When to See a Doctor for Knee Pain

Written by: Brett Bussert, OMS II

The knee joint is one of the most complex joints in the body. If the forces acting on the knee are not in perfect alignment, you may experience debilitating pain. Due to the intense pain, some may wonder when they should see a primary care physician or another type of doctor.

If you are experiencing knee pain, schedule an appointment with one of our many orthopedic doctors at OrthoNeuro. A highly skilled knee doctor will give you expert medical attention by providing a proper diagnosis and customized treatments. Call us or book an appointment online today!

Common Causes of Chronic Knee Pain

Common causes of knee pain include:


Arthritis typically presents with stiffening, swelling, and joint pain. Several types of arthritis may be causing your knee pain. The most common is knee osteoarthritis. This form of arthritis is the “wear and tear” of the bony surfaces in the joint, usually caused by joint aging and weakening.Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that affects any bone in the body. If it occurs in the knee joint, it is typically accompanied by severe pain in the knee.Septic arthritis is a joint infection caused by bacteria that causes significant damage to the structures in the joint.

Trauma to the Knee

Ligament injuries, including the ACL, PCL, LCL, and MCL, are common sources of knee pain, usually caused by minor or severe trauma involving twisting and buckling of the knee joint. Ligament tears can be painful to the touch and most commonly leave the patient with a sense of their knee wanting to “give out” and buckle.Meniscus injury, including medial and lateral meniscus tears, can cause pain, typically while walking or bending their knee. There can also be popping and clicking inside the knee. Difficulty extending or bending the knee joint can also be a sign of meniscal injury.

Doctors for Knee Pain

An orthopedic doctor is the type of doctor most qualified to treat your knee pain. Orthopedic doctors have an additional 5-7 years of training following medical school, specifically to treat the musculoskeletal system.Visiting an orthopedic surgeon does not mean you will automatically have surgery. Orthopedic surgeons can direct your care to different specialists regarding your knee pain, including physical therapy. Orthopedic surgeons are also trained to provide non-surgical treatment options, such as knee replacement surgery. Developing a relationship with your orthopedic surgeon is valuable if the time comes for surgical treatment options.Other types of healthcare professionals that can treat knee pain are your primary care doctor, a sports medicine doctor, and a physical therapist.

When to See an Orthopedic Surgeon in Central Ohio

If your knee pain is causing you to change the way you live your life, it is time to see an orthopedic surgeon. It is not ideal to alter your lifestyle to avoid knee pain, and it is unnecessary! If you decide it is time to see an orthopedic surgeon, the experienced team at OrthoNeuro is ready to help. Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare professionals and find relief for your knee pain.

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