Severe Knee Pain: Common Causes And Treatment Options
If you suffer with bad knee pain, you are not alone. Severe knee pain is a common problem experienced by most people at some point in their lives.
Whether the pain has been developing over time or youre experiencing sudden knee pain, it is not a condition you should ignore or try to endure without at least knowing the cause and your treatment options.
Burning Pain In Knee Cap
When you feel pain in your knee cap, you imagine the worst. You begin to believe you’ve injured your knee. Maybe you even wonder if you have a;torn meniscus.
Burning pain under or around your knee cap is a common overuse injury. The official diagnosis for this syndrome is chondromalacia or patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as PFS. The injury is also commonly known as runner’s knee.
When you run, you put stress on your knee cap and the tendons in it. If you’re not used to running long miles and attempt a long run, you will feel this pain. You will also feel it if you begin to increase your mileage too quickly.
Your tendons in your knee cap are firing up and becoming inflamed. You have tendonitis in your knee or runner’s knee.
Stopping activity will help this heal more quickly as will ice and appropriate NSAID or anti-inflammatory medications.
What Can Cause A Pinched Nerve In The Knee
This nerve goes around the outside of your knee before traveling down the outside of your lower leg.
At the bottom of your knee, it lies between the bone and skin, which makes it vulnerable to compression by anything that puts pressure on the outside of your knee.
Traumatic injuries can lead to pressure on the nerve from inside your knee.
Common causes of a pinched nerve in your knee include:
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Causes Of Sudden Knee Pain Without Injury
Osteoarthritis; Sudden knee pain may be the onset of spinal cord injury, joint degenerative disease and a form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis develops as people age and the cartilage that covers the ends of your bones dries up, allowing the bones to rub against each other, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Osteoarthritis is caused by a number of factors, including injury, misuse and inactivity.
Arthritis of the disease; Arthritis exists in many forms, and some types, such as dementia, are autoimmune conditions. Psoriatic hemorrhage affects the skin and joints, especially the knee. The condition causes the bodys immune system to invade healthy tissues, causing inflammation, pain, and damage to the joints. According to the Cleveland Clinic, arthritis in the knee causes pain, tenderness, swelling, stiffness or slow motion, and silver or gray patches of skin or itching, red spots appearing on the skin.
Infectious arthritis; Also called blood arthritis, it comes on suddenly and can completely damage joints, according to the Arthritis Foundation. It usually attacks one joint, usually the knee. Bacteria, like staph, cause many cases of infection, joint infections, or fluid that circulates together. But some cases may be viral or fungal. Infections can be transmitted after surgery or through an open wound. Swelling, pain, fever and chills are signs of arthritis.
Prevention of sudden knee pain without injury
Infections Can Cause Joint Pain
Joint pain may be one symptom of an infection, and can begin within a few hours. This type of pain will likely also include redness, swelling, and the inability to move the joint. One common diagnosis is , which is usually caused by a bacterial infection. This type of infection can also be accompanied by fever, and requires immediate treatment in order to prevent permanent damage to the affected joints.
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Torn Acl Symptoms And Signs
With an acute injury, the patient often describes that they heard a loud pop and then developed intense pain in the knee. The pain makes walking or weight-bearing very difficult. The knee joint will begin to swell within a few hours because of bleeding within the joint, making it difficult to straighten the knee.
For Ligament Cartilage And Joint Tears
Ligament, cartilage and joint tears in your knee will need to be addressed by your doctor.
After imaging diagnostics and a clinical assessment, your doctor will let you know if your treatment will include physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication, or if youll need to undergo surgery to repair the injury.
Recovery from knee surgery can take some time. It may take anywhere from 6 months to a year to resume your normal activities.
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Sudden Joint Pain All Over
It is also possible to feel sudden joint pain all over, and not just in one singular part of the body. This type of sudden pain is often due to the start of a chronic joint disorder or due to inflammation. The pain is usually acute and affects multiple joints.4 Septic arthritis is a possible cause of sudden joint pain all over because this type of arthritis is caused by inflamed joints that are affected by bacteria or fungi in the bloodstream.10,11
Bone On Bone Knee Pain: Causes Diagnosis And Treatments
Home » Bone on Bone Knee Pain: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatments
The knee is a complex joint with many structures that work together to provide stability and mobility. It consists of four bones: the patella, the femur, the tibia and the fibula.;
The patella is the round bone in front of your kneecap and the femur connects your hip to your knee. The tibia and fibula are two long bones in the calf that connect to form a hinge joint at your ankle.
When these four bones come together without any cartilage between them, it can create pain in whats known as bone on bone knee pain or bone on bone arthritis. This happens when there is no more space for new cartilage to grow because it has been worn away.
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Risk Factors That Contribute To Acute Arthritis And Related Diseases
Several risk factors can increase your likelihood of having acute arthritis. Some of these risk factors are out of your control. Others can be controlled with lifestyle modifications.
In some cases, having one form of arthritis increases your likelihood of developing acute arthritis. A common example is rheumatoid arthritis and other disorders causing chronic joint damage. These diseases significantly increase one’s risk of infectious arthritis, particularly bacterial arthritis.
Other risk factors include:
- History of joint infection or joint surgery
- Injection drug use
- Skin infections
- Risk factors associated with sexual disease transmission
Note that these risk factors are strongly associated with immune system functioning and immune suppression and likelihood of exposure to organisms that cause infection. For example, exposure to ticks carrying Borrelia burgdorferi can increase your risk of acute infectious arthritis. If you notice localized redness, swelling, or signs of infection, contact your doctor immediately.
What Are The Complications Of Knee Pain
Frequently, knee pain will disappear without ever finding a specific cause. Depending on the underlying cause of the pain, the condition can progress and lead to more serious injuries or complications. Usually, these complications are long term and result in worsening pain or an increasing difficulty to walk.
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What Can Cause Knee Pain Without Injury
Most people assume that their knee pain isnt severe or in need of medical attention because they havent suffered a significant injury. While that may be true sometimes, damage to your knee joint can also occur slowly over time, and affect you just as much as a significant accident or injury can.
First, lets stop with assumptions. Any pain you are experiencing is a sign that something is not right. So, why not have a specialist take a look? With extensive imaging, a trained orthopedic specialist can get to the bottom of your nagging knee pain and try to help relieve some of that distress. If you havent suffered an injury, however, your doctor will want to diagnose the pain and possible causes. There are some more common causes for non-trauma related knee pain:
Either rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis can cause leave you with severe knee pain, even without a fall or injury. Osteoarthritis can be characterized by the pain and swelling you continue to feel as you age. Your joints are not indestructible, and the structure inevitably wears down over time. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is a chronic disorder that also causes joints to swell. If you suspect RA is behind your knee pain, you might have pain in other joints, as well.
Accompanying Symptoms Of Sudden Knee Pain
In the list above, we describe specific symptoms of issues that commonly cause sudden knee pain. But in general, one or more of the following tend to accompany this pain:
- a clicking sound with the pain
- pain when rising after sitting
- pain climbing the stairs
- the knee locking or not bending
- the knee giving way
The exact location of the pain can help identify the cause and the best way to treat it.;For example, pain between the kneecap and the shin can be a sign of a repetitive use injury, such as from running.
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Medications And Steroid Injections
- Corticosteroids. The most effective type of medicine for knee arthritis, triamcinolone acetonide , is the only FDA-approved medication to treat osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a corticosteroid injected into your knee that releases medicine slowly over a 3-month period. The slow release of the medicine has been found to relieve pain and swelling and reduce some of the negative side effects of steroids, such as increased blood sugar.
- Topical pain relievers. The Arthritis Foundation recommends that people who have knee arthritis try topical pain relievers which is medicine you apply directly on the skin, instead of taking by mouth because it can help relieve pain without as many side effects.
- Hyaluronic acid injection. Although more research on this remedy for knee arthritis is needed, it has often been used to help supplement fluids in the knee joint to decrease pain.
How Is A Pinched Nerve In The Knee Diagnosed
Your doctor will take your medical history and perform an exam to try to make a diagnosis and determine the cause.
The nerve in your knee can be felt as it travels around the top of your tibia, so your doctor may tap on it. If you feel a shooting pain down your leg, you probably have a pinched peroneal nerve.
Tests your doctor may order include:
- Knee X-ray: shows any bone fractures or masses
- Knee MRI: can confirm the diagnosis and show masses within the nerve and details of fractures of other problems in your bones
- Electromyogram : tests electrical activity in your muscles
- Nerve conduction test: tests the speed of signals in the nerve
The problem or activity thats causing the pinched nerve should be treated or corrected first.
Treatment is aimed at reducing pain and improving mobility.
Over-the-counter pain medication
Any medication that reduces inflammation can improve your symptoms, such as anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and naproxen.
Heat or ice
Applying either heat or ice for 15 to 20 minutes at a time can give some relief from the symptoms.
If youve lost sensation, you have to be careful you dont get frostbite or a burn on your skin. An ice pack can make your symptoms worse if it puts too much pressure on the nerve.
A corticosteroid injection can reduce the inflammation, which reduces the pressure on your nerve.
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Burning Pain In The Back Of The Knee
Pain behind your knee could come from any of a handful of causes. You may have an overuse injury similar to what causes runner’s knee.
You could also have something more severe like a ligament tear. If you tear a ligament or cartilage, you will most likely have pain no matter what you do, even if you stop the activity. You will also have swelling shortly after you injure your knee.
You could also have a Baker’s cyst. A;Baker’s cyst;is an accumulation of fluid in the bursa behind your knee. You may have pain, or you may just have swelling.
The burning pain behind your knee could be your only symptom. Best of all, a Baker’s cyst isn’t a debilitating diagnosis. You can get the fluid drained and then return to normal activities.
If you suspect a cartilage or ligament tear, begin with;cold therapy. This could include a sleeve with an ice pack that you slide over your knee and keep on the knee for fifteen minutes at a time.
Schedule An Appointment Today
Knee surgery has significantly advanced in recent years, eliminating reasons for anyone to suffer with chronic, severe knee pain. Take care of your knees now and bring an end to your pain.
If you are suffering with bad knee pain and would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Likover, a leading knee specialist in Houston, contact us now. Dr. Likover provides complete knee care for his patients. Whatever type of treatment your knee needs, he can provide it.
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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.
What Causes Knee Pain
Knee pain can have many different causes. Common causes of knee pain include:;
- Overuse injury;
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How To Prevent Sudden Knee Pain
Wear and tear on the body is inevitable, and injuries can be hard to avoid entirely.;Still, the following can help people can maintain or improve their balance, strength, and flexibility, offering some protection from sudden knee pain:
- strengthening the core and hips
- maintaining flexibility in the joints
- improving alignment
For Tendinitis Runners Knee Gout And Bursitis
The treatment for conditions that cause swelling, redness, and dull, burning pain usually starts with resting the joint. Ice your knee to control swelling. Elevate and stay off your joint to promote healing.
Your doctor may recommend or prescribe NSAIDs like ibuprofen. Lifestyle changes, such as wearing protective kneepads and going to physical therapy, can help you manage pain and experience fewer symptoms.
You may need to make changes to your diet, especially if youre treating gout.
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When To Call The Doctor For Knee Pain
When you are deciding whether to call the doctor about your knee pain, a good rule of thumb exists for most long-term knee injuries. If your symptoms have not gone away after trying a week of PRICE therapy and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain meds, you should set up an appointment with your doctor, physical therapist, or a sports medicine orthopaedic specialist to further evaluate the pain. This rule can also be applied to new knee injuries that are not disabling. Remember, however, that this rule should only serve as a guide. If you are concerned about the pain, you should call the doctor.
Get Knee Pain Looked At Early
If you have unexplained knee pain, visit your doctor or physical therapist as soon as you can. This will keep the pain from getting worse and help you avoid costly treatments like surgery with longer recovery periods.
When you start to feel the effects of inflammation, go see a physical therapist, Holland says. Tell them how youre doing so that you can change your body mechanics. You can change the way youre actually loading your joints, and then youll fare a whole lot better.
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