If you have knee pain during or after physical activity and it doesn't improve with ice or rest, make an appointment with your doctor. After an initial exam, your doctor may refer you to a sports medicine specialist or to a doctor with advanced training in the treatment of musculoskeletal problems.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- List any symptoms you've been having, and for how long.
- Write down your key medical information, including other conditions with which you've been diagnosed and all medications and supplements you're taking.
- Log your typical daily activity, including the length and intensity of sports practice or other exercise. Your doctor also will be interested to know if you've recently changed the frequency, intensity or method of your workouts.
- Note any recent injuries that may have damaged your knee joint.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor. Creating your list of questions in advance can help you make the most of your time with your doctor.
Below are some basic questions to ask a doctor who is examining you for possible patellar tendinitis. If any additional questions occur to you during your visit, don't hesitate to ask.
- What is the most likely cause of my signs and symptoms?
- Are there any other possible causes?
- Do I need any tests to confirm the diagnosis?
- What treatment approach do you recommend?
- With treatment, do you expect I will eventually be able to return to my current sport?
- How long will I need to avoid my current sport?
- What kind of workout routine can I safely follow while I'm healing, if any?
- What other self-care measures should I be taking?
- What is the likelihood that I will need surgery?
- How often will you see me to monitor my progress?
- Should I see a specialist?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to talk about in depth. Your doctor may ask:
Mar. 07, 2012
- What are your symptoms?
- When did you first notice these symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been getting worse?
- How severe is your pain?
- Does your pain occur before, during or after your workouts — or is it constant?
- Is the pain associated with any knee swelling, locking or instability?
- What is your regular exercise or sports-training routine?
- Have you recently made any changes to your training routine, such as training harder or longer, or using new techniques?
- Are you still able to perform your sport or preferred exercise at a satisfactory level?
- Are your symptoms affecting your ability to complete normal, daily tasks, such as walking up stairs?
- Have you tried any at-home treatments so far? If so, has anything helped?
- Have you recently had any injuries that may have caused knee damage?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
- What medications are you currently taking, including vitamins and supplements?
- Hudgins TH. Jumper's knee. In: Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed Dec. 27, 2011.
- Choi L. Knee overuse injuries. In: DeLee JC, et al. DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..X0001-2--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-3143-7&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Dec. 27, 2011.
- Rauh MA, et al. Evaluation of quadriceps and patellar tendinosis. In: DeLee JC, et al. DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..X0001-2--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-3143-7&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Dec. 27, 2011.
- Hergenroeder AC. Approach to the young athlete with chronic knee pain or injury. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 27, 2011.
- Khan K, et al. Overview of the management of overuse (chronic) tendinopathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 27, 2011.
- AskMayoExpert. When are platelet-rich plasma (PRP) peripheral injections indicated for tendinopathy? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2011.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 4, 2012.