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What Causes Pain On The Backside Of The Knee

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What Are The Symptoms Of Posterior Knee Pain

What causes pain at the back of the knee?

The symptoms of discomfort behind the knee can vary due to the fact that it can be caused by a variety of diseases. The following are the most common signs and symptoms:

  • Pain: There are various sorts of pain experienced. Sharp, dull, or scorching pain is possible. It can happen suddenly or can occur gradually. It could be continual or just happens when weight is being put on the leg, or the knee is bent. This information can assist a doctor in determining the cause of your knee pain.

  • Warmth and Redness: The back portion of the knee may feel heated when touched, or redness may be apparent in specific conditions. The person can possibly be suffering from a fever. If they merely had pain, these signs would indicate a different cause.

  • Stiffness and Swelling: The knee may appear enlarged or crooked. If weight is put on the knee, it may lock, pop, or collapse, making it impossible to bend. These signs and symptoms usually suggest that the person has been hurt, although there are alternative possibilities.

How Is Posterior Knee Pain Treated

The diagnosis determines how to treat posterior knee discomfort. Rest, medicines, injections, surgery, or physical therapy may be used to address the problems. Some Baker’s cysts disappear on their own, while others require treatment, which may include cyst drainage. Other reasons for pain behind the knee, such as an infection, tumors, or deep vein thrombosis, will necessitate highly tailored treatment.

Just because you are having discomfort behind your knee does not mean you have one of these exact conditions which are mentioned in the article. There are numerous other causes and diseases that might cause comparable symptoms. But, perhaps, it is essential to determine the type of pain someone is experiencing and its possible severity. For concerns about general posterior knee discomfort, what your specific symptoms imply, and what viable alternatives exist for long-term relief, a local physical therapist is the best resource to consult.

Query:Hello doctor,I am a 28-year-old male, weight around 78 kg and have been having soreness on my left anterior knee for the last three to four months . I finally got an MRI and was told the following (but I do not really understand the terminolog… Read Full »

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Anatomy Of The Posterior Knee

Okay, before we get ahead of ourselves, lets first review the anatomy for the back of the knee.

Lets start by looking at the large muscle anatomy of the posterior knee. In the image above, you can visualize the two heads of the calf muscle and the multiple muscles that make up the hamstrings.

Another feature of the posterior knee is the gap behind the knee, where theres a distinct lack of soft tissue this is known as the popliteal fossa. In the deeper muscle layer of the posterior knee, youll find the popliteus and plantaris muscles.

Deeper still, youll find the posterior capsule of the knee joint and some important nerves that run along the back of the knee.

Alright! With that brief overview of the anatomy of the back of the knee, we can explore some of the most common diagnoses for posterior knee pain.

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Knee Cysts And Bursal Injury

Injury to bursae is usually the result repetitive motions and will elicit pain and tenderness. Cystic lesions of the knee can be caused from a diverse group of entities from benign etiologies to complications of arthritis, infection, and malignancy. The classic cystic lesion causing posterior knee pain is the Bakers cyst. A Bakers cyst is caused either by a herniation of the synovial membrane through the posterior capsule or by an escape of fluid through an anatomic bursa next to semimembranosus or gastrocnemius. Fluid seeps in to the popliteal bursa, located at the back of the knee causing it to swell. It often feels like a squashy orange. A Bakers Cyst typically causes pain behind the knee when bending the knee as the bursa gets squashed.

These include popliteal artery entrapment syndrome, aneurysms, and deep venous thrombosis .

There is minimal literature available on neurological causes of posterior knee pain as there are few case reports, randomized control trials, or meta-analyses that discuss the neurological causes of posterior knee pain. However, referred pain has been implicated as a cause of posterior knee pain. The patellofemoral joint and lumbar spine may both refer pain to the posterior knee. Pain can also be caused by entrapment of nerves in the popliteal fossa.

How Do You Know If You Have A Blood Clot Behind Your Knee


A blood clot in the veins of your lower leg is called a deep vein thrombosis or DVT. You may have a blood clot behind your knee if you have one-sided leg swelling, pain, warmth, and redness below the knee. Sometimes these clots can occur on both sides at once, but this is uncommon. Some blood clots in the legs, however, do not present with any symptoms. A DVT requires immediate treatment to reduce the risk of embolizing to the lungs.

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What Is The Treatment For Hamstring Injuries

Most hamstring injuries heal without surgery. Rarely, when there is a complete rupture at the ischium, or when a significant piece of ischial bone is jerked away, surgery is necessary. Essentially, all other grade I-III tears are best treated without surgery.

As soon as pain permits, it is important to begin a program of stretching and range-of-motion rehabilitation exercises because prolonged immobilization and inactivity results in muscle shrinkage and scar tissue . Excessive scar tissue is incompatible with healthy muscle function. Atrophy and fibrosis are best avoided or reduced by a program of motion and stretching implemented early in the rehabilitation process.

It should be emphasized that an early rehabilitation program does not mean a quick return to the desired usual activity. Given the type of individual that usually sustains a significant hamstring injury, it is usually a difficult task to keep athletic patients off the playing field. Reinjury is extremely common and is often due to avoidable premature return to sport. Reinjury not only prolongs recovery, it also increases the risk of permanent damage. People with these injuries should be informed early in the rehabilitation program about the risks of reinjury.

    Aching Cramp Tiredness Or Numbness At The Back Of The Knee And Calf

    Is most likely due to Popliteal Artery Entrapment Syndrome, where the artery becomes compressed due to pressure on it from the muscles and tendons around the knee. The blood supply to the artery is reduced or cut off. This can occur due to overuse or because of athletic activity, particularly if the calf muscles and muscles around the artery become over-developed due to exercise. Normally the artery will simply recover, but if the problem is persistent medical help should be sought.

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    Improve Movements To Eliminate Hip Pain

    The back, hip, and lower extremity work as a comprehensive unit allowing for many of the repetitive tasks you complete at home, work, and during recreational activities. Injuries to one area of the musculature often indicates that additional damage has been incurred by adjacent muscles.

    Many therapeutic exercises can help restore proper strength and endurance to the leg muscles. Isometric exercises are often the initial treatment exercises, followed by single plane rubber band exercises for the hip, knee, and ankle: flexion, extension, adduction, abduction, circumduction, inversion, and eversion. Dynamic exercises involving stability foam, rubber discs, exercise ball, and BOSU balls can be performed on the floor. The more unstable the surface, the more effort and stabilization is required of all the lower extremity muscles.

    Vibration plates enhance neuromuscular learning throughout the ankle, knee, foot, hip, and back muscles. Additional strength exercises can be found on the hip, knee, and foot strengthening pages. More information for injuries and treatments for knee pain and foot pain.

    I Feel Numbness Behind My Knee Is This Serious

    “Can Knee Pain Cause Back Pain?”

    Temporary numbness may be because you have been sitting for a while in a position which has compressed the nerves in the back of your leg or reduced the blood flow. This is called paresthesia and will dissipate when you start walking around again. However, if the numbness persists it could be due to many different causes, for example it may be a sign of an underlying condition such as a back problem, diabetes or a nerve disorder. You should visit your doctor to discover the reason for the numbness.

    Because your knees bear the bodys weight and are subject to movement in a number of planes they can be quite vulnerable to trauma and to conditions resulting from trauma and wear and tear.

    There are a number of different types of condition which can cause pain to the back of the knee. These include strains or tears to the muscle or tendons, damage to the ligaments, damage to the cartilage within the knee joint, excess fluid in the knee or blood vessel problems.

    The information given below will give you an indication of the problem you may be having, but is not intended that you diagnose yourself. Also this guide is intended for pain behind the knee itself if your pain is part of general joint pain there will be other reasons for this and you should consult a doctor.

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    Symptoms Of Pain Behind The Knee

    Symptoms of pain behind the knee will vary, depending on the cause. You may have swelling or pain when you move your knee a certain way.

    If you have a posterior cruciate ligament injury, youll probably have injured other parts of your knee too. But if youve only injured your PCL, you may just feel a bit of discomfort. You may feel pain behind your knee, especially when you kneel. If your symptoms dont improve, it may be uncomfortable going down an incline, for example walking or running downhill, or going down stairs.

    A popliteal cyst causes swelling and sometimes pain at the back of your knee, which youll probably notice. If you have a very large swelling, it may stop you from fully straightening your leg. The swelling may come and go, and get worse or better over time. If your cyst bursts, you may hear a pop and feel warmth spread down your calf. It may start to look red or bruised anywhere from the back of your knee down to your ankle and the top of your foot.

    If you have a swollen, tender calf, its very important to see a doctor. The swelling can also be caused by a clot in your leg , which you will need urgent treatment for.

    Osteoarthritis usually causes pain when you bear weight on it, and gets better when you rest. Your knee may be stiff and you might not be able to move it as well first thing in the morning, or after you sit for a while. This usually eases once you start moving around. You may also have some swelling over your knee.

    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:

    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.

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    Diagnosis Of Pain Behind The Knee

    Your doctor will examine your knee and ask about your medical history and symptoms, including:

    • the type of pain you have, when it started and whether it comes and goes
    • how active you are
    • any activity, accident or injury that could have caused it

    If they suspect a posterior cruciate ligament injury, they may refer you to have an X-ray or a magnetic resonance imaging scan. If you have signs of a popliteal cyst, your doctor may suggest you have an ultrasound scan.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Knee Pain In Teens

    Posterior lateral corner injury

    Symptoms depend on whats causing your teens knee pain.

    Anterior knee pain:

    • Pain begins gradually worsens with activity.
    • Dull, aching pain behind the kneecap, below the knee or on sides of the kneecap.
    • Pain flares and grinding sensation with repeat knee bending .
    • Thigh muscle weakness .
    • Knee buckles .

    Trauma to knee:

    • Popping, clicking, crackling in the knee when bending .
    • Knee that locks or buckles.

    Osgood-Schlatter disease:

    • Pain on the bony prominence.
    • Pain that varies and gets worse during or just after the activity.
    • Reduced range of movement.
    • Pain, tenderness and swelling at the bottom of the kneecap.
    • Balance problems.
    • Trouble putting weight on the affected leg limps first thing in the morning.
    • Redness, swelling, warmth, stiffness and soreness in joints, including the knee.
    • Symptoms come and go.
    • Dull ache, stiffness and swelling at the knee.
    • Joint clicking.

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    Osteoarthritis Of The Knee

    Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that affects the bodys joints due to wearing down or destruction of the cartilage. Its the most common joint disease in humans and is typically most prevalent in individuals above 45 years of age.5

    There can be different reasons as to why these arthritic changes take place. Still, the end result is usually pain and dysfunction within the knee joint. While the pain can be felt in different areas of the knee, its commonly felt on the inside portion of the knee . Still, there are certainly times when the pain may be felt behind the knee.

    To confirm whether or not an arthritic change is present within the knee and whether or not your pain may be arising from this condition, youll need an examination from a qualified healthcare professional. A simple X-ray is often ordered to help rule in or rule out the presence of arthritis.

    If your pain is determined to be coming strictly from an arthritic change within the joint, youll very likely need to work with a qualified professional who can help you modify your activities and exercises in ways that are appropriate for your knee and your overall abilities.

    Treatment For Quadriceps Tendonitis

    Early treatment for quadriceps tendonitis include rest and anti-inflammatory medication.

    Nonsurgical treatment for quadricep tendonitis

    Physical therapy in the early stages of quadricep tendonitis is aimed at decreasing pain and reducing inflammation. The physical therapies may use massage, ultrasound or electrical stimulation to speed the healing process and minimize further damage. The physical therapist will also prescribe exercises to stretch and strengthen the injured area and correct muscle imbalances.

    Bracing or taping the patella can help you continue to do day-to-day activities without pain.

    Orthotics can improve knee alignment and function of the patella.

    Surgical treatment for quadriceps tendonitis

    Surgery is a last resort after nonsurgical options have been exhausted. Surgery stimulates healing through restoring the blood supply to the injured quadriceps. The damaged tissue is removed and the tendon is repaired. Most patients who require surgery will have arthroscopic surgery, which is less invasive, and patients can go home that day.

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    If The Back Of Your Knee Feels Tight Or Stiff:

    You may have Osgood Schlatters Disease. This is an inflammation of the area just below your knee where the tendon of the kneecap attaches to the shinbone. It occurs during growth spurts or times when bones, muscles, and tendons are changing rapidly. Other symptoms include knee pain and tenderness or swelling.

    Knee Joint Injury As A Cause For Pain In The Back Of The Knee

    What is Causing the Pain Behind Your Knee, How to Tell

    Knee joint is used more than most other joints in human body. The published data suggests knee joint is one of the frequently injured joint.1 The reason knee joint is injured more frequently than other joint is because knee joint is weight bearing joint. Weight transmission is depended on stability of the joint and posture at the time of weight transmission. Wrong position or twist and turn can change direction of weight transmission that can result in joint injury. Knee joint injury damages structures of knee joint that is formed by bone, cartilage, ligaments, muscles and tendon.

    Knee Joint Bone Trauma As A Cause For Posterior Knee Joint Pain

    Tendon and Muscle Injuries Resulting in Pain in the Back of the Knee

    Knee joint is supported by several muscles and tendons. The flexor muscles end in tendon and then tendon is attached to the bone at the back of knee joint. Injury of following muscle or tendon causes pain that is localized over back of knee joint. The tendons of muscles of back of the thigh and lower leg is attached to the back of knee joint. These muscle are known as knee joint flexor or hamstring muscles. Injury to these muscles can occur during knee bending or upper body rotation and turning.

  • Semitendinosus,
  • Ligament Injuries: Causes Pain Over Back Of The Knee

    The following four ligament lie within knee joint-

  • Medial collateral ligament ,
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