If you’re an active person, you probably experience knee pain from time to time. We all have days where we overdo it, and our knees ache a little later. Or maybe you twisted your knee during practice and now it’s sore afterward.
The question is when should you go to a doctor for knee pain? It can be hard to know what’s serious enough to warrant medical attention and what will resolve on its own. Read on to learn about what symptoms indicate that a knee injury is serious.
Reduced Range of Motion
One of the big signs that you may have a serious knee injury is if you have a reduced range of motion. This may indicate swelling inside the joint, as well as more serious issues. If your knee is locking – if you are unable to move the joint – that could indicate a meniscus tear.
You can test your range of motion by paying attention to your function in everyday life. Watch whether you can put full weight on the knee, walk normally, go up and down stairs, and sit and stand as usual. If you have any difficulty with these activities for more than 48 hours, seek out a doctor.
Extended Pain or Swelling
It’s not uncommon to have some pain or swelling in a joint right after an injury. Knees, unlike most of the rest of the body, are not covered by muscle. So whereas in other areas you may have normal soreness for some time after an injury, continuing pain in your knee can indicate a problem.
If you have pain deep in your knee for more than 48 hours, it can indicate a torn meniscus. Swelling can also indicate some tendon injury and may be accompanied by clicking as the tendons pop over one another. Extended swelling, especially if the knee looks deformed or misaligned, can indicate a dislocation.
Loss of Stability
Sometimes a knee injury may not be accompanied by any pain at all. With injuries like an ACL tear, you may just lose stability in your knee. The ACL, MCL, and PCL all help stabilize your knee, and if there is already tearing there, you may not experience any significant pain when they tear.
Your knee is unstable can risk damage to other surrounding cartilage, so don’t let it go. If your knee goes out from under you or twists, especially during athletic activity, please see your doctor.
Get Treatment for Knee Pain
You don’t want to let knee pain go on for too long untreated. Serious knee injuries only get worse over time. Waiting can mean you go from having to wear a brace for a few weeks to needing to have surgery.
If you’re experiencing knee pain as a result of a knee injury, reach out to us at Carolinas Regenerative Medicine. We offer several services to help patients heal. Contact us today to get started on your journey to a pain-free life.