Most individuals will experience some form of knee pain or injury in their lives; they might wonder when to see a knee doctor, or at least a physician with that specialty. There are several warning signs of knee pain that signal the need for a specialists care.
One should consult a knee doctor if:
The pain lasts more than 2 days, particularly if it is pain of the knee joint; this can be serious, since it isnt a muscular inflammation (the joint has little muscle covering it).
Swelling lasts more than 2 days; there is the possibility of soft tissue damage along with the inflammation, and, in more serious cases, there may be some internal bleeding at the knee joint. The doctor should be consulted if the patient can feel the swelling, even if it isnt especially evident to the naked eye.
Loss of motion in the knee joint; this is indicative of internal swelling and possible bleeding, as the limited range of motion (which is usually accompanied by pain) means there is a severe stricture around the limited muscle tissue.
A feeling of instability, as if the knee might give out; this may indicate a ligament injury, since the ligaments provides stability and support the joint. If these ligaments are stretched or even torn, instability is the first effect of this.
Inability to rest weight on a leg is an indication of a serious injury, and should be brought to the doctors attention at once.
If there is any look of deformityin other words, the knees do not look alike, but one may be sloped or even lopsidedthis is a possible fracture or even a dislocated kneecap.
If an otherwise healthy and active child has a knee injury and complains of the pain hours later, he should have a check up to rule out the possibility of Osgood-Schlatter disease, a knee deformity in youngsters.
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If any of these conditions are manifest, the question becomes: how to find a good doctor for knee treatment or possible surgery?
Usually, the family physician (or emergency room physician if the pain makes such a visit necessary) can recommend a specialist in knee treatments and surgery. Chances are excellent that there is one on call in the hospital where the family physician works, and a referral is a simple matter.
If there is no family physician, and the patient doesnt want to bother with an office visit, one should contact (by phone or internet link) the medical association of the state; all states maintain an AMAA (American Medical Association of America) file with the names of specialists and qualified knee treatment doctors in the patients immediate area. If theres already a recommendation from the family physician, the AMAA website is an excellent place to check that individuals record and credentials.
The AMAA website, under knee specialists, will also list complaints, infractions or reprimands pending against physicians in the state, a good filter for finding specialists to stay away from.
The local hospital also maintains a website for knee specialists, usually listed under orthopedic surgery (since many of their specialties extend to knee surgery and knee replacement). Also, there are numerous websites for consumers to consult where recent patient discuss their experiences with knee injuries and treatments, as well as knee surgery patients in recovery who share their stores online.
Once the patient has a recommendation, after checking the individual with the state licensing bureau or medical society, one can schedule an appointment with some confidence, knowing one has found the best kneedoctor available, and start on the road to recovery from joint pain and knee injuries.