When seeking advice from a physician, be prepared to answer questions about the history of your knee. Most injuries to the knee come from physical activity. Everything from the exercise program you use to a sports injury that may have happened 20 years ago are all important when seeking a diagnosis for chronic knee pain. Be prepared to give as detailed as possible responses to questions about the location of the pain, when it began and what you’ve been doing to make it feel better. The doctor will probably check the knee for unusual tenderness, pain, swelling, visible bruising and flexibility. Also be prepared for several tests the doctor will perform to help your diagnosis. Find more information Knee Pain Doctor-QC Kinetix (Asheville)
A common test that helps to discover injuries to your ACL is called a Lachman’s Test. The test involves flexing leg at a sharp angle and then having the doctor try to move your calf forward. If the leg can move without inhibition, it’s quite possible that you could have an ACL tear. There are similar tests to determine tears and trauma to other ligaments in the knee, such as the PCL, as well as tests for the menisci and tendons.
In some cases, the general tests may give a false result. If movement in the knee is blocked by things such as swelling or tight muscles in the front or the back of the leg, the doctor may request a MRI (magnetic resonance image) to help aid the diagnosis.
The MRI specializes in detecting trauma to ligaments, tendons and muscles, while the X-ray which is mainly used to detect problems within bone. The MRI can assist in pinpointing soft tissue injuries the X-ray would miss. On most occasions, however, the physical exam will be enough.
Based on the diagnosis your doctor suspects, he or she may suggest other computerized tests other than an MRI, including a X-Ray to determine if you have bone fractures that could be causing the chronic knee pain and a CT (computerized tomography) scan that creates images that are cross-sectional of the body to help detect possible cracks, fissures or loose bone particles within the three-dimensional knee area.
If the doctor believes that an infection has happened or that there might be the presence of gout, he or she may order blood tests to help determine the cause of the pain. Another possible treatment is arthocentesis, a test where a small vial of liquid is taken from the joint with a syringe, and then the fluid is analysed for possible problems.