Knee pain is not an easy symptom to ignore. If you suffer from pain in your knee and the surrounding area, you know how physically limited life can be. There are several causes for this type of pain as well as a variety of treatments. Understanding the cause of your pain can help determine the best treatment options.
Whether your knee pain is new or you have been dealing with it for an extended period of time, finding treatment now is the best option. But how do you know if you need surgery or if other treatment options will be enough to address your knee pain?
Meeting with an orthopaedic surgeon is a great first step to understanding and treating your knee pain. Some people might assume that consulting with a surgeon means they will have to have surgery. This is a common myth. Orthopaedic surgeons treat both operatively and non-operatively. Surgery is only considered if absolutely necessary.
Non-Surgical Treatment Approaches
Some knee pain can be managed without surgery. Depending on the severity of your injury or knee issue, you may be able treat your injury with minimal intervention. For some people, use of acetaminophin, ibuprofen or naproxen can help relieve swelling and pain. In addition, using the four simple steps of R.I.C.E. can alleviate painful symptoms. Resting your leg/knee, using ice, compressing the area and elevating the knee may provide enough relief from knee pain to get back on your feet. Further, physical therapy exercises, as prescribed by a doctor, often lead to effective recovery from injury or discomfort in your knee.
Surgical Treatment Approaches
Surgical treatment of knee pain varies widely. Identifying the source of the pain is the first step. Orthopaedic surgeons are able to use physical examinations as well as X-ray images to determine the underlying cause of knee pain. In some cases such as damaged/torn ligaments or cartilage, surgical treatment can be very beneficial. Knee arthroscopy, osteotomy, partial knee replacement and total knee replacement are examples of the surgical approaches that can benefit some patients.
If you have been suffering from knee pain, do not hesitate to contact a board certified orthopaedic surgeon to explore what options are right for you.