Medical Q: At what point should I see an orthopaedist for a knee injury?

I am a semi-active male in early middle age. About three-to-four weeks ago, I tripped while carrying my daughter. I was more interested in protecting her, than myself when I fell (she is okay), and consequently I injured my knee. I realize that it has been injured – minor discomfort in walking and only when I fully extend the leg is there anything like pain and the pain is minor.

So the question is – what is the normal healing time and at what point should I look to a cartiledge scrapper MD?

Quick follow up: Full insurance - nuisance copay, but I coming from a medical family, I don’t like doctors.

If it’s still hurting after three or four weeks, I’d get it looked at, personally. Actually, I’d have gone in after about a week. My mother has bad knees, so I guess I’m inclined to be more protective of my own than some people.

IANAD. When I had an injured knee (car accident) the doctors told me it could take months and months for the soft tissue injuries to fully heal, if they ever would. Ligaments, tendons, cartilege, etc., have little blood flow and heal very slowly.

After a few months of physical therapy, when it ceased to improve, they did an MRI and found some damaged cartilege, which was surgically smoothed out. Then I had to go through PT again. My impression was that if it’s not bone that’s injured, one can adopt a “wait and see” approach unless it’s interfering with necessary activities. It could be that an orthopedist or physical therapist might be able to suggest some non-surgical treatment that would help.

Again, I’m not a medical expert, just relating my own experience. YMMV.