How Is Knee Pain In Teens Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask about your teens knee pain:
- Is there a known cause for the knee pain does it happen with certain movements or is there no specific known event?
- How long has the pain been present?
- Where on or around your knee do you feel pain?
- Does the pain wake you up at night?
Your provider will perform a physical exam, checking:
- Kneecap and knee stability.
- Alignment of lower leg, kneecap and thigh.
- Range of motion of hips and knees.
- Thigh muscle strength, flexibility, firmness.
Your provider may order imaging tests including X-rays or a CT scan or MRI .
Lower Leg Pain Caused By Bones Joints And Muscle Problems
Some of the most common causes of pain from knee to ankle are related to injuries of muscles, joints, and bones.
1. Compartment Syndrome
Compartment syndrome or chronic exertional compartment syndrome occurs if you repeatedly engage in exertional or loading activities. It can affect any lower leg compartments, with the anterior compartment most likely to be affected. Pain in the case of compartment syndrome is typically exercise-induced and you will experience relief with rest. It can also be accompanied by numbness or weakness.
2. Stress Fracture
Stress fractures develop slowly due to repetitive trauma. Eventually, the muscles are overloaded or fatigued to the point where they cant absorb the shock or stress of repeated impacts and instead begin braking. The stress can transfer to nearby bone, leading to small fractures that arent visible on regular X-rays.
3. Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome
Most people know medial tibial stress syndrome as shin splints. This injury commonly affects runners and causes pain from knee to ankle. It occurs due to repeated trauma to your connected muscle tissue by the shinbone . If you ignore it, this issue can lead to a stress fracture.
5. Muscle Cramps
6. Achilles Tendonopathy
7. Calf Muscle Tear
8. Plantaris Tear
9. Achilles Tear
What Are The Causes Of My Leg Pain
Human bodies are subject to frequent aches and pains that come and go. Usually, these are not of great concern or importance. But when pains are inexplicable, linger and impact the quality of life, you might need medical attention.
Thighs, hamstrings, lower leg and calf areas often feel pain. Most pain results from wear and tear, overuse, or injuries in joints, bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons or other soft tissues.
Pain can be traced to problems in the lower spine. Blood clots, varicose veins or poor circulation are other causes.
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Gradual Increase In Pain
Arthritis pain usually starts slowly, although it can appear suddenly in some cases.
At first, you may notice pain in the morning or after youve been inactive for a while. Your knees may hurt when you climb stairs, stand up from a sitting position, or kneel. It may hurt just to go for a walk.
You may also feel pain when youre simply sitting down. Knee pain that wakes you up from sleep can be a symptom of OA.
For people with RA, the symptoms often start in the smaller joints. They are also more likely to be symmetrical, affecting both sides of the body. The joint may be warm and red.
With OA, symptoms may progress rapidly or they may develop over several years, depending on the individual. They can worsen and then remain stable for a long time, and they can vary by days. Factors that may cause them to worsen include cold weather, stress, and excessive activity.
With RA, symptoms usually appear over several weeks, but they can develop or worsen in a few days. A flare can happen when disease activity increases. Triggers vary, but they include changes in medication.
With OA, this can be:
- hard swelling, due to the formation of bone spurs
- soft swelling, as inflammation causes extra fluid to collect around the joint
Swelling may be more noticeable after a long period of inactivity, like when you first wake up in the morning.
This is because RA is a systemic disease, which means it affects the whole body. OA, meanwhile, only has a direct impact on the affected joint.
What Symptoms Are Related To Leg Pain
Leg pain can affect just a small area of the leg, or it can cover a wide area or even the whole leg. The pain can be dull or sharp, or it might be burning, tingly or numb. You might also have pain in your buttock, lower back or spine, or foot. Make a note if both legs look the same, or if one is different from the other.
Other signs and symptoms that can occur with leg pain include:
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Disease Activity And Fatigue
Fatigue and arthritis go hand in hand for many people with arthritis. The main culprits are the inflammatory disease process and the accompanying chronic pain.
- Inflammation. If you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks your body and inflammation is the result. The body undergoes stress as it tries to cope with the release of inflammatory cytokines in the blood. That can cause fatigue, especially when disease activity is high or low-grade inflammation remains for a long time.
- Chronic Pain. The pain-fatigue connection can be a vicious circle. Dealing with arthritis pain for months at a time over many years can wear you down. It can affect your sleep habits, which adds to your exhaustion. Being fatigued, in turn, can worsen pain and make it more difficult to manage.
Why Is The Back Of My Knee Swollen
Generally, swelling at the back of the knee is due to a Bakers cyst. However, Bakers cysts are not usually painful. If you experience severe pain and swelling behind the knee, then you must see your doctor. Sometimes, large Bakers cysts can become painful. Other causes include DVT or popliteal aneurysms.
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You Arent Exercising Which Is Bad For Your Knees
It may seem counterintuitive to exercise if you have joint pain, but the Arthritis Foundation tells people to be active. The knee joint loves motion, says Brian Halpern, MD, a sports medicine physician with the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and author of The Knee Crisis Handbook. The challenge is to find the best types of activities for you. Dr. Halpern recommends bicycling, swimming, and elliptical trainers, as well as strengthening exercises that help muscles support the knee joint.
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Can Arthritis Represent A Medical Emergency
In the situation that the patient presents high fever, severe inflammation and leg pain, he/she might suffer from what is known as septic arthritis.
This is a medical emergency, requiring immediate intervention if the condition is not treated in due time, life-threatening symptoms can occur and the risk of death becomes considerably higher.
It is common for the joints of the hip and knee to be affected by this infection, with a negative impact on the entire leg.
This condition is present in both children and adults, especially in those who have a compromised immune system.
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Potential Causes Of Pain Radiating From Hip To Knee
Most hip pain is caused from overworking the muscles either by repetitive stress or overdoing exercises. The pain is caused by inflammation of the soft tissues and tendons of the hip. Usually this pain is relieved in a few days. Prolonged hip pain can be the cause of a specific condition. When the hip joint is injured, pain can be felt in the groin all the way down to the knee. Sometimes knee pain is the only sign that the hip is injured – this is called referred pain.
A slipped lumbar disc in your lower back can also cause pain that is felt in your hip. With a lumbar disc injury, your knee and leg may also feel weak. Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of your spinal cord and nerves, which can cause isolated hip pain felt along with a numb feeling in the knees and legs. A sprain in your lower back, or a lumbosacral sprain, is an injury to the ligaments in your lower back. Pain from this injury accumulates to one side of the spine around the hip, making it difficult to bend or twist.
All these hip pain causes can be treated with conservative, therapeutic treatments.
Can Leg Pain Be Prevented
You can prevent strains and injuries by always warming up before exercise and cooling down and stretching afterwards. Build up physical activity gradually and do not take on too much too quickly.
It is a good idea to replace worn out shoes and wear appropriate footwear for the activity you’re doing.
Looking after your health generally â getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, getting some regular exercise, not smoking, being a healthy weight â might also help.
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What Causes Pain At The Top Of The Leg
But pain above your knee whether in the front or back of your leg may have a different cause. Common causes of pain above your knee include quadricep or hamstring tendonitis, arthritis, and knee bursitis. Your tendons attach your muscles to your bones. Tendonitis means your tendons are irritated or inflamed.
What Causes Groin Pain
Whether youre a man or a woman, the many muscles in your groin area provide important support to your core and also allow you to bend, rotate and move your legs. Many of their functions make them vulnerable to injury.
While athletes often complain of these injuries, non-athletes who put sudden stress on their bodies can also suffer from painful problems.
The hip joints are closely linked to the muscles and nerves in the groin, so joint problems can cause groin pain. Groin pain may also indicate a problem with the genitourinary system.
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When Should I Get My Teens Knee Pain Evaluated By A Healthcare Provider
Make an appointment to see your healthcare provider if:
- Your teens pain has lasted longer than two weeks or anytime theres an increase in pain level.
- Your teens knee is red, swollen or warm to the touch.
- Your teen cant put weight on their leg they limp.
- Your teens knee locks and cant move.
- Your teens kneecap feels like it slides out of place or the knee looks twisted.
- Your teen has knee pain during or after activity.
- Theres painful popping or clicking sound in your teens knee.
- Your teens knee doesnt have strength or full range of motion.
- Your teens pain wakes them up at night.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/30/2021.
What Makes Me Susceptible To Arthritis Of The Knee
Inherited bone structure or genetic mutations can contribute to the development of knee arthritis, as well as repetitive injury from a profession or sports. Age-related arthritis becomes common after 45 years of age.
Weight is also a factor, since the knee bears much of the bodys weight. The constant pounding pressure that is placed on the knee when walking, which becomes greater with more weight, causes the cartilage in the joint to break down over time. When the cartilage disintegrates, bone-on-bone scraping occurs whenever you move your leg.
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Damage To The Cartilage At The Back Of The Kneecap
Knee pain that feels worse when you go up or down stairs could be a sign of a damaged kneecap, called chondromalacia patellae.
This should not cause any redness or heat around the knee.
The cause is not understood, but it can be linked to overuse of the knee.
You can treat this problem yourself with anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen, an icepack and rest.
When To See The Doctor
Sure, its tempting to use an online knee pain symptom checker to try to figure out whats causing your pain. The problem is, because joints are complex, knee pain self-diagnosis is very difficult. Like all your joints, your knees are designed to function without pain or stiffness. No amount of pain or stiffness is normal.If you notice any type of discomfort in or around your knee joint, its always a good idea to schedule an office visit with Dr. Van Thiel.
As a leading orthopedic surgeon in Rockford and Crystal Lake, Dr. Van Thiel uses advanced diagnostic methods to make sure you receive the best, most appropriate care for meaningful pain relief. To find out whats causing your knee pain, call OrthoIllinois at 398-9491 or schedule an appointment online today.
Dr. Van Thiel treats patients from all over Wisconsin and Illinois including Rockford, Elgin, Huntley, Dekalb, Crystal Lake, Barrington, McHenry, Beloit and Algonquin.
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What Is Leg Pain Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Leg pain is a common problem, and can range from mild and annoying to severe and debilitating. In severe forms, it can affect your ability to walk or stand.
There are many possible causes of leg pain, from muscle injuries to problems with blood vessels. In some cases, leg pain can be caused by nerve problems in your spine.
When To See A Doctor
Its a good idea to see a doctor for leg pain if it gets worse with walking, involves swelling, or if it doesnt get better after a few days of home treatment.
Its important to see a doctor quickly if any of the following are true:
- There are signs of possible infection
- Your leg is swollen and pale or unusually cool
- You have calf pain after a period of prolonged sitting
- You have swelling in both legs along with breathing problems
- Any serious pain develops suddenly
While leg pain usually isnt a medical emergency, you should seek immediate medical attention if any of the following applies to your pain:
- Youre unable to walk or stand
- You develop pain, swelling, redness, or warmth in your calf
- You have a sudden injury with a deep cut or exposed tissue
- You heard a pop or grinding sound when you injured your leg
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What You Can Do
Take over-the-counter NSAID drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen to ease pain and swelling. RICE rest, ice, compression, and elevation can often help, too: Get off your feet. Raise your leg so its higher than your heart. Put a cold pack in a thin cloth or towel on your knee for 10-20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Wrap an elastic bandage around your knee when youre up and about, snug but not tight.
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Prevention Of Leg Pain
While not all forms of leg pain can be prevented, some of the most common conditions that cause leg pain often respond to preventive measures such as the following:
Increase activity gradually Dont jump into a high-intensity exercise routine. Instead, work up to a higher intensity level to avoid injury.
Mix up your exercise Dont do the same kind of exercise over and over, day after day. A varied exercise routine is less likely to cause injury.
Wear supportive shoes Make sure your exercise shoes have enough heel cushioning and arch support.
Stretch regularly Leg stretches may help avoid cramps, and stretching your calf muscles, in particular, can help prevent Achilles tendinitis.
Build bone strength Consuming enough calcium-rich foods and vitamin D may help prevent bone fractures.
Stay hydrated Getting enough fluids may help you avoid leg cramps.
Maintain a healthy weight and dont smoke These lifestyle factors can help prevent cardiovascular problems affecting your legs.
Dont sit still for too long Sitting for extended periods can increase the risk of blood clots in your legs.
Eat plenty of nutrient-rich foods and protein
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How The Knees Are Linked To The Back
A study was conducted involving 160 patients that connected various forms of spinal imbalance to knee osteoarthritis in seniors. Researchers learned that the angle of spinal inclination was the number one factor in increased knee arthritis, but that a number of spinal imbalances increased knee problems. This is not the only evidence that a misaligned spine can lead to knee pain. But why does it happen?
For one thing, the nerves that detect sensations in the knee are all linked to the lower spine. Thats why sciatica pain can extend down the leg and even cause knee pain. Pain often radiates from the lower back when this is the case, but pain can also occur in the knee without pain in the lower back area.The lower back nerves are also responsible for how the muscles around the knee function. Therefore, a minor irritation in the lower back can cause dysfunction in how the muscles around the knees function. This, in turn, can lead to pain that may not seem to trace back to the spine. Doctors may try everything to correct the knee issue, but without looking higher to discover the underlying problem, knee pain just keeps returning.
Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:
- your knee is very painful
- you cannot move your knee or put any weight on it
- your knee is badly swollen or has changed shape
- you have a very high temperature, feel hot and shivery, and have redness or heat around your knee this can be a sign of infection
111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.
Go to 111.nhs.uk or .
You can also go to an urgent treatment centre if you need to see someone now.
They’re also called walk-in centres or minor injuries units.
You may be seen quicker than you would at A& E.
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