How to Treat Knee Pain

To Treat Knee Pain, We First Determine the Pain’s Cause

Knee pain is one of the most common problems seen by orthopedic doctors. The most important way to treat knee pain is to first know what the diagnosis is. The doctor must first determine what is wrong with your knee. Based on how you were hurt and your symptoms, the doctor will be able to narrow down possible diagnosis. The only way to effectively treat knee pain is to have that correct diagnosis.

Removing Fluid to Treat Knee Pain

If your knee is swollen and tight there is probably fluid inside the knee. Treating knee pain with swelling may involve removing this fluid. It may also involve injecting steroid into the knee to prevent the swelling from recurring. In my office we use ultrasound guidance for a more accurate treatment.

Treating Knee Pain Caused By a Fracture or Cartilage Tear

If you hit the knee or were involved in collision type injury, you may have a fracture. I have seen patients who unfortunately were misdiagnosed by other doctors where they did not pick-up on the fracture. The best way to diagnose the fracture is with an x-ray. If the knee pain is associated with a fracture, treating the knee pain may require surgery to get the broken bone back in place. This can help prevent arthritis. Most fractures do not require surgery!

To treat knee pain for a cartilage tear, may require arthroscopy. This is typically a 15 minute procedure that can be done with local anesthesia. Recovery is relatively quick and most people return to all normal activities in just a few weeks.

If you have knee pain, the initial way to treat the knee pain is with ice. If pain is significant or not getting better and if the pain persists, see an orthopedic knee specialist.


Dr. Rick Weinstein, MD, MBA is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine. He is the Director of Orthopedic Surgery at Westchester Sport and Spine and has subspecialty training in knee and shoulder surgery, including minimally invasive surgery and arthroscopy. Dr. Weinstein is a Board Examiner for the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons, determining certification for other orthopedic surgeons.