Knee Sore? What Kind of Doctor Do I See?

Knee Sore? What Kind of Doctor Do I See? 

If your knee feels sore and isn’t getting better, you should see a doctor. This doctor can rule out other issues, such as Osteoarthritis or Bursitis. He or she will also determine if any tests are needed. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the doctor will recommend a course of treatment. In some cases, the pain will disappear after a week. 

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Meniscus tear 

When a torn meniscus is causing pain and swelling in a knee, it is best to seek medical care as soon as possible. Treatment will vary, depending on the severity of the tear. If the tear is minor, you may be able to take care of it on your own by taking over-the-counter pain relievers. In cases where the tear is more severe, a doctor may recommend surgery or prescribe a pain management program with physical therapy. The first step towards full recovery is determining whether you need surgery or if you can manage the pain with over-the-counter medications. 

If your symptoms are consistent and occur within a few weeks, a meniscus tear is most likely a serious issue. Symptoms of this condition include pain in the knee, swelling, and stiffness. In addition, you may experience difficulty walking, feeling like your knee is “giving way” or experiencing instability. Pain with movement may also accompany a torn meniscus. A torn meniscus can also affect the muscles of the thigh. 

Osteoarthritis 

When the knee becomes sore and tender, the first step is to visit your doctor. If you suspect osteoarthritis, a primary care physician can help diagnose the problem and prescribe anti-inflammatory pain medication. Your doctor may also refer you to a physical therapist, or order an x-ray. You won’t need an MRI for osteoarthritis, but it is important to see a specialist if the pain or stiffness is severe and limits your ability to move. 

If the symptoms of osteoarthritis are severe and interfere with daily activities, a physician will recommend an MRI. The MRI will reveal bone spurs or cartilage loss around the affected joint. An MRI uses radio waves and a powerful magnetic field to provide detailed images of the affected joints. If osteoarthritis is causing significant pain or disability, a physician may recommend joint disorders specialists or orthopedic surgeons. 

Bursitis 

If you are suffering from bursitis, you may not be aware of the type of doctor you need to see. However, it is important to seek medical attention for the condition. Depending on the nature of the problem, you may require various diagnostic tests and prescription medication. For severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the bursa. Fortunately, this procedure is a last resort. In the meantime, you should rest your knee, avoid overuse, and try different types of exercise to help reduce the pain. 

A physician can differentiate between tendinitis and bursitis through a thorough physical exam. They may recommend imaging tests to further confirm the diagnosis. During the examination, doctors will look for signs of inflammation, bumps underneath the skin, and swollen bursae. They will also ask you about the nature of the pain, when you first noticed the symptoms, and if your pain became worse after undergoing surgery.