Updated 04 November 2016

Treating knee pain

How is knee pain treated?

In the acute setting, basic principles apply: avoid weight-bearing, apply ice, elevate the limb and apply a compress.

If there is any deformity, swelling, locking of the joint, discolouration, fever or other sign of inflammation, medical advice must be sought immediately.

Once the definitive cause of the knee pain is established, appropriate treatment can be started. This may range from symptomatic relief of pain and inflammation, to physiotherapy, with or without surgery.

Underlying medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis must be treated.
Surgery can repair or reattach ligaments and tendons, repair meniscus tears, or even replace the knee joint.

Read more:

Preventing knee pain

Causes of knee pain


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Arthritis expert

Professor Asgar Ali Kalla completed his MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 1975 at the University of Cape Town and his FRCP in 2003 in London. Professor Ali Kalla is the Isaac Albow Chair of Rheumatology at the University of Cape Town and also the Head of Division of Rheumatology at Groote Schuur Hospital. He has participated in a number of clinical trials for rheumatology and is active in community outreach. Prof Ali Kalla is an expert in Arthritis for Health24.

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