Causes and Treatments for Knee and Hip Joint Pain
Knee and hip pain are common complaints and can arise from a variety of different causes. You could have muscle, ligament or tendon problems that are the source of your pain or you could be suffering from any one of a multitude of diseases or conditions that cause joint pain. Knee pain is quite common and can have many causes. Some of the most common causes are sprained ligaments, tendonitis, cartilage tears, overuse injuries, underlying conditions such as arthritis and mechanical problems.
When should I see a doctor?
If you experience pain from a traumatic injury you should seek immediate medical attention. You should see a doctor if your pain is accompanied by deformed joints, you are unable to walk or move your leg or cannot bear weight on your injured leg. When low to moderate levels of pain persists longer than a week and self care remedies including rest, over the counter pain relievers, ice or heat do not improve your condition you should contact your doctor.
What can I expect?
Excluding a traumatic injury that caused you to visit and emergency room, you would normally start with your family doctor in order to rule out other causes of any joint pain. This visit would include some questions about your level of physical activity, pain levels, types of medications you are taking, if there was a triggering event that caused your pain and how long you have been experiencing discomfort. Your doctor would most likely conduct a physical examination, check your range of motion, and may order some imaging studies which could include: X-rays, a CT Scan, MRI or ultrasound. Based on your family doctor’s diagnosis, you may be referred to an orthopedic surgeon for further evaluation and treatment. An orthopedic surgeon is a medical doctor specifically trained in surgical and non-surgical treatment of diseases and disorders of the muscles and bones.
What if I need joint replacement surgery?
Knee and hip joint replacement is performed primarily for pain management when arthritis and joint degeneration becomes so severe that normal mobility and daily life activities are severely impaired by pain. Joint replacement is major surgery and the decision to have your knee joint replaced should be made only after careful consideration and discussion with your medical providers and orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon will perform your surgery and remove the diseased or damaged joint and replace it with an artificial joint.
Once the decision is made to have joint replacement surgery you will encounter an enormous amount of new and potentially confusing information from a number of sources including; websites, social media, television commercials, friends who have experienced joint replacement surgery and even your own research. Because of the potential confusion, you will be provided with a joint replacement book from our Joint Center that specifically addresses your questions and provides you with information about your upcoming procedure. You will also be enrolled in a joint replacement class where you will participate in a presentation and be able to ask questions about your procedure, hospital stay, therapy and post surgery lifestyle.