Knee pain is a relatively common occurrence, which is why people often treat it as if it were no big deal. You can develop knee pain from playing sports or from exercising, and you will likely assume it will go away on its own.
After all, if the knee pain is the result of a minor sports injury or overuse, you can easily treat it using the R.I.C.E. method – rest, ice, compression, and elevation of the knee area. You can also take low-dose, over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) to ease the pain and reduce any swelling while you’re recovering.
How to Evaluate Knee Pain
If the pain doesn’t subside or your knee injury isn’t healing, there may be several reasons why:
- You underestimated the severity of your injury. When you first injured your knee, you may have felt some pain and thought you could just “shake it off.” However, if you did not rest the knee from exercise or strenuous activity, the injury could have become worse. You could have a hairline fracture or a torn ligament that has gone undetected and untreated, and it may have healed improperly.
- You haven’t given the knee enough time to recover. Typically, a mild soft-tissue injury such as a stretched or partially torn ligament, tendon, or muscle takes at least two weeks to heal enough for you to tolerate high-level activity. If you return to normal activity too soon after a knee injury, it can exacerbate the pain and cause more tissue damage.
- You didn’t follow the proper treatment steps. Simply resting your knee for a few hours or applying ice to the painful area may temporarily provide some relief, but it won’t necessarily allow the injury to heal. Your doctor may have recommended that you follow the R.I.C.E. method for at least several days to hasten recovery, and you may have grown impatient and stopped following protocol for healing.
What Can I Do About Knee Arthritis?
Aside from a traumatic injury to the knee, you may be suffering from a chronic condition like osteoarthritis. This inflammation occurs due to loss of cartilage in your knee joint due to wear and tear of the cartilage, so the bones in the joint are rubbing against each other and causing pain. If the knee pain persists, your condition needs to be evaluated by an orthopedic doctor as soon as possible.
Orthopedic Doctors in Central Maryland
Depending on the severity of your knee pain or disability, your orthopedist may recommend physical therapy, pain-relief injections, or minimally invasive knee replacement surgery if conservative options are no longer working. Orthopedic surgical procedures can now often be performed on an outpatient basis, so recovery is quicker than ever before.
The experienced team of board-certified physicians at the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland can promptly diagnose the cause of your knee pain and offer treatment that works for you.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (410) 644-1880 or (855) 4MD-BONE (463-2663), or fill out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We look forward to hearing from you and helping relieve your pain.