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What Are the Causes of Knee Pain?

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What Are the Causes of Knee Pain?

Many things can cause you to experience pain in your knees. Since knee pain can signal damage to the joint or other knee structures, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. Some of the most common causes of knee pain include:


Pain is the most common symptom of knee injuries and this can be accompanied by knee instability. You might not be able to put weight on the affected knee without falling. Swelling, bruising and problems with range of motion are also possible. The following knee injuries are common:

  • ACL injury: This is characterized by the ACL, a ligament that connects the thighbone and shinbone, tearing. This is common when you suddenly change direction, such as when you play soccer or basketball.
  • Knee bursitis: This condition involves the small bursa sac in the knee becoming inflamed. The bursa work to cushion your knee, so when they are inflamed, this causes pain when you move the joint.
  • Torn meniscus: The meniscus in the knee is a type of cartilage and it provides shock absorption between your thighbone and shinbone. A sudden twist when you are putting weight on your knee can cause this.
  • Patellar tendinitis: This injury results from overuse. One or more of the tendons in the area become inflamed.


There are many types of arthritis that can cause pain, stiffness, swelling and redness of the knees. Some common types of arthritis include:

  • Osteoarthritis: This is the most common form and it causes inflammation in your knee joints. It occurs as a result of wear and tear and affects people as they age.
  • Gout: Uric acid crystals can accumulate in your joints, causing pain. While the big toe is most often affected, the knee can also be affected.
  • Septic arthritis: This refers to an infection in your knee joint, It can cause a fever as well as a swollen and warm knee. It should always be treated urgently by a medical doctor as soon as possible.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: This type of arthritis occurs as a result of your immune system attacking your joints. In varies in severity and the symptoms can come and go. This is a very difficult condition and should always be treated under the supervision of a rheumatologist.
  • Pseudogout: This type of gout is characterized by the accumulation of calcium-containing crystals. The knees are most often affected with this type of arthritis.

Chondromalacia Patellae

This condition refers to pain between the thighbone and the kneecap. Younger athletes are at the highest risk, especially if their kneecap is slightly misaligned. Older adults can develop this condition as a result of arthritis.

These are all relatively common problems and most people experience knee pain at least once in their life. If you experience pain in your knees, it is important to rest and contact your healthcare provider.

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