Breaking Down the Different Types of Knee Pain Treatments

physical therapy for patient with knee pain

And How to Find an Orthopedic Doctor for Knee Pain Near You

The knee is one of the largest and most important joints in the human body. It’s used for virtually every task involving mobility, including walking, running, exercise, sitting, standing, and ascending/descending stairs. Considering the pivotal role that the knee plays in everyday activities, experiencing pain in the joint can greatly reduce a person’s quality of life and their ability to perform simple tasks. However, before understanding knee pain solutions, it’s best to get to know what comprises the knee and how it functions.

Consisting of three bones, the knee is a complex hinge joint where the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), and fibula (a bone that runs parallel to the tibia) adjoin via a series of tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Protecting the joint is the patella, which is more commonly referred to as the kneecap. When all these different parts are functioning normally, they work in concert and enable us to perform everyday tasks. By comparison, when the knee is injured or otherwise compromised, the symptoms can range from extreme pain to complete lack of mobility in the joint.

What Causes Knee Pain?

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), approximately 25 percent of adults will be affected by knee pain at some point in their lives. This makes knee pain one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions that orthopedic doctors treat. Naturally, this begs the question: What exactly causes knee pain?

The following are some of the most common conditions relating to knee pain:

  • Injury or trauma
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Bursitis
  • Infection
  • Patellar tendinitis
  • Bone degeneration
  • Iliotibial band syndrome
  • Dislocation of the kneecap
  • Excessive weight
  • Occupational injury
  • Repetitive motion disorder

What Are the Symptoms of a Compromised Knee?

Pain is obviously one of the most telltale signs that the knee is injured or otherwise compromised, especially if that pain is chronic. However, there are other symptoms that indicate it may be time to reach out to an orthopedic doctor for knee pain.

  • The knee is swollen or misshapen
  • The knee is stiff and/or cannot be fully straightened
  • You hear crunching or popping noises coming from the knee
  • The knee is weak and cannot bear weight like it normally can
  • The knee is red and/or warm to the touch

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should reach out directly to an orthopedic knee pain doctor who specializes in that region of the anatomy. Since knee pain is common, finding knee pain treatment near you in Wichita shouldn’t be difficult. Mid-America Orthopedics has plenty of doctors on staff that can offer knee pain solutions once you’ve been examined.

What Knee Pain Treatments Will an Orthopedic Doctor for Knee Pain Administer?

The first thing any patient should do who is experiencing knee pain is contact an orthopedic doctor for an examination. After collecting your medical history and running some tests, your doctor will be able to determine the root cause of the issue, which enables them to narrow down which knee pain solutions are right for you.

Depending on the severity of your knee condition, your doctor may administer one or more of the following treatment methods:

Rest and activity modification: If the condition is minor, your orthopedic doctor may recommend a period of rest/activity modification so that the knee can heal on its own. Ice/heat therapy may also be used to help with any swelling or pain.

Medication: For minor knee conditions, your orthopedic doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain medications or anti-inflammatory medications. These will help dull down symptoms of pain and/or discomfort while you heal. For serious knee injuries, your orthopedic doctor may put you on a prescription pain medication for a short time.

Assistive devices: For knees that are weak, unstable, or have trouble bearing weight, your doctor may recommend an assistive device. A knee brace will help keep the knee stable while it heals. Canes are also beneficial for remaining mobile while keeping weight off the knee.

Physical therapy: Those that have been injured or have undergone surgery usually benefit from physical therapy, which is an ongoing treatment method that aims to restore joint functionality and mobility.

Injections: For severe cases involving the knee, your doctor may recommend either a corticosteroid injection or hyaluronic acid injection. Corticosteroid injections reduce inflammation in the joint and typically provide relief in under 48 hours. Hyaluronic acid injections are intended to provide pain relief and are typically given to patients who haven’t had success with or can’t take OTC and/or prescription medications.

Arthroscopic surgery: Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery that uses a narrow tube with a fiber-optic video camera on the end to see inside the knee. Your orthopedic surgeon will make small incisions to insert the camera and the instruments they will use for the surgery. As far as knee pain solutions go, arthroscopy is usually reserved as the last form of treatment when all other forms have proven unsuccessful.

Joint replacement surgery: Arthroplasty is a procedure that replaces dysfunctional sections of the joint with an artificial implant. The goal of joint replacement surgery is to relieve pain and restore mobility to the joint. Regarding arthroplasty, it’s important to note that this form of surgery is only used as a last resort when other treatments have proven unsuccessful. It’s also more invasive than arthroscopy; however, we have two surgeons on staff here at Mid-America Orthopedics that specialize in robotic joint replacement surgery, which is minimally invasive and shortens recovery times.

How to Contact an Orthopedic Doctor for Knee Pain

If you are experiencing chronic pain, lack of mobility, or notice swelling in your knee – don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our orthopedic knee pain doctors for an appointment. Once we have a chance to examine the area, we will be able to develop knee pain solutions and treatments that will reduce your pain and discomfort.

Set up an appointment with us today to get started. You can also reach us by phone during normal business hours at (316) 630-9300. For the convenience of our patients, Mid-America Orthopedics is typically able to offer same-day or next-day appointments.