Knee Pain: When to See an Orthopaedic Surgeon

Knee pain can significantly limit your daily activities and exercise routine. The complicated knee joint can lead to a lot of problems if you sustain an injury.

Keen pain can be caused by an acute injury like a trauma or sudden twisting motion. Knee pain can also result from over use or a gradual progression of an injury. Some of these injuries can be treated successfully at home while others will require medical attention. How do you know which course of action will be enough to treat your knee pain?

If you have been suffering from knee pain, ask yourself the following questions to determine whether or not you could benefit from visiting a doctor such as an orthopaedic surgeon.

  1. Is the pain around the knee severe? Is it extremely painful to walk?
  2. Does the knee feel as is it is locking up when you fluctuate between bent and straight positions?
  3. Is the knee joint swollen?
  4. Does the knee joint feel unstable as if your leg will give out when you put pressure on it?
  5. Do you feel or hear a popping or cracking sound in the knee joint when you walk or straighten your leg out?
  6. Did you suffer an acute injury that has limited you from doing your normal exercise routine or daily activities for more then 72 hours?
  7. Are you unable to go up and down stairs without experiencing pain?
  8. Have you attempted to treat at home unsuccessfully by using rest, ice, compression and elevation for two weeks?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, it would be beneficial to make an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon. Attempting to wait out the injury could result in a more serious issue. If knee pain does not decrease, further activity could lead to a very serious injury.

Making an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon to assess your knee pain does not necessarily mean you will require surgery. Surgeons will assess the pain and determine the least invasive means of treatment including but not limited to physical therapy, a steroid injection or even an injection of platelet rich plasma (PRP).


2 replies
  1. Vivian Black
    Vivian Black says:

    I have been running for about 7 years. Sometimes I feel like my knees are locking up when I am moving them. Just last night, I noticed some swelling. Thank you for suggesting that I get in touch with an orthopedic doctor if I have these symptoms. I wanted to ignore it and hope it goes away, however, when you mentioned that it could cause more serious injury if I don’t take care of it, I decided to call an orthopedic doctor right away.

  2. Eli Richardson
    Eli Richardson says:

    Recently, my brother started exercising more to lose the weight he gained over the spring. He’s a bit overweight, and he’s doing his best to work on his health, but the last thing I heard was that his knee got injured while he did a workout. I’ll recommend he seeks an orthopedic specialist before the issue gets worse.


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