician look inside your knee through a few small holes and a fiberoptic camera. The surgeon can repair many of the injuries and remove small pieces of loose bones or cartilage. This is a common outpatient procedure.
Partial knee replacement: The surgeon replaces the damaged portions of the knee with plastic and metal parts. Because only part of the knee joint is replaced, this procedure has a shorter recovery then a total knee replacement.
Total knee replacement: In this procedure, the knee is replaced with an artificial joint.
Acupuncture has shown some relieve of knee pain, especially in patients with osteoarthritis. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements have shown mixed results in research studies.
Quick GuideExercises for Knee Osteoarthritis and Joint Pain
Are there any home remedies for relief of knee pain?
Over-the-counter pain medications can frequently alleviate the pain. If someone is taking these medications on a regular basis, he or she should see a health care professional to evaluate the knee pain for proper diagnosis and to avoid the potential side effects of chronic medication use.
The RICE mnemonic is often helpful, especially for minor injuries:
Rest: Rest the joint, and take a break from your usually activities involving the knee joint.
Ice: Applying ice can help with pain and inflammation.
Compress: A compression bandage can help prevent swelling and help knee alignment. It should not be tight and should be removed at night.
Elevate: Elevation can help with swelling and resting of the knee.
Is it possible to prevent knee pain?
There can be many reasons for knee pain. Therefore, there are different strategies to prevent the pain depending on the underlying cause. Running on soft surfaces or decreasing the amount of running can help if the pain is due to overuse. Avoiding any direct injuries to the knee including wearing a seatbelt can prevent traumatic injuries. Weight loss can be helpful for many different forms of knee pain.
What is the prognosis of knee pain?
Frequently, knee pain will occur for a short period of time and then resolve. Sometimes it can return a few weeks or months later. If your knee pain becomes chronic, it is important to get it evaluated to avoid further damage to cartilage, bones, or ligaments. Prognosis depends on the underlying causes of the pain.
With modern surgical techniques, it's possible to relieve many of the knee pain syndromes and return to an active lifestyle.
Medically Reviewed on 7/30/2018
Meding, J.B., P.M. Faris, and K.E. Davis. "Bilateral Total Hip and Knee Arthroplasties: Average 10-Year Follow-Up." J Arthroplasty May 22, 2017. Epub ahead of print.
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