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?