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What Causes Pain In Back Of Leg Above Knee

Lower Leg Bone Fracture

What causes pain at the back of the knee?

A bone break or fracture in one of your lower leg bones may be caused by falling or by a traumatic blow to your leg, such as a car accident.

This injury may cause severe calf pain. Additionally, your lower leg may be quite swollen, making it difficult to walk or bear any weight on your leg.

A complete bone break can cause your leg to look deformed. This can also happen if the broken bone does not heal properly. To prevent this from happening, you may need a cast or, in some cases, surgery.

Quadriceps Or Hamstring Tendonitis

Overuse and repeated stress to your thigh muscles may cause inflammation in your tendons. This condition is known as tendonitis.

Symptoms of quad or hamstring tendonitis include:

  • Pain in the front or back of your thigh, usually near your knee or hip
  • Difficulty walking or climbing stairs due to pain
  • A feeling of weak muscles in the front or back of your thigh

Symptoms usually last for four to six weeks and slowly get better with gentle exercises such as walking, leg raises, wall squats, and the Nordic hamstring stretch.

Recovery From Quadriceps Tendonitis

If you treated quadricep tendonitis with nonsurgical therapies, the injury can heal with four to six weeks of physical therapy. The goal of the physical therapy is to reduce the pain and inflammation as well as improve function of the quadricep.

Physical therapy after surgery is rigorous and involves the full team of specialists, including your orthopedic surgeon. Your team will work together to develop a treatment plan especially for your case.

As you recover, the exercises will intensify to ensure you are fully healed before resuming your normal activity level.

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Diagnosis Of Quadriceps Tendonitis

Your provider will diagnose quadriceps tendonitis during a full physical examination.

In the physical exam, you will be assessed for range of motion, joint stability and flexibility. Your physician will also look for torn or ruptured tendons in the quadriceps and discuss training that led to the injury.

In some cases, your doctor will order an x-ray or MRI to determine if there are more severe tears or fractures that are causing the pain.

Is It Possible For Adults To Have Growing Pains

knee

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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Improve Movements To Eliminate Hip Pain

The back, hip, and lower extremity work as a comprehensive unit allowing for many of the repetitive tasks you complete at home, work, and during recreational activities. Injuries to one area of the musculature often indicates that additional damage has been incurred by adjacent muscles.

Many therapeutic exercises can help restore proper strength and endurance to the leg muscles. Isometric exercises are often the initial treatment exercises, followed by single plane rubber band exercises for the hip, knee, and ankle: flexion, extension, adduction, abduction, circumduction, inversion, and eversion. Dynamic exercises involving stability foam, rubber discs, exercise ball, and BOSU balls can be performed on the floor. The more unstable the surface, the more effort and stabilization is required of all the lower extremity muscles.

Vibration plates enhance neuromuscular learning throughout the ankle, knee, foot, hip, and back muscles. Additional strength exercises can be found on the hip, knee, and foot strengthening pages. More information for injuries and treatments for knee pain and foot pain.

What Are Causes Of Nontraumatic Leg Pain

There are numerous causes of nontraumatic leg pain, and there is no single way of classifying all of these causes. Health care providers often develop their own individual approach to help decide upon a diagnosis. Sometimes it can help to classify the potential causes based upon the part of the leg that hurts, whether the pain is in one leg or both, whether related to activity or rest, and whether underlying medical conditions exist that can precipitate leg pain.

Pain in only one leg would tend to be due to local problems and not necessarily due to a systemic illness. The presumption would be that such an illness would affect both legs. This is not necessarily always true. For example, gout often attacks only one joint during an acute flare.

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How To Tell Possible Causes Of Pain Behind The Knee On Back Of Leg

Seeking the most probable cause of the pain is important, in that it gives clues about what to do as treatments and prevent it from causing worse complications. In order to determine the most probable cause of your pain behind the kneecap, you will need to think about how the pain started, the common resulted symptoms, and how the pain behaves. It is also important to think about how long has the pain reside on the area behind the kneecap. There are some ways with which people commonly describe the pain occurring behind their knee, such as discomfort, inflammation, burning, soreness, pain, and stiffness.

Bakers Cyst And Pain In The Back Of The Knee

“Can Knee Pain Cause Back Pain?”

A Bakers cyst is a fluid-filled pocket in the back of the knee. Bakers cysts are a common cause of painful swelling. If the cysts are small, they do not create much discomfort.

A Bakers cyst can grow larger. If a cyst becomes large, it can put pressure on the muscles, blood vessels, and nerves behind the knee and can cause discomfort. Most people with a Bakers Cyst will also have osteoarthritis.

In most instances, treatments to diminish the swelling associated with arthritis will help reduce the pain and swelling from the cyst. In the majority of cases, these cysts are not dangerous. An ultrasound can usually tell if you have a simple cyst versus something more complex that warrants further evaluation with an MRI. If the Bakers cysts are huge, then one treatment alternative is to have the fluid drained. While that will result in relief of pain, the fluid might come back again.

Read more about a Bakers cyst.

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Immediate First Aid For Knee Injuries

All acute knee injuries should be treated using the P.R.I.C.E. principles . You should apply the PRICE principles for at least the first 2 3 days.

  • Protect knee from further damage. Rest to allow healing to take place
  • Apply ice or cold therapy to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.
  • If you have swelling then then apply compression and elevate your knee to allow tissue fluids to drain away.

Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament

You hear a pop and can’t move after you suddenly change direction — often while playing soccer, football, or basketball. You may have torn your ACL, which connects the femur and the tibia and prevents the tibia from moving too far forward. Your knee will hurt and swell and feel unstable.

You can tear or strain any of the tissues that hold your knee together: Ligaments connect bones to each other tendons connect muscle to bone. Irritated tendons from using them too much? That’s tendinitis.

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Causes Of Nontraumatic Leg Pain

Peripheral artery disease : Pain in one or both legs may be due to a decrease in arterial blood supply due to narrowing arteries.

Blood clots: in an artery can completely obstruct blood supply, preventing tissues from getting oxygen, causing acute pain.

Venous blood clots deep venous thrombosis causes a damming effect, causing redness, swelling, warmth, and pain.

Superficial veins also clot and cause pain, but are not life-threatening.

Low back pain from sciatica may radiate into the buttocks and down the leg.

Spinal stenosis may result in pain, numbness, and weakness.

Cauda equina syndrome: is a serious neurosurgical emergency in which back pain, weakness and numbness around the perineal area , results in inability to urinate and loss of bowel control.

Neuropathy: peripheral nerve inflammations peripheral neuropathies occurring from direct nerve irritation or illness, cause foot and toe pain.

Chronic illnesses: diabetes, alcoholism, cancer, and vitamin deficiencies result in nerve pain that often affects both legs.

Skin inflammations & infections: cause significant pain, especially with underlying illnesses that prevent adequate healing. Skin that is stretched due to edema or fluid accumulation also causes pain.

Shingles: cause pain due to inflammation of spinal cord nerves.

Joint pain: may occur from a local injury, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid or other types of arthritis.

Varicose veins enlarged due to improperly functioning valves, often seen in the legs.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

Pain Behind Knee Bothering You?

The posterior cruciate ligament is the ACLs partner. Its another band of tissue that connects your thighbone to your shinbone and supports your knee. However, the PCL isnt as likely to get injured as the ACL.

You can injure the PCL if you take a hard blow to the front of your knee, such as in a car accident. Sometimes injuries occur from twisting the knee or missing a step while walking.

Stretching the ligament too far causes a strain. With enough pressure, the ligament can tear into two parts.

Along with pain, a PCL injury causes:

  • swelling of the knee
  • trouble walking
  • weakness of the knee

Rest, ice, and elevation can help a PCL injury heal faster. You might need surgery if youve injured more than one ligament in your knee, have symptoms of instability, or you also have cartilage damage.

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More About Your Injury

There is a fluid-filled sac, called a bursa, between the bone and the tendon on the outside part of your leg. The sac provides lubrication between the tendon and the bone. The rubbing of the tendon can cause pain and swelling of the bursa, the tendon, or both.

This injury often affects runners and cyclists. Bending the knee over and over during these activities can create irritation and swelling of the tendon.

Other causes include:

  • Being in poor physical condition
  • Having a tight ITB
  • Poor form with your activities
  • Not warming up before exercising
  • Having bowed legs
  • Imbalance of the core muscles

Treatment For Quadriceps Tendonitis

Early treatment for quadriceps tendonitis include rest and anti-inflammatory medication.

Nonsurgical treatment for quadricep tendonitis

Physical therapy in the early stages of quadricep tendonitis is aimed at decreasing pain and reducing inflammation. The physical therapies may use massage, ultrasound or electrical stimulation to speed the healing process and minimize further damage. The physical therapist will also prescribe exercises to stretch and strengthen the injured area and correct muscle imbalances.

Bracing or taping the patella can help you continue to do day-to-day activities without pain.

Orthotics can improve knee alignment and function of the patella.

Surgical treatment for quadriceps tendonitis

Surgery is a last resort after nonsurgical options have been exhausted. Surgery stimulates healing through restoring the blood supply to the injured quadriceps. The damaged tissue is removed and the tendon is repaired. Most patients who require surgery will have arthroscopic surgery, which is less invasive, and patients can go home that day.

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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.

I Have A Pain Behind My Knee But I Also Feel Unstable On My Feet As If My Knee Is Looser What Should I Do Right Away

Can My Foot Problem Cause Ankle, Knee, Hip and Back Pain?

An unstable knee results from a problem with the tissues that keep the knee stable. This could be a ligament injury, a meniscal tear, a patella injury or an injury to the knee capsule itself, or to the muscles which provide secondary stability. You should consult your doctor to get a proper diagnosis as soon as possible. If the problem does not clear up I would be happy to see you and assess things further.

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How Do You Know If You Have A Blood Clot Behind Your Knee

A blood clot in the veins of your lower leg is called a deep vein thrombosis or DVT. You may have a blood clot behind your knee if you have one-sided leg swelling, pain, warmth, and redness below the knee. Sometimes these clots can occur on both sides at once, but this is uncommon. Some blood clots in the legs, however, do not present with any symptoms. A DVT requires immediate treatment to reduce the risk of embolizing to the lungs.

Treatment And Prevention Tips For Pain Behind The Knee

When you experience knee pain that doesnt go away within a day or two, you should seriously consider health care. Here are a few tips on protecting your knee in situations where you might have a minor knee injury or experience reoccurring knee problems.

  • Avoid activities that cause pain
  • Apply ice
  • Keep knee raised to bring down any swelling
  • Sleep with a pillow underneath or between your knees
  • Avoid running up and down stairs walk carefully
  • Dont forget to warm up before exercising or engaging in sports
  • When you run, do it on smooth, soft surfaces instead of rough pavement
  • Swim instead of running
  • If you are overweight, consider ways to lose a few pounds
  • Make sure you wear well-made running shoes
  • Consider shoe inserts for better arch support

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Examples Of What To Include In A Pain Journal

Shereen Lehman, MS, is a healthcare journalist and fact checker. She has co-authored two books for the popular Dummies Series .

Whether you’ve been battling chronic pain for more than a decade or you’re just starting to deal with consistent aches and soreness, a pain journal can help you document what you are feeling from day to day. Your pain journal is where you write down everything relating to your chronic pain what kind of pain you have, what level of pain you are experiencing, what you were doing when you were in pain, and so on.

What Causes Pain Behind The Knee When Bending

Inner Knee Pain Causes

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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Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries

The posterior cruciate ligament plays a similar role to the ACL, though it is less likely to become injured than the ACL.

PCL injuries may happen during traumatic events, such as falling directly onto the knee from a height or being in a vehicle accident. With enough force, the ligament may tear completely.

PCL injuries cause symptoms such as:

  • knee pain
  • stiffness in the knee if bending
  • difficulty walking
  • swelling in the knee

Completely resting the knee may help a PCL strain heal. However, a severe PCL injury may require surgery.

Swelling Behind The Knee

Reviewed by: KPE Medical Review Board

There are a number of different causes of swelling behind the knee.

The most common is a Bakers Cyst where there is inflammation of the popliteal bursa at the back of the knee.

Sometimes there is back of knee swelling and pain, other times there is a lump behind the knee but no pain associated with it. It might be that only one knee is swollen, or there may be swelling behind both knees.

Most times when the back of the knee is swollen, it can be treated with a combination of rest, regular ice, compression bandages, exercises and physical therapy, but some case may require knee surgery.

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Dvt: Deep Vein Thrombosis Can Cause Pain In The Back Of Your Knee And Calf

Deep vein thrombosis or DVT can cause pain in the back of your knee but the pain is not often isolated to the back of the knee. There is usually calf pain, calf swelling and perhaps thigh pain too. A DVT is not a common cause of pain and swelling, but I list it first because it can be a worrisome cause of pain.

Usually, the pain from a DVT will also occur in the back of your calf or your inner thigh. While not impossible, the pain can be isolated to just the back of your knee. Most people with a DVT will also have swelling in their calf or leg. In people who are obese, swelling of the leg is not uncommon so swelling alone does not mean you have a DVT.

People who are at risk for a DVT include people who are obese, have cancer, chronic diseases, and those of you who recently traveled and sat still for hours/days while recovering from illness, injury, or surgery. We do not know the exact incidence of people walking around with a DVT. People who recently had surgery are at an increased risk for a DVT. If your calf is tender and swollen and the back of your knee hurts, you need to see your doctor urgently or go to an emergency room.

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