Whether you squatted too low in an exercise class or have started to notice a twinge when you take the stairs, knee pain can be, well, a real pain. No matter your age, knee troubles can interfere with your life and keep you from doing the things you love.
Knee pain can start with an injury or happen gradually over time. At Cleveland Clinic, our specialists are here to figure out exactly what’s causing your pain and create a personalized care plan that gets you up and moving again.
Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Knee Pain Care?
Skilled collaborative providers:
Your care team may include orthopaedic specialists, orthopaedic surgeons, physical therapists and sports medicine providers. They’ll work together to get to the root of your knee pain and customize your treatment plan. Meet our team.
Cleveland Clinic’s board-certified doctors, surgeons and physical therapists have advanced education and training in treating knee pain. Together, our team treats thousands of people with knee pain each year.
We never use a one-size-fits-all approach to treating knee pain. Our specialists use sophisticated technologies like musculoskeletal ultrasound to see how your knee moves and check for any damage that causes pain. They use this information to create the right treatment for your unique needs.
When you have knee pain, the last thing you want is to have to travel to see a specialist. Our providers diagnose and treat knee pain in community-based clinics, making it easy to get the care you need close to home.
U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Cleveland Clinic a top hospital in the nation. Newsweek has also named us a top hospital in the world.
If getting in to see your provider is tough, a virtual visit might be an option. This convenient and safe alternative to an in-person appointment, lets you “meet” with your provider online. All you need is an internet connection, smartphone, tablet or computer.
Knee Pain Diagnosis at Cleveland Clinic
Not all knee pain is the same. It can begin suddenly or develop gradually. It can feel dull and achy or sharp and stabbing. It may hurt all the time or just when you do certain activities. All of those differences matter — and they’re the keys to helping your care team figure out exactly what’s going on.
At Cleveland Clinic, our specialists take the time to understand how knee pain affects your life. Your care team will ask you specific, targeted questions to learn more about when and how your pain began. This will help them come to a precise diagnosis about what’s causing the pain in your knee.
Conditions that cause knee pain include:
- Osteoarthritis of the knee.
- Runner’s knee (patellofemoral pain syndrome).
- Torn meniscus.
- Quadriceps or patellar tendinopathy.
- ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears.
- Dislocation of the knee joint.
- Knee fractures.
We use X-rays to look for damage in and around your knee joint. Our specialists may also use other imaging techniques, like:
- Computed tomography (CT) scan: With this computerized X-ray, we can see tissue and blood vessels in your knee.
- Fluoroscopy: This special X-ray makes videos of how the bones in your knee joint move.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This test uses magnets and radio waves to see more details inside your knee joint.
- Ultrasound: We may use ultrasound, a test that uses sound waves, to see detailed pictures of how your knee bones, ligaments and muscles move.
Who Treat Knee Pain
LocationsOur healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio and Florida.
Knee Pain Treatment at Cleveland Clinic
Sometimes knee pain goes away with time, rest and over-the-counter pain medication. Other times, you may need physical therapy or even surgery.
Our experts use a comprehensive approach to treating knee pain that promotes knee alignment, stability and strength. We also work closely with other Cleveland Clinic providers to treat chronic knee pain that results from conditions like osteoarthritis.
Options include both nonsurgical and surgical treatments.
Nonsurgical care for knee pain
Sometimes surgery is necessary, but we’ll always try to treat you without surgery if we can. The good news is that it’s often possible to go this route. Treatments without surgery may include:
- Over-the-counter and prescription medications.
- Braces or orthotics to support your knee joint.
- Shots to reduce pain and inflammation, like steroid injections, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections or viscosupplementation for osteoarthritis.
- Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles that support your knee and help relieve discomfort.
Surgery for knee pain
Sometimes, surgery is the best way to treat your knee pain. If that’s the case, our providers will work with you before and after surgery to strengthen your knee and help you recover as quickly and as fully as possible.
Surgeries we offer for knee pain include:
- Knee arthroscopy: Using small surgical instruments inserted through tiny incisions (cuts), we can repair knee damage in minimally invasive ways that allow you to heal quickly.
- Knee osteotomy: To relieve pain and delay the need for knee replacement surgery, we can reposition the bones in your tibia (shin) or femur (thigh) to better support your body weight.
- Partial knee replacement: If only one section of your knee joint is damaged, our surgeons can replace it with an artificial (prosthetic) joint. This may be a good option if you’re under age 50 and have minimal osteoarthritis.
- Knee arthroplasty: Known as a knee replacement, this surgery removes your damaged knee joint and replaces it with a metal or plastic implant.
Taking the Next Step
Knee pain can be a frustrating roadblock to the pace of your everyday life. When your knees hurt, everything from running errands to walking the dog can cause you pain and slow you down. At Cleveland Clinic, our dedicated specialists will identify, diagnose and treat your knee pain — so that you can get back to the regular pace of your life.
Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic knee pain experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.
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