Preparing for your appointment

You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor. Depending upon the cause of your problem, he or she may refer you to a doctor specializing in joint diseases (rheumatologist), joint surgery (orthopedic surgeon) or sports medicine.

What you can do

Before your appointment, you may want to write a list of answers to the following questions:

  • When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Did a specific injury make your knee start to hurt?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
  • What medications and supplements do you take regularly?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor may ask some of the following questions:

  • Do you exercise or play sports?
  • Do you experience any swelling, instability or locking of the knee?
  • Are you experiencing symptoms in other areas, or just in your knee?
  • Have you ever had knee pain before? If so, do you know what the cause was?
Feb. 26, 2016
References
  1. Knee problems. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Knee_Problems. Accessed Jan. 22, 2016.
  2. Firestein GS, et al. Hip and knee pain. In: Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 22, 2016.
  3. Beutler A, et al. Approach to the athlete or active adult with knee pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 22, 2016.
  4. Common knee injuries. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00325. Accessed Jan. 22, 2016.
  5. Kalunian KC. Nonpharmacologic therapy of osteoarthritis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 22, 2016.
  6. Kalunian KC. Initial pharmacologic therapy of osteoarthritis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 22, 2016.
  7. Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 1, 2016.
  8. Ayhan E, et al. Intra-articular injections (corticosteroid, hyaluronic acid, platelet rich plasma) for the knee arthritis. World Journal of Orthopedics. 2014;5:351.
  9. Glucosamine and chondroitin for osteoarthritis. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/glucosaminechondroitin. Accessed Jan. 25, 2016.
  10. Acupuncture: In depth. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/introduction. Accessed Jan. 25, 2016.