Hip or knee pain

MSK - Information for GPs - Hip or knee pain - Top Image

Hip or knee pain pathways

Please use the hip and knee pathways below to determine the best treatment option for your patient, based on their condition:

MSK clinical assessment and treatment service

The musculoskeletal clinical assessment and treatment service (MSK CATS) is for patients with complex musculoskeletal presentations with failed conservative management who may require specialist assessment, access to diagnostics and possibly onward referral to secondary care. It is also for MSK patients who may require peripheral soft tissue, peri-articular and articular injections. MSK CATS is run by specialist staff with many years’ experience, including extended scope physiotherapy practitioners and a GP with a special interest (GPwSI) in musculoskeletal medicine. The team has close links with secondary care consultants in orthopaedics, rheumatology and chronic pain. The clinicians in the team are able to refer directly for investigations and can refer to secondary care as appropriate.

Clinical Champions

Some practices have a named contact person within the MSK team, called a ‘clinical champion’, who can be contacted to discuss any matter relating to the service. This might include referrals or the management of complex patients.

How to refer

Please complete the appropriate referral form with full, accurate information and provide any relevant investigation reports.
Referrals are triaged by a senior clinician to ensure patients are seen by the most appropriate service. A referral can be triaged into MSK physiotherapy, MSK CATS, MSK podiatry or secondary care (e.g. orthopaedics, rheumatology or chronic pain consultants).
In MSK Physiotherapy you might be directed to one of the following appointment types:
  • Our back pain education session – in this appointment you attend a specialised group session followed by your physiotherapy assessment – these sessions can take up to 2 hours
  • Our lower limb osteoarthritis education sessions – in this appointment you attend a specialised group session followed by your physiotherapy assessment – these sessions can take up to 2 hours
  • Our specialised ‘persistent pain’ appointments – these appointments may start with a group education session
  • A standard 1:1 Physiotherapy Assessment
  • Our Turkish speaking education session

You may then complete your treatment in one of our many exercise classes based across Haringey and Islington.

Contact us

For general physiotherapy queries, please call 020 3224 4789 or email whh-tr.mskadminteam@nhs.net.

For new referrals and AQP referrals, please contact our Central Bookings team on 020 3316 1111.

For MSK CATS referrals, please call 020 3224 4744.
For MSK Single Point of Access referral queries please call 02072883317.

Advice Leaflets

Useful Apps

Please click each title to find out more.

NHS 24 MSK Help

Advice on common muscle, back and joint problems:

  • Exercises and video clips to help you get moving safely
  • Information to help with Work – Working lives information
  • Reminders to do your exercises and/or attend any appointments
  • A log to keep a note of your progress


In order to be able to treat pain effectively, pain experts recommend you keep a diary. CatchMyPain allows you to track your pain problem by using detailed drawings and by providing other relevant information. The diary will help you to explain your pain problem to any care provider.

Osteoarthritis of knee

This application contains more than 30 user friendly animated exercise program for osteoarthritis of knee. These exercises are very easy to understand and perform at home and they help in improving strength, endurance and fitness of knee.

Hip and thigh workouts

Lose weight, look better, feel healthier and more confident with this simple FREE app.

Page last updated: 19 Feb 2018
Working on it!