• Knee injury;
  • Satisfaction;
  • Functional outcome;
  • Provider type



To compare the short-term outcomes of acute knee injuries treated by specialists and generalists.


Using patient logs, 168 adults with acute knee injuries were identified; 131 (78%) completed a questionnaire 3 months after initial presentation.


The mean age of the 77 male and 54 female responders was 34.6 years (range 18–73 years). The injuries were classified as mild (n = 35), moderate (n = 75), or severe (n = 21). Most responders were satisfied with their care and outcome, but 22% noted some functional limitations. The 59 patients seeing an orthopedist were more likely to have had a severe injury, more physician visits, activity limitations, lost time from work or recreation, and more pain when compared with the 72 patients who never saw an orthopedist. Excluding surgical patients, however, satisfaction was not significantly different by provider. After multivariate modeling (adjusting for age, sex, injury severity, and diagnosis), there was no significant association between having seen an orthopedist and either treatment success or satisfaction.


With the exception of time lost for recuperation in our community there is little difference in short-term outcome for patients with acute knee injury not undergoing surgery, regardless of the specialty of the treating physician.