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Are you experiencing hip, knee, or leg pain? As a Lufkin orthopedic urgent care center, we know firsthand that there could be a number of causes behind the discomfort, and some are more difficult to pinpoint than others.

Whether you sustained an injury or something suddenly does not feel quite right, it is crucial to proactively have the issue explored. This prevents the risk of further damage, and allows your medical professional to quickly map out a plan of action for correction and healing.

4 Common Causes of Pain in the Hip, Knee, and Leg

  • Fractures
  • Ligament Tears
  • Meniscus Tears
  • Arthritis

While the causes, treatment, and prognosis are different for each of these, the general symptoms are often quite similar. The common denominator, however, is certainly pain: your body alerting you to the fact that something is wrong that needs to be addressed.

Identifying and Responding to Fractures in the Hip, Knee, or Leg

The severity may fall somewhere on a wide spectrum, but any crack or break in the bone is considered a fracture. This is most often caused by an injury, but it may also be the result of repetitive motion and strain. Symptoms may include:

  • Bruising and swelling around the fracture
  • Severe pain that is triggered especially by movement
  • Tingling or loss of sensation
  • Inhibited movement

How should you respond to a suspected fracture?

  • Limit movement
  • Apply ice packs to reduce swelling and pain
  • Seek medical treatment immediately

Identifying and Responding to Ligament Tears in the Hip, Knee, or Leg

Simply put, ligaments are the tissue that tie the bones in your body together. It stands to reason then that most injuries to the ligaments are caused by unexpected twisting, hyperextension, or strain, and particularly around the knees and ankles. Symptoms may include:

  • Joint instability
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • In the case of hip ligament damage (specifically a “labral tear”), you may feel pain when getting out of a chair, your car, or while squatting

How should you respond to suspected ligament damage?

  • Limit movement
  • Apply ice to reduce swelling and discomfort
  • Seek medical help immediately (in some cases ligament damage requires surgery to correct)

Identifying and Responding to a Meniscus Tear

The meniscus is a cushion for your knee that provides stability and support. While this rubbery disc can be injured by any sudden twist or strain, it most often is damaged by the repetitive motion of playing, and training for, sports. Symptoms may include:

  • Slight pain and swelling (for minor cases)
  • Stiffness and pain to the side or center of your knee (moderate damage)
  • In severe cases, your knee will feel unsteady, may have trouble straightening, and could click or pop
  • Regardless of the severity, stiffness and pain are universal symptoms

How should you respond to potentially torn meniscus?

The key is not to ignore the pain, or work through it. Consulting with a doctor is the essential first step toward making a plan to prevent further damage, ideally avoiding the need for surgery.

Identifying and Responding to Arthritis in Your Hips, Knees, or Legs

Arthritis, unlike the other injuries discussed here, is not a sudden issue that can be traced to an injury or trauma. It is instead a slow deterioration of cartilage in your joints, causing oftentimes substantial discomfort and limitations on mobility.

What Are the Symptoms of Arthritis?

  • Tenderness and pain
  • Limited mobility
  • Joint stiffness and swelling

Arthritis may not be a sudden issue, but it could require sudden treatment at an inconvenient time. When that happens, or any musculoskeletal issue, we encourage you to call Dedicated Orthopedic Center Urgent Care. Providing urgent orthopedic care in Lufkin is our specialty and passion.

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