Acute knee injuries happen suddenly and are acutely painful. Overuse knee injuries come on gradually over time. An acute knee injury can become chronic if it is not treated properly; likewise, a chronic injury can be classified as acute if it flares up or becomes acutely painful.
- Swelling & or bruising
- Pain after exercise
- Sudden onset of pain
- Tingling or numbness
- Pain when trying to straighten or bend the knee fully
- Pain while climbing stairs
- Pain on weight bearing
- Pain when standing after a period of sitting
- Pain on kneeling
- Pain on the outer knee
Back of Knee Pain
Common causes of pain behind the knee include Baker’s cyst which is a specific swelling behind the knee caused by another knee injury. Hamstring tendinitis causes pain behind the knee where the hamstring tendons insert. This is usually an overuse knee injury where the symptoms come on gradually. One injury which may cause pain in the knee joint as well as pain at the back of the knee is a posterior cruciate ligament injury and is caused by the knee being bent the wrong way through impact or twisting.
Knee Cap Pain
Knee cap pain or patella pain occurs at the front of the knee and is also known as anterior knee pain. Pain behind the knee cap could be patella pain syndrome or runner’s knee as some people call it. Chondromalacia patella is a common cause of pain under the knee cap. Pain below the knee cap is usually patellar tendinitis or jumper’s knee. This and most other causes of anterior knee pain are overuse injuries which come on gradually.
A swollen knee is usually a sign of a knee joint injury or knee sprain resulting in damage to knee ligaments and other structures in the knee. The most common knee joint injury is an anterior cruciate ligament sprain or ACL injury. A medial knee ligament injury on the inside of the knee can also occur with knee cartilage meniscus injury. A lateral knee ligament injury causes pain on the outside of the knee. If the swollen knee occurs gradually, then arthritis is the most common cause along with Bakers cyst if the swelling is at the back of the knee. Knee synovitis or loose bodies within the knee joint can also occur.
Outside Knee Pain
The most common cause of lateral knee pain or pain on the outside of the knee is iliotibial band syndrome, which is also known as runner’s knee. It is an overuse injury that comes on during a run. A lateral ligament sprain and cartilage meniscus injury are both examples of acute knee injuries resulting in lateral knee pain. Knee cartilage inflammation can also cause pain on the outside of the knee and comes on gradually.
Inside Knee Pain
The most common cause of pain on the inside of the knee is a medial knee ligament sprain. A bad medial knee sprain can also occur in conjunction with a knee cartilage injury or an ACL sprain. Cartilage inflammation can come on gradually and also be a cause of medial knee pain.
Running Knee Pain
If you run regularly, then you are probably going to suffer knee pain at some time or other. Running knee injuries are mostly overuse injuries which develop over time as a result of over training, poor foot biomechanics, or incorrect running shoes.
Getting a Diagnosis for your Knee Pain
If you have tingling, numbness, or pain in your knee, see a doctor. He or she will take your medical history, examine you, and possibly perform tests. These may include X-rays, imaging scans, or blood tests. After the examination, the pain management doctors and pain management professionals at Colorado Injury and Pain Specialists will clearly explain to you the condition, possible sources of your pain, and which pain treatment will help alleviate your pain, along with possible courses of action and next steps.
Our providers will help determine the best course of action to help you with your knee pain.