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WHEN TO CALL YOUR DOCTOR FOR KNEE PAIN
Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If:
Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9am
and 4pm) If:
- You think
you need to be seen
Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours
- You have other questions or concerns
- Swollen knee joint
- Fluid-filled sack just below knee cap
- Symptoms interfere with work or school
- Knee pain persists longer than 7 days
- Knee pain is a recurrent problem
Self Care at Home If:
- Mild knee
pain and you don't think you need to be seen
HOME CARE ADVICE FOR A MILD KNEE PAIN
- Knee Pain after Overuse:
Muscle strain and joint irritation are very common following vigorous activity.
Such activities include sports like tennis and basketball, jogging, and certain
types of work.
Local Cold: Apply a cold pack or ice bag (wrapped in a towel) to the
area for 20 minutes. Repeat in 1 hour, then every 4 hours while awake. Continue
this for the first 48 hours after an overuse injury. (Reason: reduce the swelling
Local Heat: Beginning 48 hours after an injury, apply a warm
washcloth or heating pad for 10 minutes three times a day to help increase circulation
and improve healing.
Rest Your Knee for the next couple days. Avoid activities that worsen
your pain. Reduce activities that put a lot of strain on the knee joint (e.g.
deep knee bends, stair climbing, running).
Pain Medication: For pain relief, take acetaminophen every 4-6 hours
(e.g. Tylenol; adult dosage 650 mg) OR ibuprofen every 6-8 hours (e.g. Advil,
Motrin; adult dosage 400 mg).
- Do not take ibuprofen if you have stomach problems, kidney disease,
are pregnant, or have been told by your doctor to avoid this type of anti-inflammatory
- Do not take ibuprofen for more than 7 days without consulting
- Do not take acetaminophen if you have liver disease.
- Read the package instructions thoroughly on all medications
that you take.
Expected Course: If your knee pain does not get better during the
next week or if it recurs, then you should make an appointment with your doctor.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Knee pain persists longer
than 7 days
- You become worse or
develop any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information
is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is
provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility
for how you choose to use this information.
Adult HouseCalls Online. Copyright © 2000-2004
David Thompson, M.D. FACEP
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