Treatments for Knee Pain

Get back in motion with dedicated knee care.

When knee pain slows you down, our specialists provide advanced treatment with a caring touch. Whether you need anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery, a knee replacement or physical therapy close to home, we can help.


The Care You Need to Treat Knee Pain

Everyone – from walkers to farmers to recreational athletes – relies on their knees. Maybe that’s why knee pain is one of the most common reasons people visit a doctor.

At Aurora Health Care, we offer a uniquely integrated approach to treating knee pain. Our team includes fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine doctors and dedicated physical therapists. Many have special training focused on knee care. That means no matter what’s causing your pain, you can get the treatment that’s right for you – and get back to doing the things you love most.

The Aurora Difference

Treatment & Surgery to Resolve Knee Pain

Almost 5 million Americans are living with a total knee replacement. By age 80, about 10% of people have an artificial knee. Yet each knee is different, which is why the customized treatment we offer is so important.

Here are some of the reasons people choose us for knee care:

  • Quality certification: Our knee replacement program has earned Joint Commission certification. That means the Joint Commission, an independent quality organization, has examined our program and determined that we’re among the best available in the country.
  • Advanced imaging: With the latest imaging tools, we can clearly view inside your knee joint to develop the best treatment plan for you. We may diagnose your condition using X-rays, 3-D CT (computed tomography) scans and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans.
  • Guided injections: We may use injections to insert medication directly into the joint to ease pain. With ultrasound (imaging with sound waves) or fluoroscopy (injecting a dye agent to more clearly see the joint), we can guide the injection to the right spot.
  • Minimally invasive procedures: Procedures such as knee arthroscopy use small instruments, which require only small incisions. That means you’ll experience less pain and tenderness as you recover.
  • Rapid recovery: Most people who have knee surgery at Aurora go home within 24 hours. Before your procedure, you’ll attend the Aurora Joint Academy, which will help you prepare for surgery and make a faster recovery. Learn more about Aurora Joint Academy.
  • Convenient locations: With dozens of locations across eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, chances are good that you can find care close to home.


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Non-Surgical Care

Treatments for Knee Pain Without Surgery

The first line of treatment for knee pain is home care, including rest, over-the-counter pain relievers and cold packs. If your knee remains stiff, swollen or painful after trying these methods, it’s time to consult a doctor.

We offer a variety of nonsurgical treatments for knee pain, including:

  • Weight loss and exercise: Sometimes, an unstable knee needs greater strength or less pressure. We may recommend a weight loss plan or a gentle exercise regimen to alleviate your knee pain.
  • Bracing or walking aids: When a knee requires extra support, we can provide a customized brace. Providing some structure gives the knee time to heal and get stronger. We also may recommend a cane or walker and can teach you how to use these tools.
  • Aspiration: We can remove excess fluid from a swollen knee. This procedure, called aspiration, can ease your discomfort and tell us whether a more serious problem exists.
  • Injections: Injections of pain relievers or lubricants can help with knee pain. Steroids reduce swelling and pain, while joint lubricants make it easier for the knee to move smoothly. Learn more about injections for joint pain.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapists who are specially trained in orthopedics are an integrated part of our knee care team. Specialized therapy can improve your strength, stability and flexibility. Get more information about orthopedic physical therapy.
  • Pain management: We provide advanced pain management to ease discomfort and keep you active. We may recommend non-narcotic medications or integrative care like chiropractic or acupuncture.

Types of Knee Surgery

Keeping You Flexible With Knee Surgery Options

We offer a variety of surgical knee treatments and repairs. Most often, we use minimally invasive surgical approaches, which use only small incisions so that you heal faster. What’s more, our pain relief options can help you begin physical therapy within hours of having surgery.

Our knee surgeries include:

  • Total knee replacement: Total knee replacement can relieve pain and swelling and allow you to be active again. In certain cases, we can replace both knees at one time. Learn more about knee replacement.
  • Arthroscopic knee surgery: Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat torn meniscus (knee cartilage) or an injured ACL. Using a tiny camera and only small incisions, knee specialists can view, repair or remove damaged cartilage. Learn more about minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery.
  • MAKOplasty® partial knee resurfacing: MAKOplasty is a knee replacement alternative that spares healthy bone tissue and ligaments. Find out more about MAKOplasty as an alternative to knee replacement.
  • Meniscus repair: The meniscus is a tough tissue that cushions the knee. The meniscus may tear during sports or regular activity. Minor tears may heal with rehabilitation alone. For other tears, we offer minimally invasive arthroscopy to trim away damaged meniscus tissue (called partial meniscectomy) or repair the torn meniscus. Get a free injury evaluation.
  • Meniscus replacement: In some cases, we provide meniscus replacement, also known as meniscal transplant. This type of surgery can help healthy, active people under age 55 whose meniscus cannot be repaired. Learn more about meniscus transplant.
  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery: You may injure the ACL – the ligament that connects the shin, knee and thigh – during sports or a fall. Find out about our ACL surgery options.
  • Cartilage repair or restoration: Cartilage is a layer of tissue at the ends of bone and between bones. Sometimes knee injuries can damage the cartilage in and around your knee. Our sports medicine-trained surgeons have expertise in repairing cartilage injuries without replacing the joint. In some cases, we offer cartilage transplant, which can help new cartilage grow in place of the damaged tissue. Learn more about cartilage repair.

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