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  • Writer's pictureDr. Terrell Joseph

Do I Need Knee Surgery For My Knee Pain?

Whether your knee pain is a chronic, long-term issue or flares up after activity, knee pain is a symptom that should never be ignored or overlooked. In many cases, knee pain could be a warning sign of a more serious condition that could worsen over time.

Here’s a breakdown of some knee conditions that could be causing your knee pain and when to discuss surgery with your orthopaedic physician.

Is Knee Pain a Symptom of a Serious Injury?

Knee pain could be the result of the following:

  • Traumatic Injury: These typically occur as a result of sports or high-impact activity. Knee dislocations and tibia fractures are just a few examples of traumatic knee injuries that can have lasting damage if not treated immediately.

  • Overuse: Running, biking, and hiking are all popular activities in our mountain community. Unfortunately, frequent participation in these activities can cause repetitive and excessive strain on the knee joint. Knee pain caused by overuse will appear gradually during activity and then become consistent throughout the day.

  • Ligament Tear: Knee pain could be the result of a torn ligament. Some knee ligament injuries, such as an ACL tear, are immediately apparent while others, like a meniscus tear or knee bursitis, cause less severe knee pain. There are different types of ligament tears, and all require proper diagnosis and treatment to heal correctly.

  • Arthritis: There are a hundred different types of arthritis. All of them are more likely to impact the knee and cause knee pain. Osteoarthritis along with rheumatoid arthritis are the most common and debilitating.

Knee pain will vary in severity depending on the extent of your knee injury or condition. Knee pain can be broken down into four categories:

  1. Knee pain after physical activity

  2. Knee pain that occurs during activity but does not impact your performance

  3. Knee pain during activity that does impact your performance

  4. Severe, persistent knee pain that is debilitating, even while your knee is at rest

If caught and treated early enough, minor knee pain can respond well to conservative, at-home treatment (such as rest and ice). However, if ignored and left untreated, your knee pain can have long-term consequences.

When Does Knee Pain Require Surgery?

Any prolonged knee pain (even minor knee pain) should be brought to the attention of an orthopaedic knee specialist, such as Dr. Joseph at Vail-Summit Orthopaedics. Knee pain that is accompanied by additional symptoms should also be immediately addressed. These additional symptoms include:

  • Swelling

  • Redness

  • Area around the knee is warm to the touch

  • Popping sensation

  • Crunching noise

  • Impacted range of motion

  • Deformity

  • Inability to bear weight

  • Knee instability

After diagnosing the issue behind your knee pain, Dr. Joseph will assess whether your knee can benefit from surgery. Whether or not your knee pain requires surgery usually depends on a few different factors:

  1. Is your knee pain persistent?

  2. Is your knee pain impacting your day-to-day movements?

  3. Is your knee pain preventing you from bearing weight?

  4. Is your knee joint unstable?

  5. Are nonsurgical methods unsuccessful?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you may be a candidate for knee surgery.

Whatever the reason for your knee pain, Dr. Joseph will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that gets you back to your active lifestyle quickly and safely.

Schedule an Appointment With the Best Knee Surgeon in Vail

Contact Dr. Joseph and his team today to diagnose and treat your knee pain!

With years of experience and training devoted to the orthopaedic knee care, Dr. Joseph is an experienced expert in accurately diagnosing and effectively treating the cause of your knee pain.

Request a consultation today through our online platform or by calling (970) 426-7220.

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