Preparing for your appointment

You might start by seeing your primary care provider. Or you might be referred to a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist (physiatrist), physical therapist, orthopedic surgeon, or a sports medicine specialist.

Here's information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

Before your appointment, write a list of answers for the following questions:

  • Your symptoms and when they began.
  • Key personal information, including whether you've ever injured your knee or had knee surgery and what type of exercise or sports you engage in.
  • All medications, vitamins or supplements you take, including doses.
  • Questions to ask your doctor.

Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you're given. Also, if you've had X-rays or other imaging tests of your knees, try to bring copies of them to your appointment.

For patellofemoral pain syndrome, some questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's likely causing my knee pain?
  • What are other possible causes for my knee pain?
  • What tests do I need?
  • Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
  • What's the best course of action?
  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
  • How can I best manage my pain with my other health conditions?
  • Do I need to restrict my activities?
  • Should I see a specialist?
  • Are there brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, such as:

  • How would you describe your knee pain?
  • Where exactly does it hurt?
  • What activities improve or worsen your symptoms?
  • Have you recently increased your athletic activity?
  • What home treatments have you tried? Did they help?
Jan. 06, 2016
  1. O'Connor FG, et al. Patellofemoral pain syndrome. Accessed Nov. 5, 2015.
  2. Patellofemoral pain syndrome. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Accessed Nov. 5, 2015.
  3. Bogla LA, et al. An update for the conservative management of patellofemoral pain syndrome: A systematic review of the literature from 2000 to 2010. The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. 2011;6:112.
  4. Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 9, 2015.