My Knee Hurts, What Doctor Should I See?

My Knee Hurts, What Doctor Should I See? 

If you’ve been experiencing pain in your knee, it may be time to see a doctor. A plain x-ray can be helpful in the diagnosis process. If there are no abnormalities or problems, you can then get medication to ease your pain. If you’re not sure whether you need an x-ray or not, read on to learn more about the different kinds of tests and how to decide which to have. 

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X-rays 

There are several reasons a doctor may recommend X-rays for knee pain. These tests can be very helpful in determining the cause of knee pain, as well as assisting with the planning of surgery. An X-ray can also help identify later stages of infection, cysts, tumors, or any other disease of the bone. If you’re concerned about getting an X-ray, talk with your doctor to learn more. 

MRI 

A typical MRI for knee pain involves a series of standard tests, including x-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs. These tests are generally less expensive and provide less information than MRIs. A skilled knee doctor can determine which tests are necessary for treating your condition and will choose the most effective treatment for your particular case. In some cases, non-invasive treatment is preferred. Read on to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of MRI for knee pain. 

NSAIDs 

NSAIDs for knee pain can have some risks, but they are often prescribed by doctors for people with osteoarthritis, a common condition. According to a network meta-analysis of studies, naproxen was the most effective treatment for individual knee OA. Furthermore, this painkiller is considered a relatively safe and low-cost treatment option. But do they work? Let’s find out. 

Physical exam 

To understand the cause of knee pain, the physical exam should focus on the joint and its anatomy. The asymptomatic knee can be used as a baseline, but pain with provocative movements is a sign of a strained ligament or torn cartilage. Pain in the hip can also be a sign of pathology of the knee, including proximal fibular fractures or osteoarthritis. 

Surgical procedures 

Surgical procedures for knee pain are performed when a person experiences symptoms of degeneration of the cartilage, bone, or ligaments of the knee. These knee pains may be so severe that patients may even experience pain at rest. Medications and therapy may not provide enough relief. When the cartilage is too worn and damaged, patients may be walking “bone on bone,” where the bones rub against each other. Knee replacement surgery replaces damaged bone or cartilage with an artificial surface made of metal or durable plastic. 

Corticosteroid injections 

If you are suffering from osteoarthritis and would like to reduce pain, corticosteroid injections can be a great option for you. Generally, these injections will reduce pain for one to three weeks and can last anywhere from four to 24 weeks. They cause temporary swelling and pain and may cause damage to cartilage or bone. Despite the effectiveness of corticosteroid injections for knee pain, there are some things you should know before you go under the knife.