Trauma Or Sports Injury
Trauma is a common cause of swelling in the knee. In these instances the fluid in the knee might be blood from a meniscus tear or an ACL tear. If you have a very swollen knee after a traumatic injury you should see an Orthopedic Surgeon to determine what type of injury you might have sustained. X-rays are important to be sure there isnt a fracture around the knee. Most injuries that result in significant swelling due to bleeding have a meniscus tear, fracture, or ligament tear such as an ACL tear.The swelling from an acute injury will diminish over time as the blood is reabsorbed. Cartilage injuries are less common, but still on the list of possibilities.
Swollen Knee: Causes Treatments And Home Remedie
Why Am I Getting Pain At The Back Of My Knee
Published on: 4th February 2020
When it comes to knee pain, we often tend to think first of the front and sides. But pain that comes from the back of the knee is probably every bit as common.
It would be helpful if there was a single likely reason for this! But in fact the causes of back-of-knee pain can be very diverse. You could experience it as a sudden pain or a gradual ache. There may be swelling and inflammation or none at all. You might find it difficult to fully extend your leg.
In other words we need to do some narrowing down to find out whats going on. One useful starting point is to think in terms of problems inside or outside the knee joint: in medical-speak, intra- or extra-articular causes. Lets have a look at the most common ones.
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Rare Causes Of A Swollen Knee
You Have Significant Weakness Trying To Straighten Your Knee
Severe weakness when trying to straighten the knee, even a few days after the injury, could mean that you suffered a severe tendon injury. Common causes of weakness include patella dislocations, patella tendon tears, and quadriceps tendon tears. Patella tendon and quadriceps tendon tears are not common in youth or collegiate sports, but we will see a few of these every year.
In older weekend warriors who are wondering why their knee is weak after a serious injury, patella tendon and quadriceps tendon injuries are far more common. If you are over 35 and felt a loud pop in your knee while pushing off during tennis, or basketball then you need to consider that you have seriously injured your patella or quadriceps tendon.
After an injury to one of these large, critically important tendons, you will find that the knee will feel unstable. You will think that the knee is unable to support your weight without giving way. You should be promptly evaluated by a Sports Medicine physician to determine the type of injury you had. Both quadriceps and patella tendon injuries require surgery to repair these large essential tendons.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Bakers Cyst
Sometimes youll feel no pain at all, or only a slight pain with a Bakers cyst. You may only have knee pain from the initial damage that caused the Bakers cyst, but not the lump itself. Any strain can cause this lump or your knee to swell in size. When the knee or cyst swells, this can increase your pain and limit how much you can move your knee.
Symptoms of a Bakers cyst may include:
- A fluid-filled lump behind your knee.
- Limited range of motion and ability to bend your knee.
- Swelling of your knee and/or leg.
Sometimes, a Bakers cyst can cause swelling and redness in your lower leg that can be similar to the symptoms of a blood clot. A blood clot is an emergency situation. If you are ever in doubt, reach out to your healthcare provider right away. Your provider can check out your symptoms and determine if its a Bakers cyst or a blood clot.
Use Your Knee Brace And Crutches
If youve been fitted for a knee brace or had one recommended to you, make sure it fits properly. You should be able to insert two fingers under the strap. If its difficult to fit two fingers or if you can fit a third finger, youll need to adjust the tightness. Usually youll wear the brace for two to six weeks.
Use crutches if theyve been given and avoid putting any pressure on your knee until your doctor says its okay. Wait at least two weeks or until your doctor gives you the go-ahead before you bathe, swim, or use a hot tub. Follow a healthy diet and drink plenty of fluids. Eat high-fiber foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure you have regular bowel movements. This will help while you may not have the benefit of moving around as much as usual.
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Swollen Knees Causes Say Doctors
A knee sprain – a fall or sporting injury can also cause one of the ligaments in your knee to tear. This can result in instability, swelling and pain – sometimes at the back of the knee. One possible culprit is the Posterior Cruciate Ligament , which runs in a cross-shape at the rear of your joint Swollen knee within an hour or two of activity: Swelling that occurs soon after an activity is much more serious than swelling that shows up, say, the next day. Example: You twist your knee trail running and it swells up. This is a sign of bleeding within the knee, or hemarthrosis. Basically, something has been torn or broken
Can Dehydration Cause Pain In The Back Of The Knee
In general, dehydration does not cause pain in the back of the knee. However, if you are dehydrated, you may experience cramping of your muscles. This is due to electrolyte imbalances leading to muscle irritation. This can lead to pain in the back of your leg if those muscles cramp. Most commonly, dehydration leads to exhaustion, thirst, muscle cramps, and dizziness.
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Nutrients To Heal Knee Pain
- Search for Why is the back of my knee swollen. Find Symptoms,Causes and Treatments of Leg-Related Disease.For Your Health
- A Baker’s cyst is a common cause of a swollen area or lump behind the knee. This condition develops when joint fluid leaks out from the joint cavity into the tissues behind the knee. Other causes include infections, bleeding, trauma, and rarely, tumors. Infectious causes of behind knee swellin
- In most cases, back of knee swelling is caused by a build-up of fluid or an abnormal growth in the popliteal space – the soft area at the back of the knee
- The buildup of fluid in your knee can lead to the formation of a Baker’s cyst in the back of your knee. A swollen Baker’s cyst can be painful, but usually improves with icing and compression. If the swelling is severe, you might need to have fluid removed
- A variety of issues can cause knee swelling, including injuries and medical conditions such as arthritis. A person can treat some of these causes at home, while other issues require care from a..
- When some sort of damage causes swelling within the knee joint, the pressure pushes extra fluid in the capsule out behind the knee joint, essentially creating a what looks like a swollen ball at..
What Are The Best Exercises For Knee Pain
To rehabilitate the knee area, we need to find the underlying cause of the problem. To do that, we carry out a thorough examination so we can understand the condition of your body and your individual needs. For some people, going straight into exercising an injured area is a very bad idea it can cause more harm than good. Instead, we recommend introducing gentle exercises once your condition has improved and exercises are tolerable. For patients whose injuries have been caused by sports or working out at the gym, we advise that they should stop their gym or training programme until their condition is well managed.
I was shocked at the difference after my first session.
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Complications Of A Swollen Knee
You may develop a Baker’s cyst. This is when joint fluid leaks out into the back of the knee and causes pain and swelling. Treatment usually involves compression and applying ice packs. However, if your swelling is severe, you may need to have the fluid removed using a fine needle.
You may lose muscle mass, especially in your thigh muscles. This is because fluid in your swollen knee can prevent your thigh muscles from working properly over time this causes them to weaken and deteriorate.
What Will My Recovery Be Like After Knee Surgery
Recovery times can vary from person-to-person. What one person experiences when recovering from knee surgery may not be what you experience. Some tips to keep in mind as you recover can include:
- Avoiding strenuous activities.
- Keeping your knee propped up for a few days after surgery to decrease swelling or any pain you may feel.
- Taking all of your pain and antibiotic medications as instructed by your healthcare provider.
- Going to your follow up appointment with your provider several days after your surgery.
- Doing physical therapy to continue strengthening your knee if its been suggested by your provider.
After surgery, you may feel a little tenderness and throbbing in your knee. Reach out to your provider if this, or any of pain, continues as you recover. You should be able to drive two weeks after your surgery. Talk to your provider about when you can do other activities.
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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.
Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pain In The Back Of The Knee
To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:
- Is the knee pain affecting one or both knees?
- Do you often feel your knees buckling?
- Where is your knee pain?
- How would you explain the cause of your knee pain?
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How Is A Bakers Cyst Treated
Treatment of a Bakers cyst usually starts with nonsurgical options. One time-honored method that sports doctors and orthopaedic surgeons have relied on for decades to soothe swelling from joint damage is the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
Often, your healthcare provider will suggest that you start with a nonsurgical treatment of your Bakers cyst. These are generally things you can do at home and on your own that can improve your symptoms.
Nonsurgical treatment options can include the RICE method:
- Resting your leg whenever possible.
- Applying ice to your knee.
- Using compression wraps on your knee to decrease the amount of joint swelling.
- Elevating your knee while you are resting.
Other nonsurgical treatment options for a Bakers cyst can include:
- Taking an anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen.
- Maintaining a healthy body weight, which can help put less pressure on your joints.
- Avoiding activities that strain your knee. This includes avoiding high-impact sports like jogging.
- Using a crutch or cane when you walk.
- Getting a referral for physical therapy from your healthcare provider to help strengthen your knee and body.
Your healthcare provider may also give you a steroid injection. This involves cortisone being injected into your knee joint, which can reduce inflammation and pain.
Your provider might suggest a surgical option to you if:
- Your knee pain is severe.
- Youre unable to move your knee well .
Localized Symptoms That May Occur Along With Behind Knee Swelling
Behind knee swelling may accompany other localized symptoms including:
- Bleeding or bruising
- Instability of the joint
- Muscle or spasm
- Pain, whether at rest or during specific movements, that may be described as dull, sharp, burning, stabbing or aching
- Redness and warmth of the skin
- Reduced mobility
- Visible deformity of the affected joint
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Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
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.
Why Is The Back Of My Knee Swollen
Generally, swelling at the back of the knee is due to a Bakers cyst. However, Bakers cysts are not usually painful. If you experience severe pain and swelling behind the knee, then you must see your doctor. Sometimes, large Bakers cysts can become painful. Other causes include DVT or popliteal aneurysms.
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You May Have An Autoimmune Condition
In addition to rheumatoid arthritis, a number of other autoimmune conditionsin which the immune system attacks the body in various wayscan contribute to swelling and pain throughout the body, including in the knees.
Though less common, systemic autoimmune conditions, like lupus, may cause swelling, Dr. Gladstone says. Like Lyme, these conditions may explain inflammation in the knees when nothing else can. Along with pain and swelling, people with autoimmune conditions often experience chronic fatigue, muscle aches, and low fevers.
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Your Knee Keeps Buckling
When you got hurt, did it feel like your knee gave way underneath you? Were not talking about a temporary sensation of weakness or some wobbliness, but more like your shin and thigh bone werent connecting or staying in place. A buckling knee could signal an ACL tear or a cruciate ligament injury.
It could start with a small pop or crack, or you could feel it after a strenuous exercise session or a soccer game.
Either way, your knee feels unstable or weak. Your knee may give out momentarily, which is scary because you might not trust yourself to walk safely when this happens. According to Dr. Howard Luks, an orthopedic surgeon, this could indicate a tear in the patella or the quadriceps tendon.
These tendons are on the front of your knees and offer a lot of support to keep you upright. If theyre not in top form, youre bound to feel weak in the knees , and you might not be able to walk at all. If this is the case, you could need surgery.
On the other hand, the weakness could be temporary, caused by wear and tear, improper footwear, or a strain. If youre a weekend warrior or youre over the age of 30 , you might experience this symptom on a regular basis.
However, if the weakness is recurring and happens every time you exercise, its possible you have a time bomb thats waiting to happen. When in doubt, seek advice from a physician.
If your knee buckles under you when you are walking, then it usually indicates instability, she says.
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