Patient Education

Shoulder Hip


Diagnosing Knee Pain

Your surgeon will evaluate your health history, perform a physical examination, and take x-rays to diagnose your knee pain.

  • Medical history
    • Symptoms
    • Health
    • Activity
  • Examine affected joint
    • Range of motion tests
    • Joint-line tenderness
    • Joint deformities
  • X-rays

An x-ray will help your surgeon diagnose your knee pain. On an x-ray, a healthy knee joint appears as if there is a space between the bones in the joint. Although you cannot see the cartilage on an x-ray, in the healthy knee, the cartilage is working to cushion and smooth the movement of the thighbone (femur) against the tibia (shinbone). On the x-ray of a knee with osteoarthritis, there is bone on bone contact because the cartilage between the femur and tibia has been worn away.

Diagnosing Knee Pain arthritis

When non-surgical treatments such as diet, exercise, medications, supplements, walking aids, and physical therapy fail, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend total knee replacement.

You should discuss your condition and treatment options with your surgeon.


All patient education materials are provided by and have been reviewed by our Advisory Board of leading Orthopedic Surgeons to ensure accuracy. All materials are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from your orthopedic surgeon. Any medical decisions should be made after consulting a qualified physician.
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