Severe knee pain is one of the most widespread and debilitative musculoskeletal problems that older Americans endure. In fact, knee pain is the second most common cause of the chronic pain faced by 100 million people around the country. However, knee pain does not have one single cause.
Knee pain has many potential origins including acute injury, arthritis, overuse, and infection. A general doctor may struggle to give you a proper diagnosis, which is why it’s so important to see an orthopedic specialist to diagnose and treat your knee pain.
Your orthopedic doctor should use specific imaging tests to determine the root cause of your knee pain:
- X-ray detects bone fractures and degenerative joint diseases like arthritis
- CT scan combines X-rays from many different angles to create a cross-sectional image of your knee and detect potential bone problems
- Ultrasound testing uses sound waves to create real-time images of soft tissues within and around the knee; your doctor will ask you to move your knee around to evaluate the tissue is different positions
- MRI uses radio waves to create 3D images of your knee that can reveal soft tissue injuries to the ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and muscles
Potential Causes of Pain
Knee pain has many potential root causes. Arthritis, which exists in more than 100 different forms, is the most common cause of knee pain. The most common cause of joint pain is osteoarthritis, which occurs when gradual wear and tear erodes smooth cartilage. This in turn minimizes the soft, protective cushion meant to prevent bone-on-bone rubbing. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease that leads to uncontrolled inflammation in the joint area.
Injuries like an ACL tear, knee bursitis, torn meniscus, tendonitis, or fracture can also lead to chronic knee pain. Each musculoskeletal injury emerges from inflammation and trauma, but they can be healed with proper treatment or surgery.
Find a Qualified Orthopedic Surgeon in Florida
In order to receive an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis for your knee pain, you need to turn to a leading provider of orthopedic and sports medical care. Call (941) 485-1505 to make an appointment at Suncoast Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine in Sarasota, Florida.