How To Know If Knee Pain Is Serious?
As part of the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Total Hip and Knee Replacement, the experts at Ascension St. Agnes are here to help you with any kind of knee pain in Baltimore that you may be experiencing.
That being said, a common question is, “how do I know if my knee pain is serious”? After all, there are various levels and types of knee pain that you may experience. Sometimes knee pain can be accompanied with a pop or severe pain.
Other times you may see bruising or swelling, but less pain. There are combinations of every factor in between. So when it comes to whether or not you should see a doctor, the answer is typically yes. However, let’s discover some of the common knee injury signs so you can understand if your knee pain requires further intervention.
Here’s how to tell if knee pain is serious:
After a knee injury, your knee will typically be swollen. The more swelling that occurs, the more likely that you have a serious knee injury. Swelling ultimately occurs due to blood under the skin surface.
While the bleeding may stop, there will still be swelling for a period of after. Blood in the joint is also referred to as hemarthrosis. Because of the inflammation, additional pain can be experienced. If you think you may have blood or swelling in your knee joint, you could have sustained a significant injury.
Something inside of your knee could be torn. Therefore, you should seek medical treatment from qualified doctors like those at Ascension St. Agnes as soon as possible.
Common causes of swelling due to severe injury are:
- Articular cartilage injury
- MCL tear
- Bucket handle tear
- Patella or kneecap dislocation
- ACL tear
Most athletes who feel a pop have suffered some kind of severe knee injury like a patella dislocation or ACL tear.
If any of the issues above occur, it could be difficult to walk without experiencing excruciating pain. Elevation, icing and crutches should be used immediately after experiencing these symptoms.
Then you should be evaluated by a knee doctor and have an x-ray done. It can help you determine if you have a fracture or not. You should have these knee injuries evaluated for proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
This may require surgery, rest or types of physical therapy. Follow the advice of your physician to keep your knees healthy.
In other words, your knee may be unable to straighten. This is called a locked knee. There are various reasons this might occur. You could have swelling or inflammation. Even a meniscus tear can happen that creates mechanical locks within your knee.
A common cause of locked knees is bucket handle tear, which is a type of meniscus tear. This would require surgery from an expert to ensure that you regain full function and pain-free use of your knee again.
It’s important to receive a diagnosis so you understand the most proper way to repair this injury. If not, you could be dealing with arthritis or osteoporosis later on in life. When athletes or other people tear their knee, they often mention that they heard a popping sound and then their knee stopped stabilizing.
This is a common sign of an ACL tear. This type of tear creates significant pain and difficulty moving your knee laterally. Again, with this type of knee injury, surgery is necessary to totally replace or at least repair the damaged ACL. Otherwise, you may deal with instability going forward.
Patella dislocations and patella tendon tears are two common causes of this tendon injury. We also have a quadriceps tendon tear. While these are less common injuries, they still do occur.
This can happen in young athletes or even older athletes who play, pick up sports like basketball or tennis. The knee will feel unstable and you’ll experience pain and swelling in the area.
It’s important to see a knee surgeon so that you can repair these tendons and regain the usage of these tendons and ligaments.
Some knee injuries will keep you from being able to walk. In fact, sometimes mechanically your knee cannot function and you will not be able to walk at all. Orthopedic surgeons can evaluate this using x-ray and other methods to determine how much weight you can put on the knee.
If you have a severe injury, then the proper treatment should be performed to prevent lifelong problems.
In conclusion, how do you know if knee pain is serious? If you experience any of the symptoms we just covered, then you should seek medical help. You could have a serious injury.
The best knee doctors in the area are at Ascension St. Agnes Orthopedics and Spine Institute. Our qualified knee specialists can help you regain function, comfort, and movement in your knee.
Whether you require physical therapy, medication, or surgery, we will provide the correct treatment to get you moving and enjoying life once again. So don’t hesitate, reach out now and turn the next page in your new life.