Is Your Knee Pain Serious? 10 Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

Knee pain affects one in four adults in the United States and can significantly impact your daily life, but knowing when to seek professional help is important. But how do you distinguish between the usual aches and pains and something more serious? 

At Orlando Orthopedic Center, we are committed to providing our patients with answers to all their questions and concerns. Learn about the ten signs you shouldn’t ignore when dealing with knee pain.

1. Deformity of the Joint

If you notice any deformity in your knee joint, such as a distorted appearance compared to the healthy knee, it could be a sign of a fracture, dislocated knee cap, or patella injury. You should not ignore it; a knee deformity indicates that something may be seriously wrong. 

2. Difficulty Walking

If you find yourself limping or consciously avoiding walking due to escalating knee pain, it’s important to seek medical attention. Pain of such intensity may signal an underlying bone injury or a degenerative condition that requires professional evaluation and care.

3. Inability to Hold Weight

If you experience the inclination to shift your weight away from your problematic knee when standing up, it’s important to seek assistance. The inability of your affected knee to bear weight may indicate various knee conditions, all of which need prompt medical attention for proper evaluation and management.

4. Knee Instability

A wobbling sensation or a feeling that your knee might collapse indicates joint instability, often linked to ligament problems. Ignoring knee instability and continuing with regular activities may worsen the condition. 

5. Less Sensation in the Knee

While knee issues commonly cause pain, the absence of pain can also be concerning. Lack of pain, especially when pressing on the knee, may indicate a serious health concern such as sciatica or another non-knee-related issue. 

6. Long-Term Pain or Discomfort

If your knee pain persists for an extended period, you should seek medical attention for consistent pain lasting more than 48 hours, while other adults should consult an expert if there’s no improvement after three weeks of dull aches. 

7. Pain That Affects Your Daily Activities

Any knee pain that interferes with your daily life, making activities like commuting, jogging, walking or working challenging, should prompt a professional evaluation.

8. Pain That Affects Sleep

If knee pain disrupts your sleep, it’s a red flag that should not be ignored. If knee pain keeps you awake, it’s time to consult a physician for a comprehensive assessment and appropriate management. Quality sleep is crucial for mental health and recovery.

9. Redness or Swelling Around the Joints

Similar to changes in knee joint shape, alterations in color and swelling can indicate significant issues. If you observe redness or swelling, assess the area for tenderness or warmth, as these symptoms may signify an infection.

10. Reduced Range of Motion

Following a knee injury, internal swelling may occur, limiting your range of motion. Difficulty straightening or bending your leg completely is a cause for concern. If you notice a sustained decrease in the range of motion lasting more than 24 hours, consult a doctor for a comprehensive evaluation.

Understanding the signs that your knee pain might be serious is important for timely intervention. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek professional help at Orlando Orthopaedic Center. Take the first step toward recovery by scheduling an appointment with one of our skilled providers specializing in knees.