Comprehensive Knee Evaluation
Knee Evaluations in Portland, OR, Bellevue, WA, and Tempe, AZ
A comprehensive knee evaluation is recommended for anyone who is experiencing recurrent pain or has had a prior knee injury. An evaluation is also recommended for athletes, patients at risk of osteoarthritis, or anyone with a family history of knee problems. The medical team at Reflex Knee Specialists offers comprehensive evaluations that include a physical exam and diagnostic ultrasound images to identify a wide range of knee conditions. Depending on the findings, the provider will recommend a customized treatment plan based on the specific needs of each patient. Serving patients in Arizona, Oregon, and Washington, our providers have extensive experience in non-surgical treatments and services.
What Is a Knee Evaluation?
The purpose of a comprehensive knee evaluation is to identify underlying conditions or injuries that may affect knee function and joint mobility. An evaluation at Reflex Knee Specialists includes:
- A review of the patient’s medical history and current symptoms
- A physical exam
- Diagnostic knee ultrasound imaging
- Knee X-ray imaging
- Formulation of a customized treatment plan
Comprehensive knee evaluations are also used for preventive care to assess a patient’s risk of chronic conditions like osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative disease that leads to joint pain, stiffness, and structural damage to tissues inside the knee. By identifying knee problems before severe symptoms develop, a patient can make lifestyle and diet modifications that will increase joint health and function. It also allows patients to be treated in the early stages of joint disease, when treatments are most effective.
When to Consult with a Provider
Some patients may disregard joint aches and pains in their knees or assume there’s nothing that can be done. But it’s best to talk with a specialist who can diagnose and treat knee pain before irreversible structural damage is present. Patients with the following symptoms should consider making an appointment:
- Recurring knee pain
- Knee joint stiffness, especially first thing in the morning or after sitting or standing for long periods
- Joint swelling
- Decreased range of motion
- Joint buckling, clicking, popping, catching, or locking
Risk Factors for Knee Pain
While anybody can develop knee pain, certain patients are more at risk than others, including:
- History of injury: If a patient has sustained a knee injury in the past such as an ACL or meniscal tear, there is a much higher risk of developing knee osteoarthritis
- Athletes: Playing sports such as soccer, basketball, football, volleyball, or tennis increases risk of ‘micro-injuries’ that can lead to chronic degradation of tissues inside the knee
- Occupations involving repetitive squatting and/or kneeling: Individuals whose work involves a lot of squatting, bending, lifting, and/or kneeling have an increased risk of developing knee arthritis.
- Family history: Patients with a family history of osteoarthritis and other joint diseases are more likely to have knee problems.
Patients with one or more risk factors for knee issues should consider a preventive knee evaluation.
What to Expect During a Knee Evaluation
A comprehensive knee evaluation is a non-invasive, diagnostic appointment. First, a provider will review the patient’s medical and surgical history. They’ll go over any past injuries to the knee and how those injuries were treated. They will also discuss the patient’s goals for treatment, their current lifestyle, and any activity limitations.
Next, the provider will perform a physical exam to check the stability of the knee joint, and muscle strength, range of motion, and joint alignment. They will check for tenderness or discomfort with certain movements or joint positions.
After completing a physical exam, a provider will perform a diagnostic ultrasound to assess the inner structures of the joint. An ultrasound is not invasive or painful. A provider moves an ultrasound transducer over different areas of the knee to assess the condition of various structures in and around the joint.
The provider will also check the lining of the knee joint, known as the synovium, to see if it is thickened or inflamed. Ultrasound can also assess:
- Meniscus injuries
- Tendon tears or damage due to over-use
- Ligament strains or tears
- Excessive fluid in the knee (effusion)
- Cartilage damage
An ultrasound is especially important for detecting the earliest stages of cartilage breakdown when interventional treatments are most effective.
Once testing is complete, the team at Reflex Knee Specialists will develop a customized care plan based on the findings. The goal of treatment is to minimize symptoms and help the patients increase their activity levels without resorting to surgical intervention. A care plan may include conservative treatment options, such as:
- Physical therapy to increase joint strength and flexibility
- Bracing to help stabilize the joint
- Joint fluid treatments to reduce inflammation
- Innovative treatments like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and ozone joint therapy
Reflex Knee Specialists will also advise active athletes on how to prevent additional joint injuries in the future.
Schedule an Appointment with Reflex Knee Specialists
With state-of-the-art facilities and advanced non-surgical treatment options, the medical team at Reflex Knee Specialists is dedicated to helping every patient preserve long-term knee health. Reflex Knee Specialists serves patients in Bellevue, Washington, Portland, Oregon and Tempe, Arizona. For more information or to schedule a knee evaluation appointment, contact us today.