Hip or Knee Pain? Let Us Help

Pain in your hips or knees can keep you from your favorite activities. Though different conditions can cause it, it is most commonly caused by arthritis.

If you have joint pain, it is best to seek expert medical care. The right treatment can help ease pain and possibly limit further damage to your joints. At Lakeland Regional Health, we have the expertise to care just for you.

We sat down with Dr. Mario John, a fellowship-trained, board-certified orthopedic surgeon, to ask some common questions about arthritis and how it affects your joints. 


Mario John, MD

Orthopedic Surgery

Dr. John specializes in adult hip and knee reconstruction and primary, complex primary, and revision hip and knee joint replacement. He finds great joy in helping people safely return to their physical activities again. Being more active also improves your overall health. The more active you are, the lower your risk of heart disease and other conditions.

Let’s learn a little more about arthritis pain and its treatments from Dr. John.

1. What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a joint disease that causes joint pain. There are many types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory disease, and post-traumatic arthritis caused by trauma from an injury. However, the most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis mostly occurs as people age. Fluid and tissues in your joints can wear down over time allowing your bones to rub together. This leads to inflammation, swelling, pain, and may damage the joint. Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint, but when it is in the hips and knees, it can greatly affect your life.

2. Is there a way to prevent or reduce the risk of arthritis?

Yes. There are ways to possibly prevent osteoarthritis or slow its development. Steps you can take include:

  • Maintaining an ideal weight. Excess weight puts extra stress on your joints.
  • Controlling blood sugar.
  • Protecting the joint from injury.
  • Eating a proper diet and increasing exercise.

3. What are the most common symptoms of arthritis?

For knee arthritis, the most common symptoms are: 

  • Pain and swelling. These symptoms may be worse in the morning or after sitting or resting.
  • Stiffness and swelling of the knee joint.
  • Feeling weakness in the knee or buckling in the knee.
  • Increased joint pain with changes in the weather.

For hip arthritis, the most common symptoms are:

  • Pain in your groin or thigh that radiates to your buttocks or your knee.
  • Decreased range of motion in the hip. This can affect your ability to walk. It may cause you to limp.
  • Increased joint pain with changes in the weather.
  • Stiffness in the hip joint that makes it difficult to walk or to bend at the hip.

4. What doctor should I see about hip or knee pain?

Primary care providers are a good start if you have joint pain. For a diagnosis, they typically do a physical exam, order necessary tests, such as X-rays, and provide conservative medical treatment as needed. Your primary care provider may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon. An orthopedic surgeon can review your condition and talk with you about care options, including surgery.

5. What activities can make arthritis in the hip and knee worse?

Typical activities that can worsen arthritis pain include climbing stairs, hiking, running, jumping, and doing deep squats. You should limit or avoid these activities and any activities that cause pain in your knee or hip when experiencing arthritis symptoms.

High-impact activities can stress your joints and make arthritis worse. They can lead to more pain and damage. Examples of high-impact activities are jogging or tennis. It is best to switch to low-impact activities as they put less stress on your joints. Low-impact activities include swimming or cycling.

6. What are the treatments for arthritis?

Treatments for hip and knee arthritis include conservative medical care and surgical management.   

For conservative care, you can:

  • Lose weight, if needed.
  • Change the types of activities you do.
  • Take anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen (Advil) or celecoxib.
  • Participate in physical therapy.
  • Use assistive devices, such as a cane or walker.

Surgical intervention is usually recommended when conservative medical care no longer works to ease the pain and problems caused by arthritis. Surgical treatment often means having a hip or knee joint replaced with an artificial joint. The surgery may be a partial joint replacement or a total joint replacement.

7. If arthritis in the hip or knee is not treated, what complications or damage can it cause?

Untreated arthritis in the hip or knee can affect your quality of life. Pain from arthritis can mean you must limit your normal, day-to-day activities. Your joints may become damaged, leading to an increase in deformity of the joints. This can be quite debilitating and may affect your ability to move around.

8. How do you know when surgery or a joint replacement is needed to treat arthritis?

Typically, nonsurgical medical treatments are tried first. When those no longer work, surgery is often the best option. Whether you have a hip or knee replacement or some other surgery, the goal is to help ease your pain and help you regain the function that was lost because of damage from arthritis.

Don’t let hip or knee pain take control of your life.

If you are experiencing hip or knee pain, discuss it with your primary care provider today. To make an appointment with one of our providers, click here or call 863.284.5000.

An orthopedic surgeon can discuss surgical options with you. To reach our orthopedic team, call 863.687.1250.