Many people who injure their knee may think twice before going to an orthopedic doctor for treatment, especially if the symptoms are bearable. However, having your knee evaluated by a knee doctor can put all your worries to rest. A comprehensive evaluation will reveal the extent of your injury, and the doctor will be able to prescribe the appropriate treatment. Before attempting to self-treat a knee injury, talk to a doctor.
Your knees are very important joints. Making sure they get the best care and treatment ensures you can enjoy a physically active lifestyle for as long as possible. Below are symptoms of a serious knee injury. If you experience such symptoms, it’s time to see an orthopedic doctor.
Pain is your body’s way of signaling that something is wrong. Severe pain can make it difficult for you to think of anything else or even fall asleep. It can disrupt your routine, prevent you from being active or getting specific tasks done, and even cause you mental distress that takes away from your qualify of life and peace of mind. Severe pain is often a sign that significant injury or damage has occurred in the area. For the knee, it could mean a ligament or meniscus tear has happened or that the joint has deteriorated.
Swelling typically indicates an injury to knee cartilage or ligament. Minimal swelling may be reduced by applying ice to the area. Excessive swelling, where one knee appears to be significantly larger than the other, needs to be checked by an orthopedic specialist. You could have injured a major ligament such as the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which is critical for stability. Excessive or prolonged swelling should never be ignored.
Knee deformity could be due to a dislocation of the kneecap, where it comes out of its groove at the end of the femur and makes the knee look deformed. It can also be difficult to extend the leg and move the knee in both directions. A dislocated kneecap can be put back in place by an orthopedic doctor.
An Audible Pop
One of the hallmark signs of an ACL, PCL, or MCL injury is hearing a popping sound during the incident. The popping sound maybe the sound of the ligament or cartilage tearing. Loose pieces of cartilage may cause the knee to lock and make crunching noises.
Inability to Bear Weight
If standing on the affected knee causes severe pain or the knee to buckle, it is likely a knee ligament injury. Weakness and instability are not symptoms of a minor knee injury.
All the symptoms mentioned above are not typical symptoms of a knee sprain or any other minor injury. Knee ligament injuries are graded by a doctor according to severity. While prompt first aid treatment of a knee injury can help reduce pain and swelling (the RICE method of rest, ice, compression, and elevation is helpful), evaluation by an orthopedic doctor is still necessary. Knee ligament and meniscus injuries require rehabilitation therapy to restore knee function.
Orthopedic Doctor in San Antonio, TX
Our knee doctors at the Center for Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine can evaluate your injury, determine the extent of the damage, and recommend proper treatment to ensure complete healing. With poorly treated knee injuries, symptoms can become chronic and prevent you from participating in sports. Our orthopaedic doctors can treat the full range of knee injuries, from knee sprains to ligament tears. To make an appointment with any of our orthopaedic doctors, call (210) 692-7400, or use our online request form.