The knee is one of the most commonly injured body parts. Many of us experience it at some form, and many of us have decided to ignore it to see if it would go away. Sometimes, however, it won’t and it turns out that we will actually need to take action to return to the level of activity we would prefer.
We often think of athletes being the ones affected by knee pain, but this isn’t always the case. It affects people of all ages and activity levels. Many people are treated for knee pain everyday.
If you’re one of those people, you’ll relate to this next bit:
The trouble with having a knee issue is twofold:
One, it can be very frustrating due to the number of potential causes. Therefore, it is tough to “self diagnose” and can often linger and continue even when resting the area. Two, it is difficult to rest your knees. You need your knees to walk!
There are several diagnoses that lead to knee pain. A few are: OA (osteoarthritis), meniscus damage, cartilage damage (ACL, MCL), and patellofemoral syndrome. Each has a different recovery protocol, and therefore understanding what is causing the pain and how to treat it is the first piece of the puzzle when it comes to recovery.
Many times, knee pain is a chronic issue that occurs randomly, or could be from a specific reason like an old sports injury. Whatever the cause, knee pain and dysfunction is important to address and treat properly. Otherwise you may continue to feel frustrated and unable to enjoy the activities you love.
Whether you intend to run a marathon or simply want to get down on the ground to play with your grandchildren, knee pain can be debilitating.
Knee Pain and Surgery
The biggest concern we hear when it comes to knee pain is the question of surgery. It brings to mind thoughts of walking around on crutches for weeks, taking time off of work, and utilizing medications. This is exactly the reason that starting with a physical therapist often makes the most sense.
So the answer is … it depends.
Many times, learning how to rehabilitate and manage your symptoms is the key to recovery. This is not to say that surgery is never necessary, but often a few simple strength and stabilization exercises are enough to treat the knee and prevent further injury.
Physical therapists are the experts in the diagnosis and treatment of knee disorders, and seeing a PT can expedite your recovery.
At Petersen Physical Therapy, we are able to treat all post op knee operations, as well as regular knee pain not requiring surgery. Whether it is a knee replacement (TKA), an ACL repair, or menisectomy, we are skilled and ready to figure out a proper course of treatment.
If you do end up getting surgery (or you’ve already had it), post op physical therapy is crucial to the recovery process. Without therapy, the knee can get very stiff and range of motion can be lost. Also, the muscles around the knee can atrophy, leading to poor stability. Losing ROM and strength following a surgery can impede the healing process, and decrease function. Physical therapy is here to make sure that doesn’t happen!
Of course, we will refer you to a top notch surgeon if that is what you need. Either way, you will have an established physical therapist to return to once your surgery is complete. This piece will be important regardless.
What’s The Next Step?
If you’ve been having a problem with one (or both) knees and would like to get to the bottom of the issue, give us a call! We are prepared to diagnose and treat the knee conservatively, improving the knee to normal levels without sending you under the knife.