Overview

Among the best care available

It’s easy to take your knees for granted. But a painful knee is certain to get your attention. Kicking a soccer ball or simply getting around might become next to impossible.

When a knee injury or knee pain keeps you out of the game or makes life difficult, UW Health can help. We have a team of specialists who focus on knee problems. Some are experts in sports medicine. They’ve got you covered if a chronic or sudden injury puts you on the sidelines. Others specialize in knee replacement surgery. Their expertise helps you get back to everyday activities pain free.

When you come to us, you’ll get some of the best care available. We offer a full range of treatments for knee pain and work to find the one that’s best for you.

Treatments

The right treatment at the right time

Types of treatment

There are many treatments for knee pain. Sometimes more than one might help. Which one or ones are best for you depends on the problem you have and your preferences. Our providers work with you to find the treatments that will offer the most relief.

Helps lessen discomfort. May be given by mouth, on the skin or by injection.

May include guided exercise, tips on movement and pain control to help you move better.

Corrects damaged areas of the knee. In some cases, it’s done to replace part or all of the knee joint.

Some people might not be ready or able to have knee replacement surgery. For them, we offer special programs.

Osteoarthritis Management Clinic

The goal of this clinic is to provide treatments that help control your symptoms. These could include medication, help with lifestyle changes including weight loss, injections and more. Doctors, physical therapists, nutritionists and health psychologists might have a role in your care.

Group medical visits are also an option in the clinic. We cover topics such as nutrition, exercise and coping. You get useful advice and the support of others going through what you’re going through.

Managing your condition

A team of specialists ready to help

Symptoms

Knee problems or injuries often come with many symptoms. Besides pain, you might have a hard time straightening your knee. The knee could also feel warm to the touch. Other possible symptoms include:

  • Instability

  • Popping or crackling noises

  • Stiffness

  • Swelling

These resources may help you learn more about knee problems that can cause these symptoms and how we treat them.

Knee conditions and treatments

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear

  • Collateral ligament sprains

  • Dealing with knee pain

  • Fat pad impingement

  • Iliotibial band friction syndrome and greater trochanteric bursitis

  • Knee rehabilitation

  • Patellar tendinitis (Jumper’s knee)

  • Meniscal injuries

  • Meniscus tear

  • Non-surgical options for knee pain

  • Osgood-Schlatter disease

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Osteoarthritis of the knee 

  • Osteochondral injuries

  • Patellofemoral stress syndrome

  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome

  • Posterior cruciate ligament ruptures

Knee replacement procedures

Bilateral knee replacement: It is not uncommon for people to have arthritis in both knees. Depending on your situation, you might be able to have knee replacement surgery on both knees at the same time.

Outpatient knee replacement: Advancements in medical technology and pain management have made it possible for some people to have knee replacement surgery and go home on the same day. If you are in good general health, do not smoke, are motivated and have a good support team at home you might be able to have this surgery.

Patient stories

Beth’s story

Beth felt her right knee pain getting worse over the past five years. She stopped doing the activities she enjoyed and decided it was time to take action. After consulting with the experts at UW Health, Beth underwent a knee replacement surgery. Follow her journey (video)

Educational resources and classes

Joints 101 is a class that helps you get ready for knee replacement surgery. It includes a tour of the hospital, a meeting with members of your care team and a chance to ask questions. We’ll also teach you what to expect with your surgery and help you prepare for your discharge. The more prepared you are, the easier surgery is likely to be.

TotalCare for surgery patients is an online education tool. It’s designed to help you both before and after joint replacement surgery and ACL reconstruction surgery. The system offers useful checklists, learning tools and online forms to make paperwork easier. You and others you choose can access the system.

Spectrum training is for people who have had ACL reconstruction or other injuries of the leg. It is designed to give athletes functional strength and sport-specific drills to return to sport activities. These classes are led by physical therapists and physical therapist assistants who specialize in ACL and lower-extremity rehabilitation.

Meet our team

Experts who care

We have a team of caregivers ready to help when you have knee pain. Many of them specialize in certain conditions or treatments. Their expertise helps ensure that no matter what your knee problem, you’ll get care tailored to your needs.

Orthopedic Surgery
Sports physical therapists and athletic trainers

Locations

We provide specialty orthopedic and rehabilitation care at multiple Madison locations.

  • UW Health at The American Center - Orthopedic Joint Reconstruction and Replacement
    • 4602 Eastpark Blvd. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 263-7540
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  • UW Health at The American Center - Orthopedic and Spine Rehabilitation
    • 4602 Eastpark Blvd. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 440-6440
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  • UW Health at The American Center - Sports Medicine
    • 4602 Eastpark Blvd. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 263-8850
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  • UW Health at The American Center - Sports Rehabilitation
    • 4602 Eastpark Blvd. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 440-6444
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  • Research Park Clinic - Orthopedic Surgery
    • 621 Science Dr. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 263-7540
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  • Research Park Clinic - Sports Medicine
    • 621 Science Dr. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 263-8850
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  • Research Park Clinic - Sports Rehabilitation
    • 621 Science Dr. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 263-4765
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  • 1 S. Park Clinic - Orthopedic Joint Reconstruction and Replacement
    • 1 S. Park St. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 263-7540
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  • Rehabilitation Clinic - Orthopedic Physical Therapy
    • 6630 University Ave. / Middleton, WI
    • (608) 263-8412
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  • Yahara Clinic - Orthopedic Physical Therapy
    • 1050 East Broadway / Monona, WI
    • (608) 890-6110
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Research and clinical trials

Moving research forward

Our sports medicine research group works on ways to prevent knee injuries in athletes of all ages.  We also work to continue to refine robotic-assisted surgery techniques in joint replacement and our regenerative medicine and stem cell work may eliminate the need for joint replacements in the future.