How to Find the Best Knee Injury Doctor? According to Pain Management Physician
Knee pain and knee injury can affect people of all ages. You may suffer from chronic knee pain because of an underlying condition or you may suffer knee injury because of direct impact.
If you suffer from a chronic condition, it may originate from your knee joint, kneecap, knee cartilage, tendons, ligaments, or bursa sacs. Chronic knee pain can lead to symptoms like swelling, stiffness, redness and warmth, general weakness of knees, popping and crunching sounds, or inability to straighten the knees.
All of these are signs that you’re suffering from a knee injury or chronic knee pain and need to see an orthopedic surgeon or pain specialist.
However, not all pain specialists are the same. Some of them treat the underlying root cause of chronic knee pain while others merely help deal with the pain. In this article, we discuss how to find the best knee injury doctor and the best treatments for chronic knee pain.
Interventional Pain Specialists
There are three broad categories of pain doctors out there — palliative specialists, interventional pain specialists, and chronic pain specialists.
When finding a doctor, you should look exclusively for interventional pain specialists. They are pain specialists who have been specifically trained to run diagnostic tests to detect the root cause of your chronic pain and treat it with minimally invasive procedures like epidural injections, facet blocks, or ablations.
You should completely avoid doctors who either recommend surgical treatments or those who offer steroids or opioids. Surgeries are unnecessary because minimally invasive procedures are more effective and safer. Opioids don’t treat the underlying root cause of pain and only offer temporary relief — which can eventually lead to addiction.
As such, you should focus specifically on interventional pain specialists.
Board certification isn’t necessary to become an interventional pain specialist. In fact, there are plenty of great pain doctors who don’t aren’t board certified.
So why should you look at board certification?
Well, to get board-certified, pain doctors have to complete their residency, fellowship, and they need to accomplish other professional milestones that establish them as some of the most skilled and experienced doctors in their field.
As such, board certification serves as a guarantee that the pain doctor is reliable.
Ivy League Educational Background
Similarly to board certification, a pain doctor’s educational background helps you filter out the best pain specialists. Pain specialists who graduate from Ivy League medical schools are known for their expertise and make for some of the best doctors in the world. So you can rely on them for treatment.
Friendly Attitude and Track Record
You should also gauge the pain specialist’s attitude.
Are they friendly? Are they compassionate? Are they patient?
Pain specialists who patiently study your symptoms and discuss your goals are far more likely to avoid the side effects of treatments. They can also help you feel comfortable during the treatment, which is incredibly important.
You should also go through the pain specialist’s track record to see what their previous patients have to say about them.
Diagnosing the Root Cause of Chronic Knee Pain
The best knee injury doctor will carefully diagnose the root cause of chronic knee pain before proceeding with treatment.
Pain specialists identify the root cause of knee pain via a series of physical examinations, laboratory blood tests, and screening tests like MRIs, CT scans, X-Rays, and Ultrasound scans. These tests help them identify the root cause of your chronic condition.
Knee injury generally occurs because of the following conditions:
- Tears in the ligaments.
- Fractures in the kneecap or knee joint.
- Tearing of the knee cartilage.
Chronic knee pain may occur because of the following underlying conditions.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is a degenerative disease that affects the knee joint. The cartilage covering the ends of the joints gradually disintegrates so your bones glide against each other, creating friction.
- Patellofemoral Pаіn Syndrome: This a condition that affects athletes and it occurs due to overexertion when the cartilage under your kneecap wears away.
- Patellofemoral Tendinitis: An inflammation or injury of the раtеllаr tеndоn, which connects the kneecap to the shinbone.
- Patellofemoral Bursitis: An inflammation of the bursa sacs near your knee joint, which are usually responsible for facilitating smooth movement between your joints.
- Iliotibial Band Sуndrоmе: An inflammation of the Iliotibial bаnd of tissues.
- Chondromalacia Patella: Gradual degeneration of the cartilage under the kneecap.
Chronic Knee Pain Treatments
Once the knee pain doctor identifies the root cause of knee pain, they can proceed to the chronic knee pain treatment. The following are the different types of treatment available:
- RICE: This is a simple home treatment in which you have to rest your injured knee, apply an ice pack to reduce swelling, wrap an ACE bandage for compression, and elevate it.
- Physical Therapists: If the knee pain persists, the doctor may recommend physical therapists who can help you regain mobility in your knees through exercises.
- Corticosteroids: This is the injection of anti-inflammatory cortisone medication into the epidural space in your knees to reduce inflammation.
- Viscosupplementation: This is the injection of hyaluronic acid into the knee joint to supplement the naturally-occurring shock-absorbent hyaluronic fluid in your knees. This is suitable if you’re suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, which may lead to a hyaluronic fluid deficiency.
- Genicular Nerve Block: The injection of local anesthetic into the genicular nerves to prevent the transmission of pain signals to the brain.
- Genicular Nerve Radiofrequency Ablation: Heat energy is used to remove the genicular nerves causing the pain sensations, thus providing instant relief for a long period.
Finding a Doctor for Knee Injury
Pain Treatment Specialists has some of the best knee injury and chronic knee pain doctors who examine the root cause of your chronic condition and treat it using minimally invasive procedures. For more information, please schedule your knee pain appointment today.