Symptoms Of Knee Pain
Suffering from knee pain is never fun. Before diving into some of the common causes of knee pain, lets explore the common symptoms. The severity of the pain can vary depending on the cause of the problem and the location.
Some common signs and symptoms of knee pain include swelling and stiffness, as well as redness, in the knee. Your knee may even feel warm to the touch. Other common symptoms include not being able to fully straighten the knee, weakness or instability, and popping or crunching noises.
What Are The Causes Of Knee Pain In Teenagers
Common knee pain problems in your teenager can be generally divided into three types:
- Anterior knee pain, also called patellofemoral pain.
- Injures to ligaments and tendons of the knee or to the kneecap itself.
- Medical conditions that affect the knee.
Anterior knee pain happens when your teens kneecap is pulled out of its groove from increased pressure. Increased pressure on the knee joint is caused by:
- Abnormal hip rotation due to imbalances in muscle strength and flexibility around the hips.
- Improper training methods or equipment.
- Poor flexibility of the thigh muscles, which support the knee joint. Thigh muscle weakness or tightness.
- Overuse of the knee from repetitive bending of the knee during running, jumping, and other activities.
- Problems with alignment, for example, the kneecap not being properly aligned within the knee or having flat feet, which changes the normal gait.
Knee pain resulting from sprains, strains and tears to ligaments and tendons or injuries to other soft tissues. These conditions include:
Medical conditions that can affect your teens knee include:
Tendinopathy And Muscle Complex Injuries
Tendon injuries are associated with repetitive mechanical stresses that cause degenerative lesions. Hamstrings, gastrocnemius, and popliteus tendon typically cause posterior knee pain.
The hamstrings are frequently injured in sports that require sprinting. Semimembranosus tendinopathy usually presents as an aching pain localized to the posteromedial knee with tenderness on palpation inferior to the joint. Some of the possible risk factors for hamstring injury include body mechanics, flexibility, balance, hamstring strength, improper warm-up, fatigue, specific activities, running techniques, and psychosocial factors.
The gastrocnemius muscles superficial location and action across the knee and ankle make it susceptible to injury. Pain in the gastrocnemius occurs during knee flexion with resistance and during calf raises.
The popliteus muscle can also be a significant source of posterior knee pain. Both the muscular and tendinous aspects of the popliteus can be injured. Injuries to the popliteus may promote injuries to other structures in the postero-lateral complex and to ligaments of the knee. The mechanism of injury is thought to occur from direct stretch or when overused to maintain posterolateral stability. Guha et al. suggested that a stable knee with posterolateral pain and hemarthrosis on exam indicates a rupture of the popliteus tendon.
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What Is A Knee Ligament Injury
Knee ligaments are the short bands of tough, flexible connective tissue that hold the knee together. Knee ligament injuries can be caused by trauma, such as a car accident. Or they can be caused by sports injuries. An example is a twisting knee injury in basketball or skiing.
The knee has 4 major ligaments. Ligaments connect bones to each other. They give the joint stability and strength. The 4 knee ligaments connect the thighbone to the shin bone . They are:
- Anterior cruciate ligament . This ligament is in the center of the knee. It controls rotation and forward movement of the shin bone.
- Posterior cruciate ligament . This ligament is in the back of the knee. It controls backward movement of the shin bone.
- Medial collateral ligament . This ligament gives stability to the inner knee.
- Lateral collateral ligament . This ligament gives stability to the outer knee.
What Helps Pain After Total Knee Replacement
Its vital to note that pain is often inevitable right after knee replacement surgery. However, you should also know that the success rate of such procedures is 90% to 95%. Successful implant placement also lasts for over a decade.
With that said, there are many ways to manage and ease pain following knee replacement. Here is a general guideline, including a timeline, of what you can do to reduce knee surgery pain.
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Arthritis Of The Knee Causing Pain Behind Knee
Osteoarthritis is a common cause of pain behind the knee. Typically, arthritis causes bone spurs leading to inflammation at the back of the knee. Often, you feel tight and restricted in the movement of the knee joint.
Generally, the best form of treatment for knee arthritis is exercise and load management. Also, wearing a knee sleeve can help. Occasionally, we use injection therapy to help with arthritis such as cortisone or platelet-rich plasma.
What Are The Signs Symptoms And Treatment Of Knee Tendonitis
The severity and the specificity of the signs and symptoms associated with knee tendonitis may vary with the amount of inflammation in the tendons and the specific tendon involved.
Pain is the most common symptom associated with knee tendonitis, or patellar tendonitis. The severity of the pain a patient with patellar tendonitis may experience is based on the severity of injury to the tendons.
- In mild cases, patients may experience pain only after participating in sports activities or brisk walking.
- In moderate to severe cases of patellar tendonitis, the pain is also present while performing any activities involving the knee joint, such as running or even walking.
- In severe cases, the pain may be severe enough to restrict the affected individual from moving the affected knee. The affected knee joint is also painful to touch and some amount of external swelling may also be visible in some patients. Pain may be noticed in older individuals while climbing or descending stairs.
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Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
The anterior cruciate ligament is a band of tissue that runs through the front of your knee joint. It connects your thighbone to your shinbone and helps stabilize and provide movement to your knee.
Most ACL injuries happen when you slow down, stop, or change direction suddenly while running. You can also strain or tear this ligament if you land a jump wrong, or you get hit in a contact sport like football.
You might feel a pop when the injury happens. Afterward, your knee will hurt and swell up. You might have trouble fully moving your knee and feel pain when you walk.
Rest and physical therapy can help an ACL strain heal. If the ligament is torn, youll often need surgery to fix it. Heres what to expect during ACL reconstruction.
Tennis Leg Causing Muscle Pain And Swelling Behind The Knee
A condition called tennis leg can also cause pain in the back of your leg behind the knee.
Tennis leg is associated with damage to the gastrocnemius where damage to the muscle and the soleus muscle in the calf causes a buildup of fluid.
According to the journal Radiology Case Reports, tennis leg is often a result of sports injuries. Damage to the calf muscles can cause swelling and pain in the posterior knee.10
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Recommened For Knee Pain
Meniscus Tear – The menisci of the knee are the pieces of cartilage that cushions the knee joint. When the posterior portion of the meniscus is torn, it may cause pain behind the knee .
Other causes – Direct trauma to the knee may also cause behind knee pain. Your doctor will diagnose whether it is a knee sprain or a ligament tear.
Complications From Rear Knee Pain
There are different complications from rear knee pain, depending on the underlying cause.
A DVT should always be treated urgently as it can travel to your lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism, which is life-threatening.
To avoid complications from rear knee pain, you should see a doctor if:
- You have a fever
- You have a bluish discoloration, pain, swelling, numbness or tingling in your affected leg
- You have severe pain even when your leg is not bearing weight
- Your pain lasts longer than three days or gets worse
- Your affected leg cant bear weight
You should also see a doctor if your knee:
- Is misshapen
- Is warm, red or swollen
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In This Video Our Patient Jeannette Had Issues With Spinal Stenosis And Problems Post Knee Replacement
- Jeannette starts discussing the knee replacement complications at 2:30 into the video. Jeannette is 81 years old.
Jeannette describes a foot tingling problem. She cannot sit down and relax at the end of the day, it is uncomfortable for her to put her feet up or down because it is tingling. She had a nerve conduction study that shows an injury to her peroneal nerve.
The peroneal nerve branches out from the sciatic nerve. As it provides sensation to the front and sides of the legs and to the top of the feet, damage to this nerve would result in burning and tingling or numbness sensation in these areas. Further damage to this nerve would also cause loss of control in the muscles in the leg that help you point your toes upward. This can lead to walking problems and possibly foot drop, the inability to lift the front of the foot or ankle. Knee and hip replacement are leading culprits in the cause of peroneal nerve injury.
In Jeannettes case, she had two knee replacement surgeries in that knee. After the first knee replacement surgery, the implant started to protrude away from the limb. The knee replacement became loose. The second surgery to fix the first one occurred in 2015.
- It was determined after examination that Jeannettes knee ligaments were loose. Her knee was hypermobile and unstable. This was causing pressure on her peroneal nerve. Knee ligament damage and weakness is also a complication of knee replacement surgery and is discussed further below.
Do You Have Pain Behind The Knee
The soft tissue that connects the hamstring muscle to the pelvis, shinbones and outer part of the knee is known as the hamstring tendon or tendons. If that tendon gets inflamed, torn, or is otherwise strained, a person might first notice pain in the back of the knee and, sometimes presenting in the thigh as well.
Left untreated, the pain caused by this type of injury generally continues to increase over time, especially if a person is unable or unwilling to stop or alter the movements that lead to the tendonitis in the first place.
Hamstring tendonitis is often diagnosed with an X-ray or an MRI scan.
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Piriformis Vs Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Often, it is difficult to know whether buttock pain is coming from the piriformis or the sacroiliac joint. This is because these two structures sit close together. Sometimes, both structures can cause buttock pain.
Generally, sacroiliac joint pain is tender at the joint which is more to the centre than the piriformis muscle. Also, specific tests can bring on the pain. Frequently, MRI scans can point to degenerative changes in the sacroiliac joint such as swelling or spur formation.
Sometimes, we treat both structures if we think both are coming from both.
I Only Have Pain Behind My Knee When Walking Up Or Down The Stairs What Should I Do
The act of walking up and down stairs involves straightening the knee whilst it is bearing weight, and the the most common cause of pain in this case is chondromalacia patella. This condition is brought about by the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap deteriorating and softening. Some people can ignore the condition, but in the end it will probably need to be surgically addressed. It may be that a flap of cartilage has become unstable, in which case it can be treated by a chondroplasty, repairing the damaged cartilage using keyhole surgery.
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Types Of Pain Behind The Knee
There are a number of health conditions that may result in pain behind your knee. Two common conditions that cause it are a:
- posterior cruciate ligament injury
- popliteal cyst, also called Bakers cyst
A posterior cruciate ligament injury can happen if you overstretch or tear this ligament, which runs across your knee from your thigh to your shin bone. It often results from a heavy blow to the front of your knee while its bent. This can happen if you hit your knee on the dashboard during a car accident, or over-straighten your leg and bend your knee backwards. Doctors call this hyperextension.
A cyst is a collection of fluid or material inside a thin layer of tissue. A popliteal cyst is a cyst in the shallow pit at the back of your knee. Its often linked to other conditions that affect the knee, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or cartilage injuries. If you injure your knee, it can cause a collection of fluid to develop within your knee. Sometimes you can feel this in the depression at the back of your knee.
Osteoarthritis of the knee is another common cause of knee pain. The smooth, shiny cartilage that lines your knee joint becomes worn and rough. This causes pain and damages your knee over time. It mostly affects people over 50. The older you are, the more likely you are to get it.
Pain Swelling And A Bony Lump Below The Kneecap Typically In Children Or Adolescents
The patellar tendon can also be a factor in both Osgood-Schlatters Disease and Sinding-Larsen-Johansson Syndrome, where it become inflamed at its attachments to bones during growth spurts together with inflammation of the growth plates. This typically occurs in children or adolescents and often heals of its own accord, but your doctor may prescribe physiotherapy, knee protection or other measures.
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Common Causes Of Hamstring Tendonitis Injuries Include:
The main reason an individual develops hamstring tendonitis is due to overuse. This means that they are performing a repetitive movement that continually stresses the tendons behind the knee, along with the muscles behind the knee.
This condition is common among athletes who compete in sports that require running and jumping. Amateur athletes and even hobbyists are at risk as well.
While overuse is the most common culprit, a sudden strain on the hamstring tendon can lead to injury, most often if an individual has not warmed up or stretched an appropriate amount before taxing this area of the body.
Sudden hamstring tendon pain can be the result of a quick change in speed, which is required in all kinds of sports like baseball, football, track and field and many, many others.
Poor form when exercising, overtraining or working out with weights that are too heavy can also lead to this condition.
Others who might be returning to intense exercise after a period of little to no activity are susceptible as well, if they try to push too hard too soon.
Finally, advancing age can play a factor because people lose muscle mass and strength as they get older.
What Are Knee Ligaments
There are 4 major ligaments in the knee. Ligaments are elastic bands of tissue that connect bones to each other and provide stability and strength to the joint. The four main ligaments in the knee connect the femur to the tibia , and include the following:
Anterior cruciate ligament . The ligament, located in the center of the knee, that controls rotation and forward movement of the tibia .
Posterior cruciate ligament . The ligament, located in the back of the knee, that controls backward movement of the tibia .
Medial collateral ligament . The ligament that gives stability to the inner knee.
Lateral collateral ligament . The ligament that gives stability to the outer knee.
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Pain Behind Knee And Calf Other Causes
The pain you feel behind your knee could be something simple, or it could be a very severe problem, but you wont know until you have it examined. An examination is still the safest way, but knowing how to treat any concern you have is a close second.
Here are more causes of any pain you may experience behind your knee and calf.
Conditions Associated With Pain Behind The Knee
Two common conditions that cause pain behind the knee are:
- a popliteal cyst, also called Bakers cyst
- posterior cruciate ligament injury
A cyst is a collection of fluid inside a thin layer. A popliteal cyst is a cyst in the shallow depression at the back of the knee. Its often linked to other conditions affecting the knee, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cartilage injuries and inflammation of the knee joint. Many types of injury can cause a collection of fluid. Often it will be a heavy blow to the front of the knee, from falling forwards or playing a contact sport. The natural mechanism of the knee pushes this excess fluid backwards and it collects in the depression at the back of the knee, over time, causing a cyst to form.
A posterior cruciate ligament injury is caused by overstretching or tearing of this ligament, which runs across the knee from the thigh to the shin bone. It often results from a heavy blow to the front of a bent knee, sometimes from falling forwards or during a contact sport, such as rugby. Other typical injuries can occur when the knee hits the dashboard during a car accident or when the leg is over-straightened and the knee is bent backwards. Doctors call this hyperextension.
You can access a range of treatments on a pay as you go basis, including physiotherapy. Find out more about physiotherapy >
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