If your knee has been painful for a few days, you may be wondering if you should see an orthopedic doctor or just wait and see if it gets better. If you think the pain is from a recent minor injury, it should feel better within a few days with rest and ice. If the pain persists, then going to the doctor is a good idea. Here are some other symptoms that indicate it's time to go to the doctor for an evaluation of your knee.
Loss Of Range Of Motion
If your knee feels stiff, and you can't move it through its normal range of motion, then uncovering the cause is important. Swelling could be to blame, or you might have a problem with the joint such as arthritis. If stiffness comes and goes, and you've experienced the symptoms for a long time, then having an evaluation for arthritis helps you get the treatment you need to control the condition and prevent worsening stiffness.
Unsteady When You Walk
When you have joint damage, it can hurt to put your weight on your knee. Sometimes you may not have much pain, but you feel like you have a hard time keeping your balance. If your knee problem makes you feel unsteady, then you'll want to get help so you can avoid falling and causing further complications.
Fever, Redness, and Warmth
If your knee feels red and warm, it could indicate an infection, especially if you also have a fever. Your knee joint is covered by a sac filled with fluid that protects it. The sac is called a bursa, and when the sac is inflamed, you have a condition called bursitis.
Bursitis can happen after an injury or as a side effect of arthritis. An infection can also cause the bursa to swell. You may need prescription medication to fight the infection and reduce the swelling and pain associated with this knee condition.
Severe Pain And Swelling
While some pain and swelling are expected after an injury, it should start to go away fairly quickly. If you have severe pain in your knee or severe swelling, you should let a doctor take a look at your injury. Also, if you hear a loud pop when you fall or twist your knee, that could indicate an injury that needs medical care.
Pain tolerance varies from person to person, but you shouldn't try to push through intense pain or deal with moderate pain that becomes chronic. Seeking medical help from an orthopedic doctor like one found through Orthopaedic Associates Of Rochester when it's needed could prevent permanent damage to your knee that would limit your mobility.