Sometimes serious diseases or conditions may cause knee pain. These may include infections in the knee joint or the area around the knee. If you have reached this diagnosis risk page after answering the knee pain quiz, you should see a physician as soon as possible.
Infections – especially those caused by bacteria - may permanently damage the joint or even be life threatening. Knee replacements may become infected. Some forms of arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout and pseudogout frequently cause severe pain and inflammation in the knee. Other types of arthritis may require expert evaluation and testing to confirm. Rarely tumors or cancers in or around the knee may cause constant pain.
It is important to determine the diagnosis and cause of the inflammation as soon as possible. Physicians use questions similar to those in the knee pain quiz, blood tests, and sometimes remove fluid from the joint for testing. X-rays may be normal early in the disease, and not helpful for detecting inflammation. Sometimes CT, ultrasound or MRI scans are ordered.
The warning signs that a severe condition requiring immediate attention and treatment may be present include:
1. Having a fever, chills, night sweats, or unexplained weight loss
2. Skin around the joint area is hot or red
3. Pain never goes away, or worsens - often quickly
4. Other joints (hands, knees, elbows, wrists) also have some of the same signs (painful swelling, warmth, stiffness, redness).
5. The joint is very tender to the touch, and the stiffness never goes away.
6. Constant pain at night; unable to find a comfortable position.
It is very important to have an accurate diagnosis as quickly as possible, as treatment for the wrong condition may worsen the disease. Results obtained by taking the PainSpot knee pain quiz may suggest urgent medical attention is necessary to determine the diagnosis.Antibiotics are essential for infection, and sometimes the joint needs surgical attention to remove infected replacements, tissue or bone. For most inflammatory joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, care from a rheumatologist is recommended. A rheumatologist is a specialist trained to diagnose and treat whatever kind of arthritis is present. Treatment of these conditions to prevent or reduce joint damage often is very effective, and remission is possible. Some diseases require specialized medications to reduce inflammation and joint damage.
There are many newer medications for treating types of inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. Resources and information for many of these medications may be found at the websites below: