When To See A Doctor For Knee Pain | Dr Vikram Mhaskar

When To See A Doctor For Knee Pain | Dr Vikram Mhaskar

23 Dec, 2022

Knee pain comes slowly due to activities that are strenuous than usual, it can easily be managed at home. Knee pain that occurs due to a minor injury can be safely observed for a day or two to see if self-care actions are helpful. However, long-term knee pain is usually caused due to arthritis and can often be relieved by weight loss and exercises as it helps strengthen the joint’s muscles. 

1. Warning signs of knee pain that warrants a visit to a doctor are: 

  • Deformity of joints: 

If the pained or affected knee looks deformed or misshapen when compared to the healthy knee, it indicates knee fracture, patella injury, or dislocated knee cap.

  • Difficulty walking: 

When the knee pain progresses to a stage where you are limping or avoid walking, it is essential to see a doctor immediately. Pain of this intensity also indicates a degenerative condition or a bone injury.

  • Inability to hold weight: 

The inability to hold weight on your knees or need to shift weight away from the bad legs indicates a range of conditions all of which require immediate medical attention. 

  • Knee instability: 

The wobbling knees indicates that the knee medical condition has worsened and points at ligament problems, if left untreated the situation deteriorates, thus it is important to see immediate doctor’s attention.

  • Reduced sensation in the knee

While knee pain is concerning, the lack of knee pain is also worrying. If the knee pain doesn’t increase even when pressed, this indicates a non-knee condition or sciatica. 

  • Long-term knee pain

If with time, the pain doesn’t go away, it is advised to see a doctor’s help. Athletes should see a healthcare professional if knee pain doesn’t subside within 48 hours, while other adults should seek medical health if pain doesn’t recede in three weeks.

  • Pain that affects daily activities

A knee pain that limits the daily activities, impacts the way you live your life, it is recommended to schedule a doctor’s appointment immediately as it is necessary for a professional to evaluate the joint. 

  • Redness and swelling around the joint

Any deformity in the knee such as change in shape and color indicates a serious health problem. Knees that feel tender to touch, appear red and swelled, these symptoms are a sign of infection. 

  • Reduced range of motion

An internally swollen knee limits the range of motion. If this kind of pain lasts for more than 24 hours, it is advisable to see a doctor.

  • Arthritis

Arthritis could be another reason for knee pain, some of its symptoms include - pain, stiffness, and swelling in one or more of your joints. The type of arthritis that are likely to affect the knees are:

  • Osteoarthritis: the most common type of arthritis, occurs when knee cartilage deteriorates with age and usage.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: the most debilitating form of arthritis, it is an autoimmune condition that affects all the joints in the human body.
  • Gout: it occurs when there’s uric acid build up in the joints.
  • Pseudo-gout: it occurs when there is presence of calcium-containing crystals in the joint fluid.
  • Septic arthritis: this occurs when the knee joint becomes infected and leads to swelling, pain, and redness. Additionally, the patient may also have fever and a general feeling of malaise with it. Septic arthritis can quickly deteriorate the knee cartilage, thus it is important to see a knee doctor in delhi immediately. 

2. Self-help tips for knee pain

  • Rest: avoid strenuous activities when suffering from knee pain, but also keep active. Activities that cause less discomfort should be done, like - swimming instead of jogging, bicycling instead of tennis. However, in case of acute injuries, it is important to stay off your feet as much as possible.
  • Ice: put ice on the affected knee for about 15 to 20 minutes a few times a day, frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel could also be used for the same.
  • Compression: Wearing an elastic band around the injured knee helps control the swelling. Make sure the bandage fits snugly around the knee but not tight enough to cause swelling.
  • Elevation: elevating the knee by propping it up on a pillow helps control swelling.
  • NSAIDs: over-the-counter NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) helps relieve knee pain and inflammation. NSAIDS include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (aleve). 

3. Schedule a doctor’s appointment when there’s: 

  • Swelling,
  • Redness,
  • Fever, 
  • Significant pain, 
  • Tenderness and warmth around the joint 

4. Seek immediate medical attention when:

  • Joint looks deformed, 
  • Joint is unable to bear weight, 
  • There’s intense pain,
  • There’s sudden swelling,
  • There was a popping sound when the knee was injured.