The knee is one of the body’s largest joints and damage to it can have profound impacts on one’s quality of life. Taking an active role and engaging in open dialogue with your doctor about your questions and concerns for your knee is important to resolve your discomfort and manage your long-term health.
Knowing what to ask your doctor can sometimes be overwhelming so here are some questions you should consider asking if you are suffering from knee pain:
- What is causing my knee pain?
Knee pain can often be attributed to an injury such as an ACL or meniscus tear during physical activity. Recognizing what injury you have with your physician is essential to ensure that the right treatments are considered. However, not all knee pain is due to an injury as it can sometimes be caused by age or repeated stress on the joint. Because there are many different causes of knee pain, it is necessary to discuss with your doctor what cause is specific to you.
- What does my knee pain mean?
Once you are able to identify the cause of your knee pain, you may want to know what this means for your knee in the short and long term. Depending on the location and severity of your knee pain, your treatment recommendations and recovery period will vary. Asking your doctor now will prepare you for your healing and recovery journey ahead.
- What can I do for my knee pain?
Apart from surgical or non-surgical treatment, there are steps that you can take after an injury to help relieve some of your knee pain. Physicians usually recommend a combination of intervention methods such as rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Taking all of these steps should reduce pain and swelling, as well as help to heal your injury.
- Are there any non-surgical treatments recommended?
Not all knee pain and injuries can be self-treated and not all require surgical intervention. Alternative non-surgical treatments should always be explored first with your physician. Depending on the severity of your injury or pain, your doctor may recommend bracing for external stability, injections directly at the site of injury to aid with pain and inflammation, or physical therapy.
- What should I avoid during treatment?
During treatment, your main focus should be to heal so you can return to your normal healthy life as soon as possible. This is why you should discuss with your doctor what activities, foods, and drinks may delay or inhibit this healing process.
- When should I consider knee surgery?
You and your physician's goal is to reduce and relieve your knee pain so you can return to a happy and active lifestyle. If you have explored all non-surgical options and still find that your knee pain is persistent, you may want to discuss the possibility of surgical intervention with your doctor.
- What lifestyle changes will prevent future knee injury?
After recovery, patients are often eager to get back on their feet but it is important to take precautions to avoid any further injury. Ask your doctor what exercises and activities you can do that would minimize stress on your knee while still allowing maximum mobility.
Educated patients are the happiest and healthiest patients. Knee pain can lead to an abundance of questions and concerns that your orthopedic physician is there to answer. Thus, having an open and honest conversation with your doctor about these concerns is vital to ensure the fastest path to recovery is taken.
If you are suffering from knee pain, schedule a consultation with Dr. Ramesh Chandra to learn more about your options today.
Dr. Ramesh Chandra has been practicing orthopedic surgery in the Washington DC Metropolitan area since 1984. The Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is easily accessed from anywhere in the Washington DC metropolitan area, with offices located in Falls Church, Reston/Herndon, and Tysons Corner. Please call (703) 848-0800 or click here to request an appointment online for all appointments and inquiries.