It Hurts To Walk Up Stairs
After a strenuous workout, it can be difficult to move around. Your legs may be sore, and even simple tasks like walking may feel like a challenge. Knee injuries are a little different, though. Instead of soreness, it may feel like dull to sharp pain especially when taking the stairs. This often happens when the cartilage underneath your kneecap is damaged. While osteoarthritis can be the leading cause of this, chondromalacia patellae also plays a role. In addition to your knee hurting while taking the stairs, other signs of runners knee include:
- Grinding or cracking sensations when bending or extending your knee
- Pain that worsens after prolonged periods of sitting, standing, or exercising
- Swelling or tenderness
A Hit From The Side Can Injure Both The Medial Collateral Ligament And The Anterior Cruciate Ligament
So most patients will say, I got hit from the side. I felt a pop and then my knee became unstable, so that would be an injury here to the medial collateral ligament on the inside, which is a stretching injury. And then a tearing injury on the anterior cruciate ligament, which is in the middle of the knee, that creates stability for rotation deformity so those are two things to consider if you do feel a pop, particularly after a high impact. Thats something to consider.
You should go see an orthopedic surgeon immediately. Ice the knee, keep it elevated. Try not to do any cutting, twisting and pivoting activities, but just go ahead and get evaluated by a physician just to confirm whether or not the ligament is injured.
Knee Pain And Popping Causes
Knee popping and clicking can be caused by a number of things. It may be something simple like the ligaments catching on a bony lump and “snapping” back in to place or gas bubbles popping. But in some cases, knee popping is linked to a more serious injury such as ligament or cartilage tear.
Knee clicking and popping noises in the knee usually fall into one of three categories:
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Causes Of Inner Knee Pain
The inside or medial part of the knee contains a wide variety of bones, ligaments, and soft tissue structures, all contained within a relatively small area. Because of this, pain in this area of the joint can be tough to diagnose.
Several of the most common conditions that cause medial knee symptoms are listed below.
What Are The Possible Causes Of Clicking And Catching Of The Knee
Cavitation. Sometimes the noise you hear is due to tiny air bubbles inside the joint fluid, which build up with changes in the joint pressure. When the bubbles burst, this is called cavitation. Cavitation is typically something that is not worrisome as long as it is unaccompanied by other symptoms .
Ligaments and tendons. Another possible cause of clicking and catching of the knee is when the ligaments and tendons catch as they go over a bony lump and pop as they snap back into place. Like cavitation, this is also not considered to be a serious problem if unaccompanied by other symptoms.
Soft tissue. Clicking may also be caused by the catching on soft tissue or scar tissue within the knee. Most of the time, these noises are natural and do not necessarily mean that youll develop other issues .
Meniscus tear. If you feel some pain as the clicking/popping occurs, it could be a sign of a meniscus tear, which means there is a small piece of loose cartilage caught in the knee. Treatment for a torn meniscus commonly includes rest, pain relievers and physical therapy. Less commonly, surgery may be required.
Osteoarthritis. If youre experiencing painful and persistent clicking/popping, it could indicate osteoarthritis, in which the smooth cartilage has worn down and the bones cause friction when they rub against one another.
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Knee Pain When Bending
Reviewed by: KPE Medical Review Board
Knee pain when bending is a common problem. Forces up to seven times body weight can go through the knee as it bends, so it comes as no surprise that it is such a widespread problem.
Bending knee pain may start suddenly after an injury, or gradually come on over time depending on the cause.
There are a number of different causes of knee pain when bending, but they generally all result from a problem with one of the structures in or around the knee, affecting how it moves.
This changes how the forces travel through the different parts of the knee and can result in too much pressure going through certain parts, which leads to knee pain bending.
Here we will look at the different types of bending knee pain, the most common causes of knee pain when bending, treatment options and what is actually going on in the knee as it bends.
Chronic Degeneration Of The Meniscus
The meniscus is a rubbery c-shaped piece of cartilage that cushions the knee. When the meniscus is torn abruptly it can cause your leg to lock up and impact your ability to walk, but more often than not the cartilage in your knee is damaged over time due to wear and tear. This is when standing knee pain can become a problem.
Chronic degeneration of the meniscus can occur from excessive standing or running. Acute meniscus tears are usually from sudden pivoting or twisting as seen in basketball or football. A torn meniscus normally produces localized pain that is worse during twisting and squatting motions.
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Treating Knee Pain When Bending
The best treatment for knee pain when bending will depend on the underlying cause of your knee pain. In most cases it will involve:
You will find loads more information on the different conditions we have looked at including the best ways to treat knee pain when bending by using the links above.Here we have looked at the most common causes of knee pain when bending, but almost any problem with the knee can result in pain as you move it. If none of these is sounding quite right, visit the knee pain diagnosis section for more help work out what is causing your bending knee pain.
Real Worry: Loud Pop At Time Of Injury Followed By Swelling Instability And Giving Way
When a patient says to me, Doc, I heard a pop and my knee swelled, it is definitely a cause for concern. If there is a pop at the time of injury, the knee has almost certainly been damaged. You have most likely injured either your ligaments anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligamentor medial collateral ligament or the meniscusor articular cartilage. The knee will usually swell up after these kinds of injuries.
If there is pain, swelling, or giving way of the knee, we will do a careful exam, history, X-ray, and MRI. By studying the cartilage and soft tissue within the knee, we can determine which tissues need to be repaired. Sometimes careful physical therapy, combined with injections, can fix the problem and help you avoid surgery.
So remember: If you hear clicks and pops in your knee but feel no pain or swelling, dont worry. It is normal. If you have pain, instability, or swelling, make sure you check it out to avoid further damage to the joint. The philosophy on this has changed from rest your knee and wait until you are older for a joint replacement to fix the problem ASAP by repairing, regenerating, or replacing the missing tissue and cartilage so that you may never develop arthritis or need a knee replacement.
While it is always best to hear the sounds of silence, snap, crackle, and pop sometimes need to be listened to as well.
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Damage To The Knee Joint
Sometimes, however, there is an underlying problem, for example, tissue damage or lesions. In this case, treatment may be necessary.
If there is pain as the knee snaps or catches, it can be because scar tissue, a meniscus tear, or a tendon is moving over a protruding bone within the knee joint.
Pain or swelling can be a sign of a more serious problem, such as patellofemoral pain syndrome , a tear in the cartilage or other soft tissue, or osteoarthritis .
These issues may need medical attention. Lets look at them now in more detail.
Knee Clicking With No Pain
Your knee clicking when walking, squatting, or straightening the leg could simply be due to gas bubbles. As the pressure in your knee joint changes, small bubbles of gas build up in the region. These bubbles burst with certain movements, making the popping sound.
Noisy knees can also result from the stretching of a tendon or ligament over a bony lump. You may hear a clicking noise when the tissue snaps back into place.
Another cause of pain-free clicking may be scar tissue moving over the bones.
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Other Causes Of Knee Pain When Bending
Other less common causes of knee pain when bending include:
Treatment Tips For Knee Pain When Bending
Treatment for an injury or damage to the knee is based on the underlying cause. Before surgery becomes an option, there are remedies for knee pain treatment.
- Apply heat or cold packs to the affected knee
- Use a knee brace or supporting device
- Rest the knee for a limited time
- Perform strengthening exercises for hamstrings and quadriceps
- Use specialized shoe inserts
- Maintain alignment by taping knee
- Avoid applying body weight on affected knee
- Use proper footwear for activities
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Sprains And Torn Cartilage
Ligament sprains of the knee are usually caused by a blow to the knee or a sudden twist of the knee, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Common symptoms include feeling a pop, pain, swelling, instability , or difficulty walking, says Gotlin.
Torn cartilage, which can occur with injuries of the knee or with arthritis, is another common cause of knee pain, adds Gotlin. Trauma to the knee can tear the menisci, which are cushioning pads of connective tissue that also absorb shock located within the knee joint. Knee buckling, swelling, and pain during specific motions may indicate torn cartilage.
Complementary And Alternative Therapies
A number of mind-body therapies may be used to treat knee pain. These include:
These are especially common for knee osteoarthritis.
The once-popular supplements glucosamine and chondroitin have fallen out of favor for knee osteoarthritis due to a lack of scientific proof. Always talk to your healthcare provider before taking any supplements or medications.
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Types Of Knee Pain You Shouldnt Ignore
As you become older, you may start to experience small aches and pains. Some are minor you slept in the wrong position, you sat too long in one spot, you worked out a little too hard and others can be more serious. While most minor aches and pains can be ignored, some may be indications of more serious matters. But, how do you know which pains are too serious to ignore? And, how can you identify their symptoms?
A Look At The Knee Joint
The knee works like a large hinge. It consists of bones, cartilage, the synovium, and ligaments.
Bones: The knee joins the thighbone to the long bone of the lower leg . The fibula, a bone in the lower leg, is also connected to the joint. The kneecap is the small, convex bone that sits at the front of the knee, shielding the joint.
Cartilage: Two thick pads of cartilage called the menisci cushion the tibia and femur, and reduce friction where they meet.
Synovium: A specialized connective tissue that lines joints and tendon sheaths. Synovial fluid serves to lubricate the joints.
Ligaments: Four ligaments tough, flexible bands that stretch across the uneven surface of the joints connect the bones.
Crepitus happens for various reasons, apart from osteoarthritis. Here are some of them:
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Symptoms & Signs Of Crepitus
Crepitus, or joint sounds and bone cracking can be a normal part of movement. Many people experience popping joints, especially as they get older. You may notice:
- Sounds of knee popping or knee cracking when you bend your knee
- Popping or cracking when you bend your elbow
- Crunching sounds in your knee when you go up or down stairs or kneel
- Crackling or grinding sounds or a crunching sensation when you move your shoulder
- Occasional or continual swelling around the joint
When To Seek Treatment For Your Arthritis
Arthritis doesnt have to spell the end of an active life. If you are experiencing worrisome symptoms or persistent pain, the renowned arthritis specialists at Summit Orthopedics can help. We work with you to confirm a diagnosis and develop an appropriate conservative treatment plan. If nonsurgical treatments fail to support your lifestyle goals, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons will consult with you and discuss appropriate surgical options. Summit is home to innovative joint replacement options. Our Vadnais Heights Surgery Center is one of only two surgery centers nationally to receive The Joint Commissions Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Plymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.
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Causes Of Knee Pain When Bending:
Pain behind knee when bending can be the result of many causes, including arthritis, overuse, or sports injuries. All of these can result in knee pain when bending or activating the knee joint. Some knee discomfort can have a clear cause. For example, if you fell on your knee during an athletic workout, its safe to assume thats why your knee hurts. Other causes of knee pain, such as arthritis or a degenerative condition, will require a clinical evaluation and professional diagnosis.
Learn More About Hinge Health For Knee Pain Relief
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This article and its contents are provided for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice or professional services specific to you or your medical condition.
Mulcahey, M. K. . Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries. AAOS — American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Retrieved from
Griffith, R. L. . Baker’s Cyst . AAOS — American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Retrieved from
Bedson, J. & Croft, P. R. . The discordance between clinical and radiographic knee osteoarthritis: A systematic search and summary of the literature. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 9, 116. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-9-116
Bump, J. M., & Lewis, L. . Patellofemoral Syndrome. PubMed StatPearls Publishing. Retrieved from
Witstein, J. R. . Collateral Ligament Injuries. AAOS — American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Retrieved from
Mulcahey, M. K. . Common Knee Injuries. AAOS — American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Retrieved from
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Knee Clicking With Pain
If thereâs a clicking sound accompanied by swelling and pain, a sensation of catching in the joint, or if the knee gives out, the following causes may apply:
Unnecessary tissue around the knee: After a serious injury to the knee, if it is not treated or if it does not heal properly, you can develop unnecessary tissue around the knee. When this happens, the tissue gets tangled between certain parts of the joint, which causes the clicking noise when you extend the joint.
Runnerâs knee: You might think that constant running is beneficial for your health, but if you put a lot of stress on the tibia, you can develop runnerâs knee. This occurs when the kneecap is out of line and does not track properly along the femur. The tibia and lower bones in the leg protect the kneecap, but when these bones are not aligned properly, the knee will click when you bend it.
Once known as chondromalacia, this unevenness of the patella is now referred to as patellofemoral pain syndrome. Many will feel this type of knee clicking when squatting.
Severe damage to the meniscus and shock absorber: The meniscus is a cushion between the bones of your knee, and if it is damaged and does not heal properly, the balance of your knee is thrown off. This damage can also cause the knee to turn when you put force on itâand this can cause the knee to develop a clicking sound.