Common Causes of Knee Pain

Thursday, September 6th, 2018, 9:08 pm

The knee may be a small part of your body, but it can cause plenty of trouble. A minor injury or a series of strains can quickly turn into major issues that require medical care. Plus, various kinds of arthritis and infections can also plague the joint and severely hamper your mobility. That’s why it’s important to identify the cause of your pain and seek professional treatment.

Knee pain is commonly caused by:

1) Arthritis

Although, doctors have identified more than 100 different types of arthritis, some of the most common are …

  • Rheumatoid arthritis—An autoimmune disorder, this type of arthritis that can affect the lining in almost any joint. It causes painful swelling and irreversible joint damage.
  • Osteoarthritis—This involves deterioration of the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones. Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic joint condition, and it frequently occurs in the hands, knees, hips, and spine.
  • Septic arthritis—This type of arthritis is caused by a painful joint infection. It affects infants and older adults most often.
  • Gout and pseudogout—Caused by crystal buildup, gout and pseudogout are characterized by the sudden onset of painful swelling and tenderness in the joints.

2) Trauma

Accidents can happen anywhere, and a sudden fall can severely damage the ligaments, tendons, bones, and cartilage that make up the knee. Some of the more frequently occurring injuries are …

  • Fractures—The knee bones can crack or break, especially if osteoporosis weakens them.
  • Ligament injuries—These often involve tears in the three main ligaments in the knee—the anterior cruciate ligament, the medial collateral ligament, or the posterior cruciate ligament. They are common sports injuries.
  • Knee bursitis—The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs in your knees that cushions pressure points. An injury can cause painful inflammation of those sacs.
  • Torn meniscus—The meniscus consists of cartilage and is located between your shinbone and thighbone. You can tear it if you suddenly rotate your knee while bearing weight on it.
  • Patellar tendinitis—This condition is also called “jumper’s knee.” It’s an inflammation or irritation of the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shinbone.
  • Loose bodies—Pieces of bone or cartilage can break off after injuries and get caught in your joint, causing pain.
  • Dislocation—Your patella (the bone that covers your kneecap) can slip out of place and cuase pain.
  • Hip or foot injury—A hip or foot injury may change the way you walk and place extra strain on your knee.

Risk Factors:

Perfectly healthy people can suffer knee pain, but certain factors can affect the health of your knee and the level of pain you may experience. These include …

  • Obesity
  • Advanced age
  • Lack of muscle fitness
  • Participation in sports that strain the knees
  • Previous injuries
  • Smoking

If you’re experiencing knee pain, you need to get the right care before the situation gets worse. It’s time to call the Orthopaedic Institute if you …

  • Can’t put weight on your knee
  • Notice swelling in your knee
  • Can’t fully straighten or bend your knee
  • Notice an obvious deformity
  • Have redness, pain and swelling in your knee and develop a fever
  • Believe your knee is unstable

Click here to find your closest Orthopaedic Institute location.


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