Causes of knee pain

I. Knee Joint Inflammation

   Arthritis of the Knee Joint:   

  1. Osteoarthritis : Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease which causes cartilage damage and thinning of cartilages. Osteophytes and hypertrophy of tibia and femur observed in later stage. It results in joint deformity.
  2. Rheumatoid Arthritis: It is an autoimmune disease which causes inflammation of synovial membrane and capsule. Inflammation causes excessive secretion of synovial fluid resulting in joint swelling. Joint effusion (swelling by excessive fluid) causes joint deformity and may result in joint subluxation.
  3. Psoriatic Arthritis: It is associated with psoriatic skin disease. It is inflammatory joint disease which results in inflammation of synovial membrane and ligaments, degeneration of articulating cartilages and menisci.
  4. Gout: Knee joint swelling is caused by inflammation of synovial membrane, capsule, ligaments and tendon. Soft tissue inflammation results from irritation of tissue following uric acid deposits. Uric acid deposits in knee joint causes inflammation and edema of articular cartilage and menisci.

    Tendonitis of Knee Joint:

    Inflammation of tendon is known as tendonitis.Tendonitis is caused by overuse of the muscles and tendon. Tendonitis follows injury or trauma of the tendon and muscles. Tendonitis of superior patellar tendon is known as Osgood-Schlatter Disease. Osgood-Schlatter tendonitis is caused by overuse, irritation or injury of the knee cap and patellar tendon. Inflammation of patellar tendon below patella is known as ''jumper's knee.''

   Bursitis of Knee Joint:

   Bursitis is caused by inflammation of bursa. Inflammation often follows trauma. Bursitis causes increased secretion of viscous fluid, which is collected in a sac. Most common knee joint bursitis is Housemaid Knee and Baker's Cyst. Pre-patellar bursa is known as ''Housemaid's knee'' is also known as ''Preacher's Knee" and is caused by kneeling on knee often for prolonged time. A ''Baker's cyst'' is inflammation of popliteal bursa and causes swelling of sac at the back of the knee.

 

II. Infection of Knee Joint:

  •  Knee Joint infection is also known as Septic Arthritis.
  • Results in Knee Joint Abscess.
  • Follows severe deterioration and atrophy of the cartilages and synovial membrane.
  • Often follows penetrating injury
  • Blood borne bacterial infection transmitted from distant source of infection or abscess by blood.

 

III. Injury of Knee Joint:

      1. Ligamental Sprain

  • Grade 1- Laceration or forceful stretch of ligament
  • Grade 2- Partial tear of the ligament
  • Grade 3- Complete tear of the ligament  

     2. Tendon Rupture or Tear

  • Grade 1- Laceration or forceful stretch of tendon
  • Grade 2- Partial tear of the tendon
  • Grade 3- Complete tear of the tendon

     3. Torn Meniscus

  • Meniscus tear may be partial or complete.
  • Tear may be associated with cartilage fragments in the joint resulting in severe pain with joint movements.
  • Tear is caused by continuous wear and tear of the joint known as "Degenerative Tear".
  • Meniscus tear mostly results from knee joint injuries.

     4. Knee Joint Dislocation

  • Very uncommon injury
  • Mostly caused by auto accident or fall from heights.
  • Severe pain and inability to move knee joint

     5. Knee Joint Fracture

  • Involves femur, tibia, patella or fibula.
  • Fracture of patella is the most common knee joint fracture observed following injury.
  • Patellar fracture is also common in patient suffering with osteoporosis .
  • Mostly caused by auto accident or fall from heights.
  • Severe pain and inability to move knee joint.

 

IV. Patello-Femoral Syndrome

  • The condition is caused by irritation or inflammation of articulation surface of patella and femur.
  • Irritation is caused by abnormal or shearing forces generated by tendon and muscles attached to patella.
  • The inflammation or wear and tear of the articulating cartilage between femur and patella causes severe pain known as Patello-Femoral Syndrome.
  • Thinning and softening of the cartilage is also known as Chondromalacia.
  • Patello-Femoral Syndrome is often associated with dislocation or fracture of knee joint.

 

V.  Osteoporosis

  • Osteoporosis  is a metabolic disorder that results in demineralization of bone because of loss of calcium.
  • Bone becomes weak and brittle.
  • Osteoporotic bones easily fractures following severe cough or even sneezing.

 

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