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Knee Pain Overview

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When to Call the Doctor for Knee Pain

When you are deciding whether to call the doctor about your knee pain, a good rule of thumb exists for most long-term knee injuries. If your symptoms have not gone away after trying a week of PRICE therapy and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain meds, you should set up an appointment with your doctor or a sports medicine or orthopaedic (bone and muscle) specialist to further evaluate the pain. This rule can also be applied to new knee injuries that are not disabling. Remember, however, that this rule should only serve as a guide. If you are concerned about the pain, you should call the doctor.

When to Go to the Hospital for Knee Pain

If you cannot put weight on your knee, you should consider going to the ER to be evaluated by a doctor because of the possibility of a fracture.

  • Many fractures may require immobilization in a specific position or surgery.
  • Putting off seeing a doctor may hinder healing.

Other signs and symptoms that demand emergency evaluation:

  • Fever (which may indicate infection)
  • Unbearable pain
  • Drainage
  • Large wounds
  • Puncture wounds

Swelling, if you are on a blood thinner (warfarin or Coumadin) or have a bleeding disorder (such as hemophilia)

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