Visiting your GP
If you are experiencing persistent pain in your knee or are
finding it difficult to do normal things because of stiffness or
loss of mobility, your GP is probably the first person you will
Your GP is likely to ask about what pain you are experiencing at
different times of the day, how your mobility is being affected and
any other symptoms you have. They may already know that you have a
condition such as arthritis which could affect your knee.
If you have not seen your doctor about the problem before, they
may carry out a physical examination, and order X rays and blood
tests to diagnose the underlying problem. Many doctors use a
scoring system to give them information about how badly your knee
problems are affecting you. This usually involves a series of
questions about the severity of the pain you are experiencing and
how it affects everyday tasks, such as kneeling down and getting in
and out of a car.
Your GP may then recommend some options for you. One option
might be trying over-the-counter medications such as non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to see if these help. Another
option may be referral to a consultant orthopaedic surgeon to talk
about other options including a knee replacement operation. In some areas,
NHS patients have to meet particular criteria before knee
replacements are considered. If you are overweight, it is often
recommended that you try to lose weight as this reduces the strain
placed on your knee.
You can ask to be referred to a surgeon privately. This will
mean you are seen at a time to suit you and, if the consultant
feels you need a knee replacement, you can agree on the best time
for it to be carried out.