If you’re physically active or engaged in sports, knee pain isn’t uncommon. Long training hours, overuse, bruises and bumps, often result into minor knee pain that usually resolves by itself within a few days with some rest and cold compress.
However, some knee pain may indicate more serious injuries that cannot be treated with at-home remedies.
You may need to see a doctor if you observe the following warning signs:
Reduced Range of Motion
This is one of the tell-tale signs of a more serious knee injury. If this limitation lasts more than a day, you should go see a doctor.
This instability in the knee joint may suggest ligament injury. If you are having trouble supporting your full body weight with your injured leg compared to your normal one, it’s a warning sign of a knee injury that may need medical attention.
Swelling Lasting More Than 48 Hours
Almost immediately after a knee injury, swelling may occur. This swelling reduces your range of motion and causes mild to severe pain.
If your knee looks misaligned or deformed, do not delay consulting a doctor for medical treatment. There could be a possibility of fracture, dislocation, or patella tracking injury. Dislocations should be assessed by medical professionals no later than 6 hours after the injury to avoid permanent damage.
Pain Lasting More Than 48 Hours
If your knee pain persists for more than two days, you should consider seeing a doctor. The pain may be caused by injury to the cartilage or the meniscus that covers the joint.
The meniscus absorbs shock and covers the end of your leg bones to allow smooth extension and flexion during running and walking. Meniscus tears will diminish your knee’s range of motion and cause deep knee pain.
If you hear or feel a popping sensation in your knee, or if it feels as if your knee has been locked in place when you move it, a meniscus tear may be one of the possible diagnoses.