The doctor will typically want to know the exact nature of the pain.

Where in the knee is your pain?
What does the pain feel like?
How long has the pain been present?
Has it happened before?
Describe any injuries to the knee.
What makes it better or worse?
Does the knee pain wake you up at night?
Does the knee feel unstable?
It is worse going up or down stairs?
Have you been limping?
Do you still have normal sensation in your hip, lower leg or feet?
Do you have numbness or tingling in your hip, lower leg or feet?
Have you been having fevers?
Do you have any major medical problems?
How active is your lifestyle?
What are the names of the medications you are taking?

Physical exam:

The doctor will then inspect the knee and press around the knee to see
exactly where it is tender. In addition, the doctor may perform a number
of maneuvers to stress the ligaments, tendons, and menisci of the knee and
evaluate the integrity of each of these.

X-rays, CT scans, and other tests

Depending on your particular history and exam, the doctor may suggest X-
rays of the knee. X-rays show fractures (broken bones) and dislocations
of bones in the knee as well as arthritis and abnormally large or small joint
spaces. Rarely, the doctor may order a CT scan (a 3-dimensional X-ray)
of the knee to precisely define a fracture or deformity. Both X-rays and
CT scans are excellent for diagnosing fractures. They both are also poor,
however, at evaluating soft tissue structures of the knee such as ligaments,
tendons, and the menisci.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses large magnets to create a 3-
dimensional image of the knee. In contrast to CT scans, MRIs do not
image bones and fractures as well. Also in contrast to CT scans, MRIs are
excellent for evaluating ligaments and tendons for injuries.

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Each possible cause of chronic knee pain requires different diagnostic
tests. These include Blood Work, Neurological and Physical Assessment,
X-rays, CT or MRI scans, and other imaging tests. The types of tests you
will undergo depend on the results of the thorough Neurological and
Physical Assessment of the knee.

We will do a thorough neurological assessment of the lower extremities,
reflexes, vibration testing, muscle strength testing and testing for
contracted musculatures of the hip, sacroiliac joint, lower legs and feet. All
of these factors can play into a knee problem. You don't just get bad knees
for no reason.

For most patients, we can drastically reduce their chronic, degenerative
knee pain in as little as 2 visits. Some patients get 100% relief and all pain
is gone. For others we reduce their pain by 50% or more. If we don’t feel
like we can get you relief and results in as little as 2 visits, then we will not
take you on as a patient
Chronic Knee Center of San Diego
Performing Non-Surgical Knee Procedures
Rudy A. Reyes, D.C.
Knee Diagnosis
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