Pain - knee
Knee pain is a common symptom in people of all ages. It may start suddenly, often after an injury or exercise. Knee pain also may begin as a mild discomfort, then slowly get worse.
Knee pain can have different causes. Being overweight puts you at greater risk for knee problems. Overusing your knee can trigger knee problems that cause pain. If you have a history of arthritis, it could also cause knee pain.
Here are some common causes of knee pain:
INJURIES AND OVERUSE
Simple causes of knee pain often clear up on their own while you take steps to manage your symptoms. If knee pain is caused by an accident or injury, you should contact your health care provider.
If your knee pain has just started and is not severe, you can:
Follow these general tips to help relieve and prevent knee pain:
Further steps for you to take may depend on the cause of your knee pain.
Call your provider if:
Your provider will perform a physical exam, and look at your knees, hips, legs, and other joints.
Your provider may do the following tests:
Your provider may inject a steroid into your knee to reduce pain and inflammation.
You may need to learn stretching and strengthening exercises. You also may need to see a podiatrist to be fitted for orthotics.
In some cases, you may need surgery.
Cheung EC, McAllister DR, Petrigliano FA. Anterior cruciate ligament injuries. In: Miller MD, Thompson SR, eds. DeLee, Drez, & Miller's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 98.
Huddleston JI, Goodman S. Hip and knee pain. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Gabriel SE, Koretzky GA, McInnes IB, O'Dell JR, eds. Firestein & Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 51.
McCarthy M, Mcarty EC, Frank RM. Patellofemoral pain. In: Miller MD, Thompson SR, eds. DeLee, Drez, & Miller's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 106.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 11/12/2020
Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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