We all deal with aches and pains fairly often, especially as we get older or live an active lifestyle.
When minor aches and pains occur, you probably don’t think twice about it, and avoid the doctor and let nature run its course.
Sometimes this is okay, and the pain goes away.
But, sometimes, the pain doesn’t go away, or it stays around a lot longer than it should.
Just about every person alive will experience knee pain at some point in their lives, but read on if you are wondering how do you know if my knee pain is serious?
Whether it’s a sports injury, exercise injury, an accident injury, or an injury from performing routine tasks, you could have something minor that will go away, or something serious like muscle strains, tendinitis, and more severe injuries to ligaments and cartilage.
Check out a related blog: What causes knee pain without an injury
The severity of your injury and knee pain can vary wildly and depend on several factors, such as what caused the injury and your age.
For some people, knee pain will be so severe that it will limit their daily activities.
For others, it’s just a mild inconvenience.
There are several common knee injuries and common causes of serious knee pain to worry about.
In the article below, we will discuss several instances where your knee pain is serious and a cause for concern.
- You Have Swelling On Your Knee
- Your Knee Is Locked And Can’t Be Straightened
- You Notice A Deformity
- Your Knee Is Unstable, or It Pops
- You Have Greater Than Normal Range of Motion
- You Have Difficulty Walking
- You Can’t Put Weight On Your Knee
- If my knee pain is serious what next? Ethos Health Group can help!
You Have Swelling On Your Knee
Perhaps the most obvious sign that you’ve suffered a knee injury is excessive swelling that you can see and feel.
Swelling is typically an indicator of a cartilage or ligament injury to your knee.
The amount of swelling you need to have to be considered severe is up for debate.
Just a small amount of swelling may not be a cause for concern. It’s extreme swelling that you really need to worry about.
Extreme swelling is when one knee is obviously a great deal bigger than the other. This could be a sign of an ACL or a patella dislocation with a little piece of bone knocked off.
These injuries are severe and should be checked out as soon as possible.
Small amounts of swelling, though, are actually good for you.
Pain and swelling are an adaptive body response.
When an injury causes swelling, the pain and stiffness will prevent you from using your knee, keeping it safe so it can heal.
In addition to how much your knee is swollen, you should pay attention to how much it swells.
If your knee slowly swells, it might not be much of a concern.
However, if your knee goes from normal to the size of a softball in no time, it’s likely your knee pain is serious.
Your Knee Is Locked And Can’t Be Straightened
If you have pain in your knee and can’t completely straighten your leg, you might have a locked knee.
That just means that your knee can’t fully straighten.
There are many reasons this can occur, such as swelling and inflammation, keeping you from fully straightening your knee.
It can also be caused by a meniscus tear that has flipped into the middle of the joint and caused mechanical locking.
Sometimes it can also be very painful to bend your knee, with a sharp pain occurring every time.
The most common cause of pain from a locked knee is a unique tear in the meniscus called a bucket handle tear which would indicate your knee pain is serious.
Bucket handle tears are serious and often require surgery.
In a bucket handle tear, a large piece of the meniscus tears flips over and gets stuck in the middle of your knee joint.
Several different types of meniscus tears can occur that can cause your knee to lock. These types of tears also need to be identified early on.
You Notice A Deformity
If your knee starts hurting and you notice it bulging outward like it never has before, start paying close attention to it.
You could have a dislocated or fractured patella (kneecap).
Some deformities can occur over time, but when a deformity is the result of an injury, it could be the result of a fracture or regular wear on your knee joint.
Your Knee Is Unstable, or It Pops
If you have pain in your knee and it feels unstable, or you heard it pop, you may have an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear or a dislocated knee cap.
These injuries typically occur when you twist your knee.
These are often the non-contact knee injuries you see many athletes sustain.
Knee cap dislocations are more common than most people think.
Most of the time, a dislocated knee cap will go back into place, but if it remains dislocated, your knee will start looking strange.
Surgery to repair the patella ligaments usually isn’t necessary for your first dislocation.
Anytime you hear a loud pop in your knee accompanied by pain, there is a strong chance your knee pain is serious and you should see a doctor for medical advice.
You Have Greater Than Normal Range of Motion
If you have knee pain and it seems like the range of motion in your knee is higher than usual, something might be out of place or injured.
This is called joint instability.
It could feel like your knee may buckle or fold any time you walk, twist it, or put any weight on it.
Joint instability can worsen your knee after it’s been injured.
Other injuries cause joint instability.
Hypermobility can also occur when your knee cap is dislocated.
As we’ve mentioned before, a dislocated knee cap can pop back into place, and it isn’t always a serious injury.
If a knee cap dislocation is accompanied by swelling, it could be a sign that a piece of cartilage or bone got knocked out of place.
If your knee ever feels loose causing pain, most likely your knee pain is serious and you may need to see a doctor.
You Have Difficulty Walking
It’s fairly obvious that many knee injuries can make it hard and very painful to walk.
If your pain is from a severe knee injury, it can be next to impossible to walk.
You will often need to be helped around the house or use crutches.
If your pain is to the point where you can’t get around the house anymore, it is definitely serious, and it should be evaluated as soon as possible.
X-rays will be useful to rule out fractures if you can’t put any weight on the knee.
You Can’t Put Weight On Your Knee
If you can’t bear weight on your knee, there’s a good chance there’s something serious going on.
The inability to put weight on your knee after a knee injury could be caused by a fracture, bone contusion, cartilage injury, or ligament tear.
After a minor injury like a twist or fall, you probably won’t be able to immediately put weight on your leg.
That’s normal, but if you haven’t recovered within a few minutes or a few days, or it has turned into chronic knee pain, it could indicate something more serious.
You should also watch out for numbness after the injury.
Numbness could be the result of a pinched or damaged nerve and blood vessels.
This could be a symptom of an ACL or MCL tear, a kneecap dislocation, a fractured kneecap, or loose bone.
If my knee pain is serious what next? Ethos Health Group can help!
Knee injuries and knee pain are very common ailments.
Fortunately, most knee injuries are mild, and your pain will go away relatively soon.
Knowing when your pain is serious and acting quickly is key when it comes to getting you back to normal and minimizing your risk of further damage.
If you’re suffering from severe knee pain and aren’t you aren’t sure if it’s serious or not, you should visit the Ethos Health Group.
Ethos Health Group can give you the pain relief you’ve been looking for.
They have treatment options for severe knee pain that will help you get your life back together.
The conditions we talked about above can lead to pain, stiffness, swelling, and instability in your joints.
If you’d like to avoid endless cortisone shots, dangerous medications, and invasive surgeries, contact Ethos Health Group.
At Ethos Health Group, the number one priority is to help patients get back to doing what they love the most without worrying about knee pain.
Ethos Health Group has developed a proprietary HyalRegen-CT method as a comprehensive solution for those suffering from knee arthritis and pain.
Lubricating injections are performed under precision imaging guidance, so we know we’re targeting precisely the right area.
This advanced medical process serves to add cushioning fluid back around the joint of the knee, like oil for a squeaky hinge.
Even more exciting, these FDA cleared injections can help your knees stimulate more of their own natural fluid, giving you long-term benefit and relief.
If you’re ready to find out what Ethos Health Group can do for you and your knee pain, click the button below to schedule your Free Consultation.