Know When to Seek Professional Treatment
The first step in successfully taking care of any injury or health concern is understanding when you can take action on your own, and when it is time to seek professional help.
When it comes to knee injuries and pain, you should be aware of signs indicating that the condition requires advanced orthopedic care, like the kind you can find at our Sacramento practice. These signs include:
Your knee “gave out.” Any sudden, forceful change in direction or jump that lands the wrong way could potentially twist your knee, causing injury. A knee that buckles in response to these kinds of movements is an indication of joint instability – something our team can assist in addressing to reduce your risk for further damage.
You heard a loud pop at the time of injury. Loud popping noises in conjunction with injury is often an indication of a torn connective tissue. In this case, it is likely one of the ligaments supporting the knee joint.
Your knee visually appears different than normal. If the nature of the injury was a fall, or your knee was hit with a great amount of force, your kneecap could potentially be fractured or dislocated. Injuries like these can affect the appearance of the knee. Be sure to seek orthopedic care at the earliest possibility.
You feel extreme pain when you try to walk. Some pain after injury is to be expected. Severe knee pain from just walking, however, is an indication of a serious problem.
Your knee starts to severely swell within hours after injury. You can expect a certain degree of swelling following many physical injuries. If this is excessive—and especially if it’s to the point you cannot bend the swollen knee or you feel as though there is water on it—there is a chance you have either an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear or fracture.
You cannot straighten your knee. Whether as a result of excessive swelling or any other root cause, being unable to straighten an injured knee is a sign of a serious injury requiring professional treatment.
You can specifically pinpoint the location of your knee pain. While milder injuries such as strains or sprains can cause pain and tenderness in the entire area, something like a meniscus tear will typically result in pain in a specific location. With regards to fractures, there may be radiating pain across the entire knee, but the area of the fracture tends to be especially tender to the touch.