Knee pain is a problem we hear every day. Everyone can be a victim of knee pain, children, men, women, young, old, everyone. Athletes are a group of people that most suffers from knee pain. More than half of them experience some kind of knee problem sooner or later in their life.
Diagnosing the cause of knee pain can sometimes be a very quick and clear procedure, but other times it can be a very long and exhausting one. There are millions of causes for knee pain and many of them can appear with the same symptoms. That’s why finding out what the cause is can be rather difficult.
Speaking in general, there are two types of knee pain causes: mechanical, that are caused by some injury or accident (usually acute) and knee pains that are caused by some more serious conditions, such as arthritis (usually chronic).
Mechanical Knee Pain Causes (Mostly Acute)
Injury of the ligaments – some kind of trauma can cause ligament injury. If you suffer from this type of knee pain, it is usually easy to diagnose. The pain should come right after the injury and it will usually be worse when you walk or bend the knees.
Meniscus torn – sudden, sharp movement might cause the meniscus to tear. Swelling and a warm feeling might appear in the knee. Some medical imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging can help with diagnosing this problem.
Tendonitis – this can occur in the back of the knee or in the front of the knee just below the cap of the knee. Tendinitis is actually an inflammation of the tendon that might be caused by activities such as jumping and similar activities.
Knee fractures – fracture is breaking of a bone. Knee fractures can happen from some serious traumas, such as car accidents or motorcycle accidents. Knee fractures can be extremely painful and might take time to heal. The knee might need to be immobilized or even surgically repaired.
Kneecap dislocation – this is the condition when the bone that covers the knee (kneecap) dislocates and goes out of place.
Bone chips – this is when an injury has caused some fragments of the knee bone to break off. Sometimes, you might even not notice it, but sometimes the broken bone fragment can get stuck somewhere in the joint and you will probably experience pain as well as swelling of the knee.
Other Causes for Knee Pain: Diseases and Conditions (Mostly Chronic)
Arthritis – this is a condition that mostly affects joints and they become inflamed. This is the number one reason for people who experience chronic knee pains. Almost every type of arthritis can affect the knees.
Osteoarthritis – this is a form of arthritis that causes a degeneration of the knee cartilage. Osteoarthritis is wear and tear which means that older people are more likely to be affected by it.
Rheumatoid Arthritis – another variation of arthritis and a common cause of knee pains. This is actually an autoimmune disease that can affect practically every joint on your body, including your knees.
Gout – again, a type of arthritis that might cause knee pain. In this condition, uric acid crystals are created in the knee joint.
Baker Cyst – this is a common problem in people who suffer from back knee pain. It is a condition where fluid accumulates behind the knee in a form of a cyst. It is a result of swelling of the knee caused once again by arthritis.
Some infections of the knee bone or joint – although more rarely, there are some infections that might affect the knee bones and joints. These infections can be diagnosed with examination of the knee fluid.
Tumors – tumors in the area of the knee joints are very rare, but can happen. The treatment of these tumors can be a removal surgery or in more affected people an amputation.
Osgood-Schlatter – this disease is a very common reason for front knee pain in children. It is actually an inflammation of the tendon area that’s just below the kneecap.
Chondromalacia – this is a disease where the cartilage that is under the kneecap softens. This is an amazingly common cause of knee pain, especially in young women and people who sit all the time.
Pellegrini-Stieda Syndrome – this is a condition where the collateral ligament that is on the inside of a knee becomes calcified. This disease can cause knee inflammation and pain.