Knee Injury, When To See a Doctor?

Symptoms of a Knee Injury and When to See a Doctor 

Listed below are some of the symptoms of a knee injury and when to see a doctor. These symptoms are indicative of a serious injury and should prompt you to seek medical attention immediately. Some of the most common knee injuries include a dislocated kneecap, iliotibial band syndrome, meniscus tears, and tendonitis of the patellar tendon. In some cases, the injury may also be associated with inflammation or redness in the knee. 

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Tendonitis of the patellar tendon 

A physical examination and history of your symptoms are the first steps to determining the severity of patellar tendonitis. Your doctor will examine your knee and ask you about any specific movements that aggravate pain or ease it. Further tests may be necessary to diagnose this condition and rule out fractures or other more serious injuries. Ultimately, proper medical treatment will minimize the severity of your injury. 

Dislocated kneecap 

A dislocated kneecap is a common complication of a knee injury. The dislocation occurs when the front part of the knee, called the patella, slips out of place. People often get dislocated kneecaps when they change direction suddenly, during sports or dancing. Healing time from a dislocation varies greatly. In some people, it may take more than 6 weeks to fully recover, and extensive physiotherapy may be necessary. 

Tendonitis of the iliotibial band 

If you are experiencing knee pain, you should see a doctor rule out any potential conditions, such as iliotibial band syndrome. Symptoms of this condition include tightness in the iliotibial band and weakness in the hip muscles. Your healthcare provider can diagnose the condition through your symptoms and medical history. Your doctor will perform a physical exam, including tests for strength, range of motion, and any sore areas on your knee. A doctor will also perform imaging tests to rule out other possible causes of knee pain, such as osteoarthritis or a meniscal tear. 

Meniscus tears 

When to see a doctor for meniscus tears in knee injuries depends on the severity of the tear. Some tears are minor and painless, while others can be a cause for immediate treatment. Some people with knee injuries need surgery to repair the tear and restore normal knee function. However, the procedure has risks including infection, blood clots, damage to nerves and blood vessels, and side effects from anesthesia. Some people may still experience pain and stiffness after surgery. 

Iliotibial band syndrome 

Many athletes develop iliotibial band syndrome, but not all cases are the same. While the condition typically affects distance runners, it can also develop in people who play other sports. The following are common symptoms and when to see a doctor if you experience any of these. The primary problem is irritation or swelling of the iliotibial band. 

Symptoms of a meniscus tear 

Whether you’re in pain or experiencing swelling, a torn meniscus is a serious knee injury. Pain in the knee is often felt over the meniscus during pivoting, turning, and bearing weight. Pain may also be increased when walking up or down stairs. Although meniscus tears can be difficult to diagnose, a physician can perform an x-ray or MRI to determine the exact cause of your pain. 

Symptoms of a dislocated kneecap 

If you think you may have a dislocated kneecap, you should see a doctor immediately. There are several steps you should take to reduce swelling and restore function. If the dislocation was only minor, you can perform your daily activities. If it was more serious, however, you should visit a doctor. Physical therapy will help you regain muscle strength and improve your range of motion.