thomas-a-barrett-mdBy: Thomas A. Barrett, M.D.
Shore Orthopaedic University Associates

Recognizing a knee problem can occur at anytime. Arthritic knee problems may be related to previous injury, demands placed on it over a lifetime, or a family predisposition.

When to seek help is usually prompted by either severe pain or just that nagging ache that won’t resolve. There are a number of ‘over-the-counter’ remedies that most of us try at some point. Taking time out for a doctor appointment is saved for when other options don’t seem to make much headway toward resolving the problem.

Arthritic pain can become more than an annoyance for some. Giving up activities or declining invitations because the knee won’t “make it” are common concerns. In the worst cases even a good night’s sleep can be difficult.

When To See A Doctor?
If you are suffering from…

  • Prolonged joint pain
  • Joint swelling
  • Redness or warmth about the joint
  • Loss of sleep due to pain
  • Pain after a period of rest
  • Diminishing motion or progressive limp
  • Limitation of normal activities
  • Inability to participate as desired due to pain
  • Multiple episodes of pain during a month

Many conditions can cause or contribute to joint pain and many treatments exist.

Options for treating arthritic knee pain begin with a diagnosis and a conversation about what particular problems any one person is experiencing. Non-operative management can be successful and are always part of a plan of treatment.

There may come a time when conservative treatment is no longer helping and the conversation changes to other options.

Knee replacement surgery is a part of a treatment plan. The timing of when it is appropriate has a number of components.

  1. Any person undergoing a knee replacement needs to need it. (seems logical enough….but this includes excluding other potential causes of pain and a conservative trial)
  2. Any person having an elective surgery has to be healthy enough to undergo the procedure. (This reassurance is obtained by having a primary care provider/specialist assist in a pre-op evaluation)
  3. Any person having their knee reconstructed has to actively participating on their own recovery.

Surgical techniques that spare cutting the quadriceps tendon and working under the muscle speed up the recovery and have people walking the day of surgery.

It’s best not to ignore persistent symptoms or pain. Being evaluated by an orthopaedic surgeon will provide you with the correct course of treatment, preventing an issue from becoming even more severe.

Why you shouldn’t wait
you may experience …..

Unknowingly worsening your situation
Continued restriction of motion and limitations of activities
Ongoing pain with uncertainty of the real source of the pain
Deconditioning or muscle atrophy
Even isolation, in more severe cases

The Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeons at Shore Orthopaedic University Associates are experts in diagnosing musculoskeletal disorders, identifying and treating injuries, providing rehabilitation to an affected area and establishing a prevention protocol to inhibit further damage to a diseased area or component of the musculoskeletal system.

For More Information About Joint Pain, Please Visit:

Contact Us To Schedule A One-On-One Physician Consultation (609) 927-1991
Somers Point |Galloway | Cape May Court House

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