When to See a Doctor for Knee Pain

When to See a Doctor for Knee Pain
Find out the most common causes of knee pain, when your pain may be manageable at home, and when to see a knee doctor.

Knee pain is one of the top medical complaints from people of all ages. Depending on your age, overall health, and lifestyle, your knee pain may have been caused by an injury or underlying medical condition. Oftentimes, minor knee pain can be soothed and healed by self-care, such as applying a cold compress, avoiding long walks or stairs, and generally resting your knee until the pain subsides. However, more serious causes of knee pain may require physical therapy, a knee brace, or even surgery.

Pain Behind Knee

If your knee pain feels like it’s coming from behind your knee or the back of your knee, it may be a sign of muscle strain or arthritis. Pay attention to your symptoms. Blood clots, numbness, tingling, weakness, and swelling are all signs that you should go to the ER for an evaluation, especially if they are accompanied with a fever or redness. In addition, if you’ve experienced major trauma, such as a fall or accident of any kind, a trip to the ER may be in your best interest.

The most common types of knee injuries and medical conditions that cause behind the knee pain are:

  • Meniscus Tear
  • Arthritis
  • Gout (Inflammatory Arthritis)
  • Baker’s Cyst
  • Calf Strain or Cramp
  • Hamstring Strain or Cramp
  • Jumper’s Knee
  • Torn ACL
  • Torn MCL
  • Other Ligament Injuries

You are more likely to experience a tear or strain if you live an active lifestyle, but it is ultimately possible for anyone to be affected by a knee injury or associated medical condition.

Inner Knee Pain

Similar to pain behind the knee, inner knee pain is commonly associated with an injury, such as a fall, sports injury, or increase in activity. However, pain in this part of your knee is typically the result of cartilage deteriorating, so it is not uncommon for inner knee pain to be caused by a degenerative disease, such as arthritis.

Inner knee pain is most often caused by:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • MCL Injury
  • Medial Meniscus Injury
  • Pes Anserine Bursitis
  • Medial Plica Irritation
  • Knee Contusion

Minor knees injuries are common and may be treatable at home with rest, ice, and elevation. If you have a knee brace from a previous injury, it may be wise to wear it until the pain subsides or you visit a doctor for a new assessment.

Knee Doctor

All causes of behind the knee pain, inner knee pain, and general knee pain that involve severe pain or pain lasting for more than a few days warrant a trip to the doctor for a full evaluation and proper diagnosis for medical treatment. If you experience severe pain after a traumatic event, such as an accident or fall, you should visit the emergency room for immediate treatment. Otherwise, contact your local AAA Physicians group to schedule an appointment for the friendly and compassionate care you need to return to the pain-free life you deserve.