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When you have hip or knee pain, it can be tough to decide when to walk it off and when to see a doctor. Bruce Bollinger, MD, an orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth, says these aches and pains warrant medical attention:
Any injury where you see a deformity or heard a popping sound - These traumatic injuries could be fractures. A doctor's evaluation can put you on the best course for healing.
Persistent pain that lasts more than a week - An injury that's going to heal on its own will likely start to show improvement within a week. Pain that's not getting better should be checked out before it worsens.
Pain that recurs with specific activities - The activity may be pointing to a specific problem. Or, you might need to modify your activity to give your joints a chance to heal.
Continuous pain and swelling - Pain that doesn't ease up and is accompanied by swelling may signal an injury needs treatment. Dr. Bollinger says coming up with a proper diagnosis is the first step in treating these problems. "It could be anything from a soft tissue strain to a fracture to arthritis, and the treatment alternatives depend on the diagnosis," he says. Sometimes, treatments are as simple as rest, over-the-counter or prescription medications, activity modification and physical therapy. Occasionally, surgery is required.
Register online to attend our complimentary Freedom From Hip and Knee Pain seminar. To make an appointment to find out what options are available for treating your knee or hip pain, call 1.800.4BAYLOR or find a physician at BaylorHealth.com/Ortho.
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