11 causes you to feel pain behind knee when bending
August 25, 2022

Your knees have a lot of moving parts and you use them a lot, so a lot can go wrong. Too much of one type of movement, especially if you don’t build up to it, can lead to an “overuse” injury. Simple wear and tear is a problem, especially as you get older. Accidents can crack bones and tear tissue. Under certain conditions, your body attacks its joints. Causing pain behind knee when bending. Your doctor can help you sort out what’s going on with your knee when you’re not feeling well.

What is pain behind the knee?

Some of the most common causes of pain behind the knee (posterior knee pain) include Baker’s cyst, arthritis, infection, injury, tumor, or deep vein thrombosis. Since the knee is the largest and most complex joint in the body, it makes sense that it can sometimes hurt. Although knee pain is a common complaint, it is less common behind the knee.

Pain in the back of the knee is called posterior knee pain and can have a variety of causes. Sometimes back knee pain is “referred” from the front of the knee or spine.

Symptoms of pain behind the knee:

Because several conditions can cause pain behind knee, symptoms can vary. The most common symptoms include:

  • Different types of pain

The pain can be sharp, dull, or burning. It can appear suddenly or gradually. It can be constant or it can occur when you put weight on the leg or when you bend the knee. This information can help your doctor diagnose your knee problem.

  • Swelling or stiffness

The knee may appear swollen or deformed. You may not be able to bend your knee, or your knee may crack, lock, or collapse when you put weight on it. These symptoms usually indicate that you have suffered an injury, but there are other possibilities.

  • Redness or warmth

In some circumstances, the back of the knee may feel hot to the touch or redness may be visible. You may also have a fever. These symptoms would point to a different cause than if you were just having pain. However, you may also feel Sharp stabbing pain in knee comes and goes due to this.

Causes of Knee Pain when bending:

Pain behind knee when bending can be the result of many causes, including arthritis, overuse, or sports injuries. All of these can result in knee pain when bending or activating the knee joint. Some knee discomfort can have a clear cause. For example, if you fell on your knee during an athletic workout, it’s safe to assume that’s why your knee hurts. Other causes of knee pain, such as arthritis or a degenerative condition, will require a clinical evaluation and professional diagnosis.

  • Dislocations and fractures

If your knee hurts intensely after a bump, crash, or fall, you may have broken one of the bones that meet there—the femur, tibia, and patella—or dislocated one. Go to the emergency room or see a doctor as soon as possible. Sometimes fractures occur more slowly, causing small cracks at the ends of the leg bones. This can happen when you start using the knee more.

  • Torn ligament

You hear a popping sound and can’t move after suddenly changing direction—often while playing football, soccer, or basketball. You may have torn the ACL, which connects the femur to the tibia and prevents the tibia from moving too far forward. Your knee will hurt and swell and feel unstable. You can tear or strain any of the tissues that hold your knee together: Ligaments connect bones; tendons connect muscle to bone. Irritated tendons from overuse? That’s tendinitis.

  • Iliotibial band syndrome

The “IT band,” the ligament that runs along the outside of your thigh, can rub against the bone and become irritated and swollen. You’re more likely to get it when you run or bike for exercise. It might hurt more when you walk downhill or sit for a while. You may feel better after warming up, but if you don’t rest the injury and give it a chance to heal, it could get worse.

  • Osteoarthritis

It is difficult to bend or extend the leg. Your knee is stiff and sore and may swell after you’ve moved. You’ve probably worn away cartilage, the substance that helps cushion the ends of your bones. Because it takes time, this type of arthritis is more common in people aged 65 and older. If you are younger, you may get it because you used your knee a lot after an injury, such as a torn ligament.

  • Inflammatory arthritis

In addition to pain and swelling, you may also feel tired, nauseous, or have a fever. When you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system, which is supposed to fight bacteria, can attack your knees. For example, rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect the hands and other joints in pairs on both sides of the body. Lupus affects joints, muscles, and organs everywhere. Psoriatic arthritis often causes thick, discolored patches of skin along with joint pain.

  • Bursitis

This makes your knee swollen, stiff, and warm or tender to the touch, usually because you’ve overworked it. This condition is also known as “maid’s knee” or “clergyman’s knee” because people with these jobs kneel so much. It happens when the small, fluid-filled sacs called bursae that help cushion the knee joint become irritated and swollen. It may hurt even when you are resting.

  • Runner’s knee

You will feel it in the front of the knee, around the patella. Your knee may hurt after you sit hunched over for a while or try to kneel. It may crack or crack when climbing stairs. Typically, patellofemoral pain syndrome comes from overuse, misalignment between the hip and ankle, a weak thigh muscle, or the breakdown of the cartilage behind the kneecap – or a combination of these. It is common in women and young athletes.

  • Torn meniscus

A sudden twist or turn — especially with your full weight on the knee — can tear the meniscus, the rubbery cartilage that acts as a cushion between the thigh and shin bones. You have one on each side of the ACL. They may be more prone to tears due to arthritis or age. Pain can be difficult to define and describe. Your knee may become stiff, swollen, and difficult to move and extend.

  • Baker’s cyst

This fluid-filled sac at the back of the knee can bulge or become so tight that it is difficult to fully bend or extend the leg. It can be caused by another problem, such as arthritis or a torn meniscus. The cyst itself is usually painless unless it ruptures, which can cause swelling and bruising in the back of the knee and calf.

  • Gout and Pseudogout

Both have similar symptoms: The pain and swelling are often intense and hit you quickly. Your knee may be stiff, red, and hot. It happens when crystals gather in a junction. Gout is caused by a build-up of uric acid and often affects the big toe. Pseudogout is caused by calcium pyrophosphate.

  • Infection

Another disease or direct injury to the joint can cause septic arthritis. The pain will set in quickly and you will also be sick, cranky, and have a fever. Your doctor may use a needle to take some fluid from your knee to find out which bacteria is causing it so they know how to treat it. Although it doesn’t happen as much, viruses and parasites can also infect your joints.

Diagnosis of pain behind the knee:

A physical examination is of primary importance in the diagnosis of posterior knee pain caused by injury or arthritis. The doctor will manipulate the legs to check for rotation, flexion, and stability and to determine which movements are causing the pain.

The doctor may also use imaging procedures such as ultrasound, X-ray, CT, arthrography, and MRI. Sometimes the doctor takes fluid from the knee for laboratory testing. A doctor will use a physical exam, lab studies, and imaging if he or she suspects an infection, tumor, or DVT. A doctor can usually diagnose a Baker’s cyst by sight but can confirm the diagnosis with an imaging procedure.

My knee hurts when bending – What Now?

Pain behind knee when bending is usually the result of inflammation – your immune system’s natural response to damaged joint tissue. Pain and inflammation are completely normal and necessary for proper joint healing. Although joint inflammation is “natural”, it can negatively affect your quality of life. Your knee can hurt so much that it makes everyday tasks difficult. In such cases, reducing inflammation with NSAIDs, the R.I.C.E. method, and exercise are often used to manage pain in the short term.

  • Professional knee exam

It is essential to have your knee evaluated by a medical professional. This is even more important if you have suffered a traumatic knee injury. A definitive diagnosis will give you peace of mind and help speed up the healing process.

  • Get rid of knee pain

If you’re lucky, your knee pain may improve on its own with rest. However, more than likely you will need to engage in rehabilitation exercises to overcome the injury. Physical therapists specialize in providing specific exercises and treatment regimens that increase the strength, stability, and mobility of your joint.