A large portion of us have surely experienced some form of leg pain at some stage in our lives, but do we know the causes and when to see an orthopaedic specialist about it?
In our latest article, highly esteemed London-based orthopaedic surgeon, Mr Shahid Punwar, explains what exactly causes leg pain, as well as outlining the various different treatment options for leg pain.
What is orthopaedic leg pain?
Leg pain has many causes and it can either be sudden following an accident or can indeed come on over time. Orthopaedic leg pain should be differentiated from vascular leg pain, which occurs due to blockages in arteries and causes pain when walking.
What causes leg pain?
Upper and lower leg pain can come from the spine, hip and/or knee, which can present itself in the form of soft tissue pain or joint pain. Different age groups and sporting activities also greatly affect the different causes of pain.
Sudden causes of leg pain can be a slipped disc pushing on a nerve root, whereas more gradual pain can typically be as a result of wear and tear arthritis. Hip arthritis is the most common condition I see and this can indeed radiate to the knee. Knee injuries, most typically caused by sporting injuries, can also cause leg pain.
What are the symptoms of orthopaedic leg pain?
There are many symptoms of orthopaedic leg pain. The main ones include the following:
- hip pain
- difficulty putting on shoes and socks
- knee giving way
- knee locking and/or clicking
When should I go to see a specialist about my leg pain?
A patient should see a specialist about their leg pain if they feel as though they are not getting back to normal after a reasonable period of rest and if their mobility is restricted. A specialist should also be seen if the patient is constantly waking up at night due to pain and/or if they are unable to walk or engage in normal activities of daily living.
Specialist medical attention should also be sought by a patient if they are suffering from pain that is severe or associated with any tingling and/or weakness, or if they notice that a lump has formed.
How is orthopaedic leg pain treated?
Firstly, the patients’ detailed history will be thoroughly examined. The doctor will then find out when the pain first started, if the patient ever experienced similar pain before and whether or not they engage in regular sporting activities. The doctor will then look for alignment issues through the use of X-rays and/or an MRI scan.
Other treatment options for orthopaedic leg pain include the following:
- minor keyhole knee surgery
- knee ligament repair
- joint replacement
Mr Shahid Punwar is an extremely reputable consultant orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in leg pain. If you are currently suffering from leg pain, make sure you visit his Top Doctors profile to book a consultation with him.