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What does a knee specialist do?

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Quick Answer

Knee specialists diagnose and treat various knee ailments. Knee specialists include orthopaedic surgeons, sports medicine doctors and physical therapists. These career paths require advanced educational degrees.

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A high academic aptitude, mechanical ability, excellent manual dexterity and three-dimensional visualization skills are helpful aptitudes for an individual considering a career path as an orthopaedic surgeon. These specialized surgeons must complete four years of college in addition to four years of medical school. They must also complete five years of accredited graduate medical education.

In the United States, "sports medicine" is not a recognized residency training specialty. Physicians may obtain special qualifications in sports medicine following completion of a residency program in another specialty. Sports medicine fellowship programs typically require one to two years for completion.

Individuals must earn a physical therapist degree from an accredited physical therapist education program and also pass a state licensing exam to practice as a physical therapist in the United States. Many physical therapist education programs require applicants to earn a bachelor's degree prior to admission into the professional Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Other programs require three years of prerequisite courses before entering into a three-year professional DPT program. A few programs recruit students directly from high school into a guaranteed-admissions program.

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