When Should I Seek Treatment for a Knee Injury?
Knee pain may be experienced by young and old alike and is one of the most common reasons to see an orthopedic doctor. That’s because your knee is one of the largest weight bearing joints and consists of several moving parts. Because of its complexity and functioning, knee injuries are a common occurrence.
Knee injuries can result from a small slip to an acute trauma or even just from the normal wear and tear of activities as we age. Sports injuries are usually responsible for knee injuries in younger patients. ACL or MCL tears are the most common knee injury in active adults, but strains, meniscal tears, dislocations, and fractures can injure this hard working joint.
Typically, a minor knee injury can be treated at home with the RICE method – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. These minor injuries will usually get better with rest and should show improvement of symptoms within 48 hours.
You should seek treatment for a knee injury if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
- Unbearable pain
- Persistent swelling and inflammation of the knee
- Loss of motion
- A feeling of instability in the knee
- Pain that doesn’t improve with rest
If your knee pain lasts longer than a week, you should make an appointment to have your knee evaluated by your orthopedic doctor. Waiting too long or pushing through the pain may cause more damage and result in a more complicated treatment or recovery.
Timely treatment is a benefit to both you and your knee. With advancements in orthobiologics and minimally invasive techniques, restoring knee mobility and functionality after injury is a reality for people of all ages.
Dr. Ronak Patel is a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon offering a full range of care for all knee and shoulder problems with a special interest in complex knee disorders.