How to Diagnose a Knee Injury

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A knee injury can result in pain, swelling, and difficulty in bending and straightening the leg. You may feel a lack of confidence and are unsure of how to proceed. A primary care physician or sports medicine doctor can evaluate your knee and make a diagnosis, or refer you to an orthopedic surgeon. Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment may include a brace or cast to immobilize the knee, crutches to prevent weight bearing, or physical therapy to strengthen leg muscles.

Depending on the nature of the knee injury, the first evaluation will focus on the mechanism of injury. If the injury was direct, the physician may suspect a fracture or contusion. A twisting injury may cause a tear in the meniscus or cartilage. The ligaments in the knee may also be damaged due to a planted foot. The type of ligament injury will depend on the nature of the knee pain and the severity of the pain.

X-rays are the most common test used to diagnose knee injuries. During this test, your physician will be able to see whether there is fluid around the joint, which may indicate a sprain. These images may also reveal loose pieces of bone, which could be causing pain. They can also show whether the knee is out of alignment. Ultrasounds are used by doctors at NYU Langone to evaluate soft tissue injuries and can often produce clearer pictures than X-rays.

The initial evaluation of a knee injury will also involve a physical examination. Your physician will ask about the mechanism of your injury, which can help identify the damaged structures in the knee. If you sustained a direct blow, the injury is likely to have been caused by a fracture or a contusion. A twisting injury may have impacted the cartilage and meniscus. If you’ve planted a foot and have experienced pain and swelling, a fracture or a contusion, then your physician may need to examine your foot and identify the source of your pain.

A physical examination is the most effective way to diagnose a knee injury. However, it is important to note that a doctor can treat any type of knee injury. A doctor can also recommend a steroid medication if necessary. A patient should discuss the symptoms and treatment options with a doctor to avoid further complications. If the pain persists, your physician may recommend surgery to alleviate symptoms. In severe cases, surgery might be necessary to relieve the pain.

A physician will evaluate the severity of a knee injury and recommend the most appropriate course of treatment. A doctor will first look at the location of the injury and then look for any signs of inflammation or swelling in the affected area. A grade II injury is usually more serious and will result in additional bruising and swelling. If your doctor finds a grade II injury, you should seek treatment as soon as possible. This will be more beneficial for your recovery than a Grade I knee injury.

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