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Symptoms and causes of chronic knee pain

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Knee pain is a common problem that is seen in people of different ages. It can result from a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage or as a result of an injury. There are some medical conditions which can result in knee pain.

Let’s know more about the symptoms and the causes of chronic knee pain.


The severity and the location of chronic knee pain can be different for different people. It will generally depend on the cause of the problem. The most common signs and symptoms of chronic knee pain include-

  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Redness and warmth to the touch
  • Popping or crunching noises
  • Weakness or instability
  • Inability to fully straighten the knee

If you are going through any of the following, you need to see your doctor. These risk factors include-

  • You are not able to be a weight on your knee
  • You are not able to fully extend or flex your knee
  • You can find signs of obvious deformity in your leg or knee
  • You see swelling in your knee
  • You are suffering from fever and with redness, swelling and pain in your knee
  • You feel as if your knee is unstable

Causes of chronic knee pain

As mentioned before, knee pain can result from injuries, mechanical problems, different types of arthritis and other problems.


If you have suffered any knee injury, it can affect the ligaments, tendons or fluid filled sacs surrounding your knee joint. It may also impact bones, cartilage and ligaments from the joint. Knee injuries may include ACL injury, which is the tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This is one of the ligaments that connect your shinbone to your thighbone. This type of injury is more common in case of basketball, soccer players and other sportsmen, where the players need to change direction suddenly.

Another injury may be fractures. If bones of the knee such as knee is broken during any accident, collision or falls, such injury can result in chronic knee pain. If the bones are weakened by osteoporosis, in knee fracture may happen rather easily.

Torn meniscus can result in knee pain. It is a rubbery cartilage that works as a shock absorbers between your shinbone and thighbone. If somehow you suddenly twist your knee, it can result in this medical condition.

Bursae is the smart sacs of fluid that cushions the knee joint and with which help tendons and ligaments can glide smoothly over the joint. Sometimes some knee injuries can cause inflammation in the bursae and it is known as knee bursitis.

Patellar tendinitis means irritation and inflammation of tendons in your knee. Tendons of the thick, fibrous tissues that attach muscles to bones. It is more common in case of runners, cyclists, skiers and people involved in different types of jumping sports and activities.

Mechanical problem

There are some mechanical problems which can cause chronic knee pain.

Loose body is a factor that can result in knee pain. Sometimes because of degeneration of bone or cartilage or due to injury, a piece of bone or cartilage may break and then float in the joint space. This lose body may interfere with knee joint movement and then it can result in pain.

Dislocated kneecap is another mechanical problem that can result in chronic knee pain. It happens when the triangular bone present in front of the knee may slip out of the place. In some cases, it is possible to see the dislocation.

Hip or foot pain

In some cases, hip or foot pain can force you to change the way you walk and that can result in knee pain by stressing your knee during such walks.


1. An Athlete’s Guide To Chronic Knee Pain
2. Knee Injuries and Disorders
3. Knee Pain