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"I have pain in my knee. What should I do?"

ZocdocAnswersI have pain in my knee. What should I do?


ossicle at the superolateral patella, likely bipartite. no focal soft tissue abnormality


Knee pain is very common, but the causes vary quite a bit depending on your occupation, age, and other factors. The most common cause of knee pain is ordinary knee osteoarthritis. This type of problem usually occurs in older patients and those that are overweight. If you had a sports injury, then a meniscal tear is possible. Pain around the patella can be due to osteoarthritis, or it could be due to a patellar tracking abnormality. This is when the patella moves against the femur abnormally which can cause pain. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. He or she will examine your knee closely to look for the location of the tenderness, what maneuvers might worsen the pain, and for any instability. This alone in many cases is enough to determine the cause. If the cause remains elusive, then further testing will be needed. The next test would likely be plain standing x-rays of both knees to look for any signs of arthritis. In addition, your doctor might get an MRI, especially if there is a concern for a meniscal tear or ligament damage and/or the x-rays show no abnormalities. From there, you should be able to get the right treatment. Again, please speak with an orthopedic surgeon.

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