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11 Causes Your Knee Hurts When Straightened

Painful knees are common and are usually not a sign of anything serious. There are a number of possible causes, ranging from muscle stiffness or tendonitis to other forms of arthritis.

Your complex knee joints carry a lot of weight and energize your legs in many activities such as walking, running, and jumping. It is important to take care of your knees so that you can live your normal daily life and enjoy physical activity. 

However, despite your best efforts, sports injuries and conditions can affect your knees, which can reduce their use. Some conditions cause pain that only affects your knees, which makes your knee hurt when straightened.

How Is Our Knee Structured?

The knee is the largest joint in your body. It is made up of four main things: bones, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons.

1- Bones

Your knee joint is formed where three bones meet. These are your:

  • The thighbone is also known as the femur.

  • Shinbone, which is also known as the tibia.

  • Kneecap, is also known as the patella.

2- Ligaments

These join bones to other bones. There are four main ligaments in your knee. They act like strong ropes to hold your bones together and keep your knee in place.

However, These ligaments in your knee are:

  • Collateral ligaments – are found on the sides of your knee. One is on the inside and one is on the outside. They control the sideways movement of your knee.

  • Cruciate ligaments – are found inside your knee joint. They cross each other to form an X shape. These ligaments control how your knee moves backward and forwards.

3- Cartilage

There are two types of cartilage in your knee:

  • Articular cartilage

  • Meniscal cartilage (meniscus).

How Does The Pain In The Knee Appear When Bending or Straightening?

Knee pain can vary greatly depending on many factors including the actual source of the pain, the severity of the injury, normal health, and level of activity. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of knee pain.

  • Knee Pain, in General,

  • Pain with Joint Locking

  • Pain Sensation Behind the Knee Cap

  • Jolting Pain Behind The Knee

  • Pain on the Outside of the Knee

  • Pain on the Inside of the Knee

  • Popping Sound

  • Loss of Strength

11 Causes Of Knee Pain When You Try To Straighten Them

There are 11 causes that conclude to knee pain when straightened, a concern that pain management in Dallas are well-equipped to diagnose and treat.

1. Torn Meniscus

The meniscus is a small, flat piece of cartilage that sits between the thigh bones and shin bones on each side of your knee. There are two menisci on each knee. They are there to catch panic in the knees and keep bones from collapsing.

Traumatic injuries that cause the knee to rotate violently can cause the meniscus to rupture. A torn meniscus can wrap itself around it, which can keep you from grasping your leg and causing knee pain if you try to do so.

2. Runner’s Knee

Knee runner is a common name for pain around the kneecap. This is a condition in which the tendon that connects your kneecap to your shinbone swells due to repetitive movements. This can cause pain near the kneecap if you try to fully straighten your leg.

However, The pain around the kneecap is often referred to as the athlete’s knee as runners often bend their knees and hold a great shock from the foot area and hard ground, but it is a condition that can affect anyone.

3. Strained Muscles

Excessive knee flexion can cause one or more muscles in your thigh or shin to stretch or tear. Some types cause pain that affects your knee whether it is bent or straight, but some problems can only cause pain if you try to fully control your knee.

4. Quadriceps Tendon Injury

The quadriceps muscle is a powerful muscle in front of the thigh. It is actually made up of 4 different muscles including the rectus femoris, vast medius, lateral, and intermedius. The quadriceps serve as a powerful extension of the knee. Tenders are thick pieces of connective tissue that connect muscle and bone. The quadriceps muscle is at risk of injury.

However, Common causes of injuries include those over the age of 40, steroid use, and chronic and repetitive knee injections. Injuries to the quadriceps tendon often present with pain in the anterior knee. It may also prevent you from understanding your knee.

5. Patella Tendon Injury

The patella tendon is a thick layer of connective tissue that connects the kneecap (patella) to the shin bone. It is important for strengthening the knee cap and knee extension. Injuries occur in athletes participating in jumping and running sports. A patellar tendon injury can cause patients to complain that they are unable to straighten their knees.

6. Acl Injury

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the main joint of the knee. The ligament extends from the femur (femur) to the shin bone (tibia) and limits the forward movement and rotation of the knee. Tears in the ACL can occur as a result of trauma, as well as rapid movement and cutting. 

ACL tears account for 64% of athletic knee injuries in rotating sports leading to 120,000-200,000 ACL reconstructions per year in the United States. There are many signs and symptoms of ACL tears. Symptoms may vary from patient to patient. The most common ones are:

  • Pain

  • Rapid swelling

  • inability to straighten the knee

7. Acute Injury With Swelling

A knee injury can cause swelling. This is also called fluid in the knee. This swelling can greatly reduce knee movements. In severe cases, inflammation can result in a loss of knee flexion.

8. Osteoarthritis/Bone Spur

Grows extra bone at the edges of the joint. It is also called an osteophyte. Bone spurs grow due to trauma, instability, and arthritis. If they are big enough they can prevent the knee from straightening. However, Bone spurs can cause physical obstruction to the full extension of the knee.

9. Patella Or Kneecap Dislocations

The kneecap is designed to slide up and down smoothly on the thigh bone. A groove is called a trochlear groove. If the knee joint is moved out of the boney channel it may cause patients to complain that they are unable to straighten the knee. The annual incidence of primary patellar discharge is 5.8 per 100,000 population. This happens most often in the 10- to 17-year-old group. Causes of kneecap displacement include trauma, muscle weakness, and female sexuality.

10. Muscle Imbalance

The body is a miraculous system. It requires coordinated movement between muscles, tendons, and ligaments. If muscle imbalance occurs the system can collapse. The muscles in the lower legs should work together to allow for full flexion and extension of the knee. If the hamstrings remain stiff and the quadriceps are weak it may be difficult or difficult to straighten your knee.

11. Nerve Injury

The nerves provide vital information to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the knee. Without this knowledge, the knee will not function properly. Nerve damage can occur locally as it does with peroneal nerve damage. 

Neurological dysfunction may be due to lower back pain problems such as disc herniation, disc protrusion, spinal stenosis, and lumbar disc slippage. A previous blog discussed knee pain due to emotional irritation.

Common Treatments for Knee Pain When Bending and Straightening

Specific treatment for knee pain when bending will vary depending on the type and severity of the injury. Not all knee injuries are the same, so it's crucial to establish an accurate diagnosis for a customized treatment and rehabilitation plan tailored to your specific condition. Where appropriate Conservative care should be the first line of treatment. Common treatment options include:

  • Medications

Pain physicians in Dallas might prescribe medications to treat an underlying medical condition or for pain relief, ensuring tailored and effective management of your symptoms.

  • Physical Therapy

Sometimes physical therapy sessions to strengthen the muscles around the knee will make it more stable and help guarantee the best mechanical movements. Working with a physical therapist can help avoid injuries or further worsening of an injury.

  • Injections

Injecting medications directly into your knee might help in certain situations. The two most common injections are corticosteroids and lubricants.

However, Corticosteroid injections can help in reducing inflammation of the knee. Lubricants that are similar to the fluid already in your knee joint treatment in Richardson can help with movement and pain.

  • Surgery

Surgery is increasingly popular with knee injuries. There are many different types of surgery. Meniscus “corrective” surgery is one of the most common and is not well understood by many patients. Recommended for patients who have tears in the meniscus. Is it rare for the meniscus to be repaired? Instead, half of the meniscus is simply cut off. This has a significant long-term effect on the knee joint:

  • Increased incidence of knee arthritis.

  • Recurrent meniscus tears.

  • 2 1/2 times more likely to get a knee replacement.

Other Regenerative Options

Treatment options for your knee that hurt when straightened include the use of PRP or Bone Marrow Concentrate. PRP is rich in growth factors that can reduce inflammation and increase blood flow, both of which can speed healing. Bone Marrow Concentrate contains your stem cells for healing power. However,  All injections are performed under ultrasound guidance and or X-ray guidance. This ensures accurate placement of PRP or Bone Marrow Concentrate in the area of ​​a knee injury. Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Rao K. Ali M.D.

Dr. Rao Ali, a board-certified pain management physician, leads the clinic, which specializes in nonsurgical treatment. The physician has experience in the emergency room as well as training in pain management and rehabilitation. As a personal physician, he works with each patient to develop a treatment plan that will minimize or eliminate their pain. Providing expert diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions, Pain Management In Dallas, PA provides a comprehensive range of services. These services include neck pain, back pain, hip and knee pain, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, complex regional pain syndrome, headaches, migraines, and many others.