How do I know if my knee pain is serious?

There are many causes of knee pain. Some conditions are due to overuse and repetitive activities, which can be treated with rest, ice, and non-prescription pain relievers. 

You should see an orthopedic knee specialist if a knee injury causes severe swelling, weakness, giving-way, catching, or locking. These symptoms require further evaluation so the best treatment can begin without delay. 

In other cases, patients may have chronic pain that has lasted months to years. If you have tried rest, ice, and non-prescription pain relievers without improvement, then you should schedule an appointment with a knee doctor.