If you suffer a knee injury, should you go to an emergency room or urgent care center, your primary care doctor, or to an orthopedic surgeon? In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I discuss your options if you’re dealing with a nagging knee problem that isn’t getting better.
A few days ago, as I was walking in the street, my left leg locked on me twice. At that time, I experienced excruciating pain in my knee. Since then my leg has locked a few times while walking, and the pain is constant at the top of my knee when I try to straighten it out. When it is bent, I do not have pain. I do not have any swelling, just pain and locking. I also feel off balance. Do you think that I should see my GP (general practitioner or internist) first instead of an orthopedic surgeon? Or should I just go to see the surgeon for an evaluation?
There are many benefits to seeing your primary care doctor first, even if it is for a bone or joint injury. First, many insurance companies require patients to see their doctor and get a referral. Plus they know you, and you have a long relationship with you. And you might be able to see your personal doctor very quickly.
On the other hand, they are not as familiar with evaluation of musculoskeletal injuries as orthopedic surgeons. In this video, I discuss some of the potential drawbacks of seeing your primary care doctor first and when you might consider trying to see an orthopedic surgeon first.
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