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How Can a Knee Injury Specialist Effectively Help with Your Knee Pain or Injury?

June 9, 2022

A knee doctor, also referred to as a knee injury specialist, is a medical expert who has specialized knowledge of the knee and works with patients dealing with knee issues. They often work with athletes or athletic teams since many athletes are at high risk for knee injuries.

Preventative care could sometimes help an athlete avoid a knee condition, but some high-impact or contact sports could make knee injuries hard to avoid. A knee injury specialist usually treats injuries in athletes are ligament injuries, such as MCL tears, ACL tears, PCL tears; kneecap fractures; and meniscus tears.

A knee injury specialist also works with non-athletes and those who are overweight. Because they're carrying extra weight, it puts a strain on their knees, and as a result, knee damage and pain happen. Knee doctors also assist patients in dealing with knee pain that's developed over time by using their knees normally during their lifetime.

Older people typically suffer from knee pain because they have put more "miles" on their knees, and the bones and cartilage have become worn. Knee injury specialists can help many patients enjoy their lives and not be limited by their knee conditions or pain.

A knee doctor is also known as a knee injury specialist.

When It Is Time to See a Knee Injury Specialist

Being aware of some symptoms is important because if a knee problem can be diagnosed and treated early on, it will help avoid further knee damage and pain. Sharing this information with your knee injury specialist lets them offer you the best knee care. If any of these following symptoms seem familiar, you may have damaged your knee joint or the surrounding tissues:

  • The knee cannot support your weight and buckles when you attempt to use it.
  • Knee locks up
  • The knee looks misshapen or deformed
  • Knee pain or swelling that becomes worse after an injury
  • Popping noises at the time of the knee injury
  • The range of motion decreases over time
  • Numbness or tingling in the lower leg
  • Unable to straighten or bend the knee without pain

Potential Reasons For Knee Pain

Knee Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is among the most common type of arthritis, and it is often seen in the knees. It's generally a result of age and regular wear and tear. Women aged 55 and older are more likely to have knee osteoarthritis than men. Osteoarthritis could also result from genetics and is seen in overweight patients. Furthermore, it is more likely to happen in those constantly lifting heavy weights or athletes who have had knee injuries.

Knee Effusion

A knee effusion happens when fluid increases in the joint's surrounding tissues. It could happen to any joint but is often seen in the knee. A knee effusion could result from anything that inflames or injures the knee. Knee effusions are usually seen in those with arthritis (like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis). Gout could also cause knee effusion.

Typically, your knee injury specialist would prescribe medications to reduce the swelling caused by a knee effusion. If your knee doesn't respond to those medications, your doctor might prescribe steroid medications or injections. Surgery is rarely necessary to treat the swelling.

A customer happy about a pain-free procedure.

ACL Strain or Tear

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) offers stability to the knee. The ACL links your thigh bone to the shin bone and is usually injured by a sudden twisting motion (making it a common injury for athletes).

Your knee injury specialist will conduct an exam to assess the severity of the tear. Some ACL injuries could be treated without surgery. Your doctor will probably advise reducing your activity (perhaps wearing a brace) and attending physical therapy. Your doctor may also recommend additional treatments. Severe ACL tears are incredibly complex; they usually require reconstructive surgery to replace your torn ligament.

Meniscus Tear

The meniscus is a rubbery disc that offers a cushion to the knee. There are two menisci per knee — one per side. They help keep the knee stable by dispersing your weight across your knee. A quick twist or turn causes a meniscus tear, usually while your foot is on the ground. Tears get more common as people age.

There are three meniscus tears: minor, moderate, and severe. Minor tears cause pain and swelling that often subsides in a few weeks. Moderate tears cause swelling and stiffness that might be accompanied by sharp pain when you move the knee. Severe tears could make the knee feel unstable and cause it to give way unexpectedly. The knee might "pop" as torn meniscus pieces may move into the joint.

A knee doctor can help relieve knee pain.

Knee Bursitis

Knee bursitis is an inflammation of your bursa (small fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction and offer a cushion). People who kneel for extended periods (such as gardeners, plumbers, etc.) have an increased risk of developing knee bursitis and those who play particular sports.

Patellar Tendonitis

Patellar tendonitis is a common injury or tendon inflammation that connects the kneecap (patella) to the shin bone. Patellar tendonitis usually occurs from a repetitive impact on the knee and be caused by playing sports (especially sports that need a lot of jumping), doing household activities, and more. It is most commonly seen in middle-aged adults as tendons lose elasticity.

Diagnosing Knee Pain

Determining the cause of knee pain often begins with your primary care doctor. A physical exam is performed. The exam will help determine the severity and origin of your pain.

If your primary care physician evaluates you and your knee pain requires a more detailed evaluation. In that case, your doctor may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon specializing in diagnosing and treating problems with the musculoskeletal system. Your orthopedic surgeon would most likely take imaging tests to see the knee joint in greater detail, including X-rays to check the bones in your knee joint or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to check the ligaments and cartilage in the knee.

A knee injury should be treated by a qualified knee injury specialist.

Depending on these imaging tests, your orthopedic surgeon may prescribe a conservative treatment plan that could include medication, joint injections, exercise, or a supervised therapy program.

A surgical procedure might also be recommended if warranted.

Non-invasive Treatment For Knee Pain

In an acute knee injury, the knee should be immediately treated with ice, elevation, and a compressive bandage. Most knee injuries and chronic knee conditions need care from an orthopedic doctor for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.

A careful clinical examination would detect damage to the joints and other structures and ligaments in the knee.

Non-operative treatment for degenerative conditions and knee injuries may include rest, ice, steroid injections, or physical therapy. Crutches and analgesics are sometimes necessary for the early phases of care. The goal of treatment is to lessen swelling, strengthen the muscles around the joint, and regain function and motion.

Orthopedic Knee Surgery

When surgery is needed to treat a knee injury or condition, knee injury specialists are experienced in conducting leading surgical procedures, including:

  • Knee arthroscopy
  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction
  • Partial knee replacement
  • Joint replacement surgery (knee arthroplasty)

Our knee injury specialists understand that knee pain and injury can have a significant effect on your lifestyle and hinder you from performing your regular, everyday activities. To schedule an appointment with any of our knee doctors, please call us today!

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