Blood Clots Behind Knee
It is important to note that pain and swelling behind the knee may be associated with blood clots. Blood clots behind the knee are especially common for those on bed rest or prolonged laying down, recovering from surgery or who have experienced trauma to the knee. Age and weight may also be a factor in blood clots. If you are experiencing behind knee pain, see a doctor to diagnose your situation, especially as you may be experiencing a blood clot behind knee.
Common Causes Of Pain In The Back Of The Knee:
First, we will list the potential causes of pain behind your knee, then we follow through with a more detailed discussion of each potential cause of pain.
- Swelling due to a Bakers cyst: A Bakers cyst is a common cause of swelling and pain behind your knee.
- Tears of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus
- Deep vein thrombosis or a blood clot in the back of your leg
- Overuse syndromes in runners and athletes.- usually causing a grinding or snapping in the back of the knee.
- Osteoarthritis: probably the most common cause of pain. Often due to swelling and inflammation.
- Nerve pain- the pain of sciatica can radiate to behind your knee
What Is Pain Behind The Knee
Since the knee is the largest and most complex joint in the body, it makes sense that it might hurt sometimes. Although knee pain is a common complaint, it is less common behind the knee.
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Where Is Your Pain
The hunt for the cause of knee pain is like the search for a home:Location matters.
For example, pain below your kneecap might be a sign of patellar tendinitis, or inflammation in the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shinbone, says rheumatologist Scott Burg, DO. Pain above the kneecap often means quadriceps tendinitis.
Pain on the inside or outside of your knee could be a sign of a torn ligament , Dr. Burg says. But it also could indicate a torn or degenerative meniscus, which is the cartilage that lines and cushions your knee joint.
Those are just a couple of causes, not including various types of arthritis. Location is important, but we also ask other questions, Dr. Burg explains.
What Causes Pain Behind The Knee When Bending
The most common cause of pain behind the knee when bending is a Bakers Cyst. This is when there is inflammation of the semimembranosus bursa, a small sac filled with fluid that sits at the back of the knee.
If the bursa gets inflamed, then any time you bend your knee, the bursa gets squashed, causing posterior knee pain.
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Brief Anatomy Of The Knee
The knee is a vulnerable joint that bears a great deal of stress from everyday activities, such as lifting and kneeling, and from high-impact activities, such as jogging and aerobics.
The knee is formed by the following parts:
Tibia. This is the shin bone or larger bone of the lower leg.
Femur. This is the thighbone or upper leg bone.
Patella. This is the kneecap.
Each bone end is covered with a layer of cartilage that absorbs shock and protects the knee. Basically, the knee is 2 long leg bones held together by muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
There are 2 groups of muscles involved in the knee, including the quadriceps muscles , which straighten the legs, and the hamstring muscles , which bend the leg at the knee.
Tendons are tough cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Ligaments are elastic bands of tissue that connect bone to bone. Some ligaments on the knee provide stability and protection of the joints, while other ligaments limit forward and backward movement of the tibia .
Meniscus Tears And Pain Behind Your Knee
Root tearsof the meniscus are prevalent. The root of a meniscus is where the meniscus attaches to the shin bone or tibia. Much like a tree roots into the ground, the meniscus has a firm, deep attachment to your bones as well.
Sadly, over the years, these attachment points or roots can weaken. A common story is that you bent down or knelt and felt a pop in the back of the knee. Later that day or two days later, your knee is swollen, and the pain is very severe. The root of the meniscus tore in this situation because it had degenerated from decades of activity.
The pain from root tears often subsides over the next few weeks to months. By the time you see a doctor, and they order an MRI, the pain is often starting to improve. This post below goes into far more detail about root tears as the cause of pain in the back of your knee.
The meniscus is a shock absorber. When the root of the meniscus tears, the meniscus no longer works as a shock absorber. Therefore, following a root tear, you may develop stress fractures or stress reactions. That is why the pain worsens a few days after you felt the pop.
On some occasions, we need to consider surgery to repair these root tears but this is not usually necessary.
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Pain Behind The Knee: Self
Pain in the hollow of the knee and behind the knee, respectively, is mostly caused by tensed muscles and trigger points in areas of the calf, knee and the back of the thigh.
Fortunately, serious injuries are rarely the cause, especially if there is no known trauma or injury.
Even when there is structural wear and tear, such as damaged cartilage etc., knee pain can often be alleviated by getting rid of excessive muscle tension and sometimes even eliminated.
In the next chapter, I will lead you step by step through a self-massage of the muscles often responsible for knee pain. Follow these instructions and chances are good that your knee will feel better.
Pain Behind Knee: What Should You Do
In general, pain behind the knee is one of the more challenging musculoskeletal problems. There are so many possible causes muscle tear, tendon, nerve damage, and blood clots. Like most other problems, the key to managing it correctly is an early and accurate diagnosis. So, what are the causes of pain behind the knee, and how do sort out what is causing the problem?
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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 Causes Pain Behind The Knee
There are many different causes of posterior knee pain, including injury, inflammation or infection of the knee joint, overuse, wear and tear with age, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cysts or in very rare cases, cancer.
Leg cramps occur when your leg muscles tighten up. Symptoms include a sudden muscle spasm, with pain lasting from several seconds up to 10 minutes. After the spasm, your muscles may feel sore for several hours.
Leg cramps are most common during exercise and pregnancy. However, they can also be caused by:
- Problems with the nerves in your legs
- Toxins in your blood eg lead or mercury
This is also known as patellar tendonitis and occurs when a tendon in your knee is injured, often while playing sport. The tendon develops tiny tears that cause swelling stiffness, weakness and difficulty bending and straightening your knee.
Biceps femoris tendonitis
Your hamstrings are three muscles that run along the back of your thigh and help you bend your knee. Hamstring injuries most often occur when playing sports, usually when the hamstring is overstretched . However, the hamstrings can also be torn, which can take several months to heal.
Symptoms include sudden pain and swelling, bruising and weakness in your leg.
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Can Vein Problems Cause Knee Pain
- Posted on: Aug 4 2018
- charles dietzek
If you are like the other millions of people with vein problems, you might already know that poor vein health can cause aches and pains. This is especially true for people with varicose veins in their lower legs. You might also have knee pain and wonder if your vein problems are causing your knee pain.
As it turns out, your vein problems may indeed be the source of your sore knee.
Tibial Or Other Nerve Problems
The tibial and other nerves also run behind the knee. The tibial nerve branches off the sciatic nerve, which starts in the lower back, and travels all the way down to the foot. An issue in this nerve locally or even at the spinal level could cause pain at the back of your knee .
The spinal nerves that connect to the muscles may be an issue if you have any sort of low-back problem, even if your back isnt acutely bothering you right now. If it is a nerve issue, you might have numbness, tingling, burning, or electrical sensations in the leg or foot.
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If You Have Pain Behind Your Knee After Sitting:
It is likely you are experiencing a symptom of Chondromalacia Patellae. This is the most common cause of chronic knee pain. Chondromalacia Patellae is caused by your patella being pulled to the outer side of your femur, rather than in a straight line. This will cause discomfort when you stand up from sitting in a chair for a long period of time. In order to prevent this at work, taking microbreaks will help to keep your body loose. You may also feel discomfort after physical activity or a tightness or fullness in the knee area.
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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Knee Pain Caused By Larger Muscle Groups
As we travel further down the kinetic chain, we now have to address some of the larger anatomical systems in place. That is, the muscle groups that are directly linked to the knee itself in this case, the calves and hamstrings.
Your calf muscles make up the back portion of your lower leg, while the hamstrings are the large muscles in the back of your thighs. Because both of these muscle groups sort of sandwich your knee joint, theres a high likelihood that injury or deficiencies within these tissues can lead to subsequent pain behind your knee.
Lets dig into some of the most common diagnoses!
Is It Possible For Adults To Have Growing Pains
No one knows for certain what causes âgrowing pains.â They are defined as self-limited and recurrent pains in the extremities of children with no other explanation or clear musculoskeletal causes. These usually occur during sleep and may awaken the child. Some physicians believe they occur due to fatigue, overuse, and mild orthopedic abnormalities, but the cause is still unknown. No matter what causes growing pains, we know that adults do not have them â most growing pains occur between age 2 and 12. It is possible to have similar pains, however, due to very mild injuries or overuse of muscles.
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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.
Can Knee Pain Come From Your Spine
Most people assume if they have knee pain, it is due to a problem with the knee joint. This is not always the case. While the discomfort can be due to a knee condition, it can also be the result of a disc protrusion or a pinched nerve in your lower back. Working with your healthcare provider and a physical therapist can help determine if that is the case.
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A Swelling At The Back Of The Knee And Calf Causing Pain And A Feeling Of Tightness When Straightening The Leg
This may be due to a Bakers Cyst, which is an accumulation of synovial fluid in the popliteal fossa. The synovial fluid is over-produced, due often to a trauma to the knee or in conditions such as arthritis. The cyst may clear up on its own, but if not it is advisable to visit the doctor. Swelling in the knee joint due to extra synovial fluid being produced also occurs due to accidental damage to the knee or when osteoarthritis is present.
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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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Conditions Due To Cartilage Damage
There are two triangular, or wedge shaped, pieces of cartilage in the synovial joint which are called menisci. One lies on the inside, or medial side, of the knee, and one on the outside or lateral side. They act as shock absorbers between the femur and tibia, the end surfaces of which also have a cartilage covering called articular cartilage. At the front of the synovial joint is the patella which is an oval bone protecting the front of the joint and lined internally with cartilage.
Posterior Knee Pain Exercises
Pain behind the knee can be quite debilitating, as we use our legs to walk every day. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer from knee pain, certain exercises may help.
Prone wall stretches While standing, lay your back flat on the surface of a wall. Place the heel of your injured knee on to the wall without bending the knee. Increase the stretch by moving your body closer to the wall and hold for 30 seconds. Then slowly move your body away from the wall, decreasing the stretch. Repeat this exercise about eight times.
Leg to chest maneuver While sitting upright in a firm chair, place both feet firmly on the floor. Now, slowly lift the leg with the contracted muscles off the floor and bend your knee as you lift your leg toward your chest. You can also place your hand behind your knee to increase the stretch. Hold this position for five seconds. This exercise will help to loosen your contracted hamstrings.
Upright wall stretch Stand about three feet from the wall as you open your palm and place them on to the wall at shoulder level. Now slowly lean forward, bending at your elbows and keeping the rest of your body straight. It is also important to keep your feet flat on the ground while doing this to stretch the calf muscles.
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