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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. Stephanie Stephens, MD, an orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Baylor Medical Center at Carrollton, says these aches and pains warrant medical attention:
Any injury where you see a deformity or heard a popping sound
Why? 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
Why? 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
Why? 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
Why? Pain that doesn’t ease up and is accompanied by swelling may signal an injury that needs treatment. Dr. Stephens says coming up with a proper diagnosis is the first step in treating these problems. “It might be as simple as a soft tissue strain, but a ligament or cartilage injury, arthritis, or even a fracture needs to be ruled out . The treatment alternatives depend on the diagnosis,” she says. Sometimes, treatments are as simple as rest, over-the-counter or prescription medications, activity modification and physical therapy. Occasionally, surgery is required.
Attend our complimentary Freedom From Hip and Knee Pain seminar by registering online. To make an appointment to find out what options are available for treating your knee or hip pain, call 1.800.4BAYLOR or locate a physician at BaylorHealth.com/Ortho.
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