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Choosing the Right Doctor
If you’ve tried medication, physical therapy and other conservative methods of treatment, and you’re still experiencing knee pain, your doctor may recommend knee arthroscopy.
Choosing the Right Doctor for You
When choosing an orthopaedic surgeon, keep the following things in mind:
- Orthopaedic surgeons are medical doctors or osteopaths with an MD or DO degree who should have completed a residency in orthopaedics.
- Many orthopaedic surgeons choose to specialize even further by taking a fellowship, which usually lasts six to 12 months.
How to Prepare for Your Visit with a Specialist
Once you have made an appointment with a specialist, there are a few things you can do to prepare for your visit such as putting together a short history of your health for your doctor.
Creating a History of Your Health
Use this handy checklist to create a medical history you can bring along to doctor visits. List the following on a sheet of paper:
- All the medicines and supplements you take, including their dosage and frequency.
- Major illnesses or chronic conditions.
- Surgeries you have had and any related complications such as reactions to anesthesia.
- Allergies and sensitivities you have to food or medications.
- Your family history of diabetes, cancer or heart disease.
- Your lifestyle habits including smoking, alcohol intake, exercise and special diet.
Learn More About Physicians Who Treat Knee Pain
As you seek treatment for your knee pain, you will likely come into contact with a variety of different medical professionals, including Primary Care Providers, Orthopaedic Surgeons, Sports Medicine Specialists and Rheumatologists. Discover what kind of services may be offered by each of them.
Primary Care Providers (PCP)/Internists
The medical professionals you see for common medical issues such as your yearly annual check-up or a non-emergency illness are referred to as Primary Care Providers (PCP) or Internists.
Depending upon the type and severity of your knee pain, the PCP/Internist may refer you to a specialist such as an Orthopaedic Surgeon, a Rheumatologist or a Sports Medicine Specialist for further treatment.
Medical doctors with extensive training treating injuries and conditions of the musculoskeletal system—the bones, joints and muscles in the body—are called Orthopaedic Surgeons. These specialists may recommend treatment of knee pain with physical therapy, various medications or devices, or surgical procedures including arthroscopy and joint replacement.
Sports Medicine Specialists
Physicians who specialize in the prevention, evaluation and treatment of injuries related to sports and exercise are called Sports Medicine Specialists. Though perceived to just treat athletes, Sports Medicine Specialists are able to treat other patients as well. These specialists may recommend treatment of knee pain with physical therapy, various medications or devices, or surgical procedures including arthroscopy and joint replacement. If it is believed surgery is needed to correct your condition, you may be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon for further evaluation.
Medical doctors who diagnose and treat both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as other disorders of the bones, joints, ligaments and muscles are known as Rheumatologists. Rheumatologists may recommend treatment of knee pain with medication, physical therapy or steroid injections. If it is believed surgery is needed to correct a problem, you may be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon for further evaluation.
Important Safety Information
The success of the knee arthroscopy procedure depends on age, weight, activity level and other factors. There are potential risks and recovery takes time. People with conditions limiting rehabilitation should not have this surgery. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can tell if knee arthroscopy is right for you.