Knee Care

Advanced knee care from experts

If chronic knee pain keeps you from everyday physical activities, consider getting help from a knee specialist at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital. Our goal is to provide you with high-quality care from diagnosis, education and treatment to recovery. We have the expertise and technology to create a treatment plan for you. Count on our compassionate orthopedic experts to help you get back to your feet.

Find an Orthopedic Specialist

Knee pain can affect people of all ages. We typically start with noninvasive procedures to ease your pain, such as:

  • Cortisone injections
  • Multimodal pain management
  • Physical therapy
  • Robotic and other minimally invasive procedures

Our doctors may recommend surgery if you have severe knee damage caused by degenerative joint disease, injuries, osteoarthritis or arthritis. We offer innovative procedures that may help you heal faster with minimal scarring. Whether you undergo invasive or noninvasive procedures to ease your knee pain, our knee specialists will work together with you to customize a personalized treatment plan.

Knee Anatomy

The knee is the largest joint in the human body. It is composed of three bones:

  • Femur (thighbone or the upper leg bone)
  • Tibia (shinbone or the bone in the lower front of the leg)
  • Patella (kneecap)

Your knee is also comprised of cartilage, ligaments and tendons. It has four main ligaments that hold its bones together. Collateral ligaments are found on both sides of your knee. They are responsible for your knee’s sideways movements. Two cruciate ligaments inside the knee joint cross each other into an X shape. They allow your knee to move forward and backward.

Tendons connect your knee bones to the leg muscles to allow movement. The two cartilage types found in your knee are:

  • Articular cartilage covers the ends of your tibia and femur and the back of the patella. This cartilage is a slippery substance that makes your knee bones glide smoothly against each other.
  • Meniscal cartilage absorbs shock and balances your body weight across the knee joint.

What Causes Knee Pain?

Knee pain becomes more common as people age. All of us may experience knee pain at some point. Its causes may include knee injury, joint overuse or arthritis. Some types of knee pain can be treated at home, and you may recover after a few days. Sore knees may not even be a sign of any serious condition.

But if pain persists, schedule an appointment with a knee pain doctor. An infection may cause pain in the knee bone or joint. Cancers that have started in or spread to your bones may also hurt your knee. Here are other possible knee pain causes:

  • Pain behind the knee: Baker’s cyst or arthritis
  • Pain in front: patella tracking disorder, chondromalacia patella, bursitis, arthritis
  • Pain above: quadriceps tendinopathy
  • Pain below: Osgood-Schlatter disease
  • Pain inside or outside: collateral or meniscus ligament tears and arthritis

Injuries and overuse may cause your knee to hurt, such as:

  • Bursitis
  • Iliotibial band syndrome
  • Kneecap dislocation
  • Kneecap fracture
  • Patellofemoral syndrome
  • Torn ligament
  • Torn cartilage (a meniscus tear)
  • Strain or sprain

The following are risk factors for developing or worsening knee pain:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Degenerative disorders
  • Genetics
  • Gout
  • Obesity
  • Trauma

What Doctor Should I See for Knee Pain?

If you are looking for a doctor for knee pain, consult an orthopedic doctor. An orthopedic doctor will be your primary physician for knee pain or injuries. They specialize in diagnosing, treating and managing conditions and injuries that affect bones, tendons, muscles and ligaments.

Orthopedic surgeons will provide you with nonsurgical treatments such as pain medication and rehabilitation. If your knee pain does not go away after noninvasive procedures, an orthopedic doctor may perform an X-ray, MRI, CT scan or joint fluid culture of the knee to look for other symptoms such as:

  • Deformity
  • Fever
  • Inability to bend
  • Knee pain when walking
  • Swelling
  • Worsening pain

If needed, your orthopedic doctor may perform surgery to treat your knee pain.

When Should I See a Doctor for Knee Pain?

Some knee pain may go away after rest and without further medical treatment. But if your knee pain persists for more than three days and you experience any of the following, call a doctor:

  • You have a fever
  • You have trouble straightening your knee
  • You have severe knee pain or a swollen knee
  • You cannot move your knee or put weight on it
  • You experience painful clicking or locking sounds from your knee
  • Your calf below the sore knee is swelling, hurting, tingling or discoloring

Knee Pain Treatment

Depending on the cause of your knee pain, your doctor may recommend any of the following treatments:

  • RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation)
  • Stronger painkillers such as codeine
  • Regenerative therapies
  • Talk therapies and pain management programs
  • Physical therapy
    • Exercise program
    • Securing an adhesive tape over your kneecap
    • Using knee braces
  • Lifestyle changes
    • Maintaining a healthy weight
    • Avoiding certain physical activities
  • Genicular nerve block treatment where anesthesia is injected into the genicular nerves to prevent them from transmitting pain signals from the knee to the brain
  • Peripheral nerve stimulation which uses electrodes to trick the knee peripheral nerves into shutting off pain signals to the brain
  • Complementary therapies
    • Biofeedback
    • Massage
    • Relaxation and more
  • Medication
    • Over-the-counter medications
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Surgery
    • Arthroscopy
    • Knee replacement

Choose Us To Treat Your Knee Pain

At Fountain Valley Regional Hospital in Orange County, we have physicians and nurses specializing in orthopedics who can help ease your knee pain with a tailored, comprehensive care plan for your condition. With 400 beds, our hospital is an acute care facility providing comprehensive and compassionate services that include:

  • Heart and stroke care
  • Neonatal and pediatric intensive care
  • High-risk obstetrical services
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Orthopedics, spine and neurosurgery

Knee Quiz

Quantify how knee pain is affecting your quality of life with our assessment.

Find an Orthopedic Specialist

Request one of our specialists to get a second opinion, or a really good first one.