Knee Pain FAQs

What can cause knee pain?

Knee pain has a wide array of different potential causes that include both pathology within the knee joint itself as well as pathology that presents with pain referred into the knee and felt in and around the knee joint. Example of this includes hip pain, lower back pain, and less commonly, pelvic pain.

Causes from within the knee joint include arthritis, meniscal tears, osteochondral defects, osteonecrosis, patella maltracking, patellofemoral syndrome, cruciate ligament damage, collateral ligament damage, and other rare causes such as pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS).

How to diagnose knee pain?

Any knee pain that is persistent and refractory to over-the-counter analgesia, exercise, rest or sustained physical activity should be brought to the attention of a healthcare professional. Our specialist orthopedic surgeons would be happy to see you in consultation for any knee pain that you may be having.

The process begins with a formal history and physical examination, which will include discussion of the knee pain and its duration, nature, characteristics and exacerbating or alleviating factors. We will then perform a physical examination of the knee joint and arrange for you to undergo plain film radiographs, x-ray studies that will give us more information about the anatomy of your knee and potentially give us the diagnosis at that point.

If at this point the diagnosis is still unclear, then further imaging studies such as a CT or MRI scan may be ordered in order to ascertain exactly what is causing the underlying knee pain based on the clinical suspicion from the history and physical examination.Depending on the cause, in some cases your knee pain may be able to be diagnosed in the office during your first visit, but for other causes that are less clear-cut it may require you to undergo a further scan of some kind and return to the office when the scan has been completed for us to discuss the results with you.

What can I do for knee pain?

The first line treatment for any type of joint pain should be rest of the affected joint for a short period of time. Over-the-counter analgesics such as Tylenol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications are also the first protocol for analgesia.

If neither of these strategies are effective then you may require a full course of dedicated physical therapy and if this does not work either then, at this point, consultation with a healthcare professional in regards to your knee pain is essential to investigate the underlying diagnosis so that appropriate treatment can be initiated.

Do knee braces help with knee pain?

Bracing of the knee is indicated in a number of conditions that include both osteoarthritis and patellofemoral causes. If your healthcare provider feels that you would benefit from a course of bracing, they will inform you as such as give you recommendations as to the best type of brace for you to purchase.

It is worth mentioning, however, that braces will only provide relief from knee pain for the duration that they are worn. Many patients find that with some of the bulkier braces, they are uncomfortable and find they are unable to tolerate them for significant periods of the day. This leads some patients to not wear their brace and if this is the case then clearly bracing is not the appropriate intervention for these patients, as not wearing the brace defeats the purpose of the bracing strategy for treating the patient’s complaint.

Can knee pain cause hip pain?

Although it is possible for alteration in a patient’s gait pattern as a result of knee pain to adversely effect other joints as part of the gait cycle (these do include both the hip, lower back and even in some cases the ankle) it is actually more common that pathology in the hip can present with knee pain.

This is well known to be the case in younger patients who sustain injuries known as a slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE). These patients will often present with knee pain and have their knee extensively investigated only to reveal no major clinical abnormality responsible for the ongoing pain and these critical injuries can often go missed causing long-term problems with the hip and leading to surgical intervention much earlier on in life than it would have been necessary had the hip pain been investigated at an earlier stage.

Therefore it is important to bear in mind that while you may be feeling the pain in and around the knee joint it is the responsibility of your treating healthcare practitioner to investigate both the joint above and below and, if done properly, this will reveal pathology within the hip that is presenting as referred pain in the knee. This can also happen in certain cases with osteoarthritis.

What kind of doctor should I see for my knee pain?

Although many patients choose to begin with their regular family physician to investigate their knee pain, and this is entirely appropriate, our specialist orthopedic surgeons who have years of experience treating common and complex knee complaints will be more than happy to see you in consultation for any knee pain that you may be having.

They will utilize their specialist expertise to achieve a definitive diagnosis for your knee pain and will be happy to explain all of your potential treatment options including any surgical procedure or if nonsurgical procedures are more appropriate, we will offer those or offer a referral to practitioners who provide them for you.

What can cause knee pain without injury?

There are multiple reasons that can cause knee pain without injury. This may include inflammation of the tendon, gradual long-standing injury to the articular cartilage or the meniscal cartilage, inflammation of the plica inside the knee joint, inflammation of the capsule, inflammation of the surrounding muscles and tendons etc.

What can cause pain in the back of the knee?

Pain in the back of the knee can be caused by tendonitis, strain of the muscles of the back. It can also be caused by degenerative changes in the knee causing a formation of cysts in the back of the knee. Occasionally, meniscal tears can present with pain in the back of the knee. Unusual cause of pain there may be a clot in the vein or injury to the ligament.

Where is the knee VMO muscle?

VMO means vastus medialis Obliquus. It’s the lower part of the inner side of the quadriceps muscle. This muscle helps in the last stages of straightening of the knee joint and is very important in the function of the knee joint. This is the first muscle to weaken and the last muscle to strengthen in patients of injury of the knee joint.

Is walking good a bad knee?

Walking is a good exercise for knee pain. It should be done as much as possible, without aggravating the knee pain. It helps not only in general body exercise, but also strengthening muscles of the knee joint, which help in decrease in pain throughout the knee.

Is running bad for your knees?

Running, especially on hard surfaces, can be bad for the knee. Especially if they are already injured or have degenerative changes. Person should have proper shoe and should try not to run on hard surfaces. They should also do dedicated knee muscle strengthening exercises as well as warm up before the running.

What is patellar tendonitis of the knee?

Patellar tendonitis means inflammation of the patellar tendon which is found between the kneecap and the leg bone called tibia. It does usually involve the upper part of the tendon where it attaches to the kneecap. It is usually treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation along with anti-inflammatory medication. Patient is advised not to involve in contact sports and avoid activities that will worsen the pain. Bracing may help also.

What is Plica Syndrome?

There are soft tissue reflections inside the knee joint called plica. The knee joint has multiple plica bands in the knee, the most remarkable being on the inside, and on the upper part of the kneecap. They are usually present and do not cause any problems. Sometimes, a plica may be thickened or inflamed and may start rubbing on the articular surface and cause pain. In these patients, they are initially treated with anti-inflammatory medications, ice, elevation, and rest followed by physical therapy. If they are not improved with conservative management, then surgical treatment may be required.

How do you treat tendonitis in the knee?

Tendonitis in the knee is usually treated in the same way as it is in any other part of the body, by using the RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression and elevation). The patient can also be sent for physical therapy as well as use anti-inflammatory medications. Bracing may also help.

What is the IT band?

The IT band, or the iliotibial band is a thickening of soft tissue, which extends from the hip to the knee joint. It functions in stabilizing the hip as well as the knee joint and also functions in the movement of the knee joint.

What is IT band Syndrome?

IT band syndrome is caused due to rubbing of the IT band over the outer part of lower thigh bone leading to inflammation and causing pain. It usually occurs in runners and cyclists. It is usually relieved with rest and anti-inflammatory medications. Occasionally a steroid shot may help.

How do you reduce fluid in the knee?

Fluid in the knee is usually reactionary to some other pathology in the knee like injury to the ligament, the meniscus or the cartilage. To decrease the fluid these pathologies are to be taken care of accordingly. In an acute setting, if the fluid is causing pain and discomfort, the fluid can be aspirated by needle from the knee joint. Cortisone injection may also be given at the same time if appropriate which may help in decreasing the swelling and pain.

These questions have been personally answered by:

I am Vedant Vaksha, Fellowship trained Spine, Sports and Arthroscopic Surgeon at Complete Orthopedics. I take care of patients with ailments of the neck, back, shoulder, knee, elbow and ankle. I personally approve this content and have written most of it myself.

Please take a look at my profile page and don't hesitate to come in and talk.

Call Us Now!

Based on 116 reviews
I had an extremely friendly and personalized medical consult with Dr Karkare. Dr Karkare was very knowledgeable and very professional. His communication skills was extremely good and explained my medical condition in very simple words. The office visit was very helpful in understanding my medical condition. Thank you Dr Karkare
Padmanabhan Nagaraj
20:49 25 Sep 23
Dr. Karlkare and his staff were excellent. Dr. Karkare explained everything clearly and took his time getting to know my Dad.
Anna Acker
22:46 07 Sep 23
Dr Vedant Vaksha had done emergency surgery in 2020 after a traumatic injury.His office at Complete Orthopedics handled the continued care thereafter.Dr V and his staff had been Professional and friendly throughout the process, taking the time to explain all the questions on how to proceed and what to expect.Whenever I needed to speak with Dr V or the office they were a phone call away, without waiting or calling several numbers like in so many other medical offices.The office was accommodating to scheduling to my needs at all times. Dr Vedant Vaksha earned the following5 out of 5 stars, highly recommended.
John Kuey
20:58 05 Sep 23
Dr. Vaksha helped me recover from an injury. I am very thankful that he took the time to explain the best treatment for my injury. Also thankful for the wonderful office staff!
Joseph Castelli
22:30 02 Aug 23
The office is wonderful!… Dr Paresh was very helpful and attentive and made my sister in laws recovery so much better.. Thank you for everything
Jazz Lorenzo
17:48 14 Jul 23
The ladies are very welcoming, the service is great, the doctor is very professional and caring and the building is super clean. I really like to come here, the atmosphere is very friendly... Come and you will love it too.
Joan Carasco
14:41 30 Jun 23
Dr. Nakul Karkare is awesome! And patriotic! Thank you, Dr. Karkare for displaying the American Flag in your waiting room, honoring and mourning our military personnel, this Memorial Day, who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
00:52 30 May 23
Excellent and skilled orthopedic practice specializing in joint replacements. Dr Karkare was trained at the Hospital for Special Surgery and has excellent results, as do his associates!! Would gladly refer family members to the practice!!
00:24 30 May 23
I had such a wonderful experience with Complete Orthopedics in Stony Brook. Not only did Dr. Kuo fix my broken wrist with such kindness and care, but the office staff, including Billing, Reception and the X-Ray Technician, was always so helpful, going out of their way to ensure that each patient felt welcome, answering any questions with a smile, and ensuring any issues with insurance/billing were handled with the utmost professionalism. I highly recommend their practice!
Victoria DeMatteo
19:49 10 May 23
I'm very happy St. Catherine's sent me to this office for treatment after I broke my collar bone! Unfortunately the break was too severe to repair on its own and I had to have it rebuilt a week after the injury. Dr. Vaksha did a great job fixing it. I'm three months out, and I have full use of the arm and shoulder. The whole office staff is very professional, accommodating, and welcoming. I hope to not need orthopedic services again, but Dr. Vaksha will be my number one choice if I or anyone in family suffers such am injury.
Tina Rivera
20:42 08 May 23
No one likes going to the doctor. But these people make it painless. I go for knees, hips and shoulders. At almost 70 Complete Orthopedics keeps my active life style running smoothly. Whether chasing my Grandson and even surfing again, I highly recommend them!!
Thomas Slavin
15:02 02 Mar 23
Dr. Kuo knowledgeable and competent surgeon- very good experience and more importantly great result.
Joseph McCoy
21:23 25 Feb 23
Dr Vaksha was so kind and helpful. He took extra time with us and explained things so thoroughly. Highly recommend. Office very clean.
Susan Bosinius
20:20 19 Feb 23
Dr Vaksha, is a great doctor very professional knows what he talking about. Treat patient with upmost respect. Thank You
Troy Spencer
16:46 19 Jan 23
Dr. Karkare is an amazing doctor, very caring and attentive, the girl at the front desk is very kind and helpful. .elizabeth .thank you so much .
blanca ventura
21:32 26 Oct 22
Been going to this place before my accident and after I had my knee surgery. So happy how I been treated and how well I am getting. Thank you all and specially Dr. VAKSHA for everything and getting back on track.
Ita Opico
19:01 25 Oct 22
Love this place From the minute I called I was treated kindly. When I arrived The Dr saw me right away he was compassionate and ordered the appropriate tests for me. I came back in for my follow up and had the same great experience.
Christine Rostock
21:28 23 May 22
Dr Vaksha and Dr karkare are 2 of the best orthopedic doctors around my wife Susan had a very serious broken ankle in March of 2019 she didn't think she was going to walk again Dr vaksha did an excellent surgery on her ankle he said it was his toughest he ever did he put a lot of hardware in her ankle and told her she would be alright she made remarkable recovery thanks to his surgery as of now she regained 100 percent use of her ankle she would highly recommend him to anyone. My own experience with Dr karkare has been wonderful he takes his time with you listens to what you have to say and prescribes various treatments and is very caring I would highly recommend him to anyone I would give both doctors a 10 plus rating we are very happy with them the best.
Harry Jones
23:31 19 May 22
Complete orthopedics is a wonderful place to go when you hurt or injured a great staff and wonderful doctors very knowledgeable and helpful I would recommend this place to all of my family and friends that is in me of orthopedic care I give them 10 thumbs up
Wayne Pemberton
17:39 18 May 22
The staff is very professional and helpful. Dr. Vaksha is excellent. He takes time to listen and offer suggestions to help you get better. I’m very thankful and happy to be a patient here at Complete Orthopedics.
Phoenix Rising
19:54 16 May 22
Dr.Karkare is the best. He listens to everything and explains everything I recommend him to everyone. I am so happy he is my doctor.
Myrna James
00:48 13 May 22
Dr.Kuo is amazing very attentive,caring,and passionate and staff is awsome too.Thank you for everything Dr.kuo.
Erick Murillo
23:17 12 May 22
I was in a car accident November 1 I was referred to Dr. Vaksha For shoulder surgery . I he was amazing he made me feel very comfortable and explained everything that was going to happen from surgery all the way through my physical therapy highly recommend Dr. Vaksha
Yolanda Ojeda
19:37 09 May 22
My appointment with Dr. Vaksha was amazing. Dr. Vaksha was very thorough and kind. I would refer this office to anyone who needs a great orthopedic doctor.
John Senechal
19:54 05 May 22
Scheduling my appointment was quick and easy. The staff was super friendly and down to earth. I was seen on time. The appropriate test, “x-rays” were taken before the conversation with doctor, something I really liked, test for analysis and conversation was done upfront. Dr. V had a great personality and was no BS, straight forward diagnosis and a play on next steps. I am happy I found them and would refer them to friends and family.
00:46 03 May 22
I have seen Dr. Kuo two times already and he's awesome along with his staff. Very friendly office and I'm glad to be a patient here.
Camaris A
20:01 28 Apr 22
Amazing team!! Very caring, profesional, and friendly!! Dr. Kevin Kuo, you are the best, very passionate, caring, and helping thank you for getting me better and being so kind to me! Elizabeth you the best thank you for you help always and you big smile and positive actitud❤️🙏🏼
breidy valerio
19:01 22 Apr 22
The staff is truly exceptional, they make you feel comfortable and welcomed. The doctors are amazing,always professional, compassionate and great listeners.
Elizabeth Collado
03:25 09 Apr 22
What a great place! The place is clean and organized.The staff is wonderful. Setting up physical therapy is right there as well.I'm so glad I found this place.
Donna Anne
22:45 05 Apr 22
This was my 1st time breaking something in my 27 years on this planet. I was recommended here by a friend Dr. Vashka helped me from day 1 and still continues to check in on me and my healing ankle. Would highly recommend
tyron davis
16:06 01 Apr 22
Brand new office, same great doctors! Rooms are clean, plenty of parking, physical therapy attached, Dr. Karkare and his staff are awesome. Thank you!
Emily B
02:49 24 Mar 22
Dr.VAksha is the best, I love the way he treats me as his patient, he is caring,understanding and very attentive to my needs
Mirna Caballero
14:53 03 Mar 22
Great staff. Dr. Vaksha is awesome and takes the time to listen to his patients. He is very compassionate. I would highly recommend this office.
Bebe Doyle
01:24 23 Feb 22
After suffering from a severe ankle injury Dr. V was able to help me heal and return back to work completely to a job where I stand for 12 hours a day. The office is very clean and I appreciated the reminders of my appointments via phone call and through text. The patient portal made it easy for me to access all my documents including work notes. The office staff is wonderful and Rebecca was able to schedule me with a busy schedule and awesome at answering all of my questions including referring me to a great physical therapy office. I highly recommend this office to anyone who’s looking for knowledgeable and kind orthopedic office.
Elizabeth Birchwell
21:31 28 Jan 21
The staff here are great, I was seen at the time of my appointment and was well taken care of!
Shaun Berry
18:14 07 Jan 21
They are an excellent practice. The front and back office people are amazing and so helpful. Rebecca is such a kind and understanding person. I had an issue with paperwork and she cleared it right up. Dr. Karkare is very knowledgeable, helpful, and caring.
Matt S.
19:31 18 Nov 20
Rebecca K. - What a true burst of sunshine. Very friendly and definitely an asset to the practice!
Laura Aston
18:17 17 Nov 20
Great experience, the Doctor is nice but the staff is incredible. I worked with Linda, who was profession and assisted me beyond what any person has done at other practices. Complete Ortho should be complimented for having such a person on their staff.I highly recommend this place!!!
Joe Allen
17:26 17 Nov 20
Linda and Becca they are so good ever time I come they are very nice I would tell everyone I no to come to this office..
Barbara Victor
16:45 17 Nov 20
I was rear ended in an auto accident , Dr Vashka was recommended by a friend of mine .I was experiencing Back , neck , and shoulder pain . After a thorough examination and given exercises to do at home , I am feeling much better , and I ended up avoiding surgery . The staff at Complete Ortho is extremely attentive and show great care when making an appointment and are very friendly and i never waited more than 5 minutes for my appointment . So I would strongly recommend Complete Orthopedics for any aches and pains that one might be experiencing.....
Bill Becht
04:44 17 Nov 20
It was the afternoon of Friday Sept. 24. We were in Pt. Jefferson and my wife, Mary Ann, broke her hip. We went to Mather Hospital and it was determined that she would have to have an operation to have it repaired. This would be her third time under the knife in the past year. It just so happened that we were very fortunate enough to have Dr. Karkare, who was on standby, perform the surgery. He put in a rod and two screws in her hip. She spent a few days in the hospital and then went to Gurwin rehabilitee for another few weeks.It has now been almost six weeks and we both worked the election the other day. If it wasn’t for Dr. Karkare’s expertise she never would have been able to work. She is able to walk with a walker and is doing physical therapy three times a week.We can not thank the doctor enough for the compassion and dedication that he puts into his work. It allows Mary Ann do the things that she likes to do, even on a limited basis for a while. I know that with her will, perseverance and the great work that the surgeon performed she will be back on her feet in no time.Sincerely:John V. PlumpEast Northport, NY 11731
Jack Harris
14:36 06 Nov 20
In the year of 2018 I was referred to Dr. Karkare because I was experiencing severe knee joint pain. After exhausting physical therapy and trying to labor through the pain, I had to make a quality of life decision. Total knee replacement was the only viable option. Dr. Karkare made my decision easy as he walked me through the whole process from surgery to recovery.On 12/13/19 ( Friday the 13th) I enter Lenox Hill Hospital in great hands. From the time I entered Dr. Karkare’s office for the first time until now, his staff has been amazing. Andrea the medical coordinator walked me through all the paper work and necessary preparations for the surgery. Courtesy and kind would be an understatement. Dr. Karkare went over and beyond from the wellness checks and phone calls all to assure me that I was important to him. This was the right decision no pain and no limp. Complete Orthopedics should be your choice!
Kenneth Randolph
22:18 25 Sep 20
Dr. Vadshka has a great bedside manner. He really takes his time and explains treatment options.
T Lee
12:33 09 Sep 20
I suffered with pain in both knees for years. My orthopedic doctor kept recommending knee replacement . I fought it for years, as I was just afraid. When I had no choice and could barely walk , it was recommended I see Dr. Karkare. We set up a consultation and my wife and I left his office feeling totally confident and comfortable with moving ahead with the surgery. He explained everything to us, and the office staff set everything up for us and made the process easy. So about one month after our initial meeting I had the first knee done. I was up walking mere hours after the surgery, and on the workout machines the next morning. I went home two days after the surgery, and yes walked my daughter down the aisle at her wedding only one week after the surgery without even a cane! Three months later I had the other knee done and went home the very next day. Dr. Karkare put my fears to rest . I would highly recommend him. His expertise gave me my life back. Thank you Dr. Karkare.SincerelyVito Congro
Ethel Congo
23:58 12 Aug 20
Dr Rhodin really cares for his patients. When I see him he makes sure to review my progress in detail.
Micki Cahill
15:03 08 Feb 20
My mom had a total hip replacement by dr karkare. He is the BEST orthopedic doctor.Her incision is almost invisable.She is going back for her other hip next week. The office staff is the best, love Andrea.You wont find a better doctor.
21:06 13 Jul 18
There is no better Orthopedic doctor you will find. Broke my ankle three places on a Saturday. Called Dr. Karkare. He had is team ready at the hospital and operated on me within 6 hours after my injury. Now After 3 months of great care by him and his staff, I am walking to normalcy.
Spacecom Tel
04:13 23 Mar 18