A year ago I was in a car accident and took a direct hit to my left knee. At the time of the injury, X-rays didn't show anything wrong. I'm still having pain and swelling off and on. I walk with a limp most of the time. My family doctor can't find anything. What do I do now? This injury is keeping me from playing golf, snowboarding, and doing other outdoor activities I like.

Sometimes X-rays just aren't enough to show everything. Other imaging studies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be better, depending on the tissue injured and its location. Even with more advanced imaging, tissue damage can stay hidden by torn cartilage flapped over it.

In that case, an arthroscopic exam is needed. The doctor uses a special tool inserted into the joint. With a tiny TV camera on the end, the arthroscope projects a complete view inside the joint up on a screen. By entering the joint from different sides, the doctor can see areas hard to see or reach.

Don't wait to ask your doctor about the next step for you. Continued symptoms a year later are not normal. It may take awhile, but someone should be able to get to the bottom of the problem.