Almost every one of us has suffered a knee pain with different levels of severity. It can be due to old age, traumatic or knee arthritis, gut, etc. Severe cases may require surgery or replacement of artificial knees. But to be summarized, the causes of a severe knee pain can be broken down into 3 major problems: Trauma, Metabolic Problems, and Degenerative tissue disorder.
Chondromalacia occurs when the cartilage in the kneecap softens. This can be caused by injury, excessive exercise, weakness or if the parts of the knee are deflected. Chondromalacia can develop if a strong blow on the patellar bone dislodges a piece of cartilage. If any of these parts are damaged, the knee may become sore and unable to perform 100% function.
Meniscus is a C-shaped cartilage that acts as a pad between the femur and tibia. Meniscus can easily be injured if the knee is twisted while under heavy load. Maybe partially or wholly broken. If it is torn, Meniscus is still connected to the front and back of the knee. If the break is large, Meniscus may be suspended by other cartilage tissues. The severity of the injury depends on the location and size of the fracture.
The two most common injured knee ligaments are the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). Injury to these ligaments is sometimes called “sprain.” ACLs are most often stretched or cut off (or both) due to sudden twisting movements. PCL is often injured by direct action such as a car accident or a soccer ball.
The middle and lateral knee ligaments are often injured by a blow to the outside of the knee. This can stretch the ligaments and break. These blows often occur in sports such as soccer or hockey.
Traumatic injuries range from tendonitis (tendon inflammation) to rupture (tear). The most frequent tendon rupture is due to:
- Extreme activity (especially in some sports). Stretching is like stretching and inflammation.
- When you try not to fall, the thigh muscles will contract tightly and this can cause the tendon to be damaged. This is most likely to occur in the weakened elderly.
A type of knee tendinitis is called the jumper’s knee. In sports that require high-jumps like basketball, the athlete’s tendons may be inflamed or even broken.
Osgood-Schlatter disease is caused by compression or stretching of the part of the upper limb bone. The disease triggers swelling in the knees and upper limb bones. It can happen if someone’s tendon is cut off from the bone and carrying a piece of the bone. Young people who run too much while playing sports can suffer from this kind of injury.
Tibble-like syndrome occurs when the tendon rubs against the outer bones of the knee and causes swelling. This syndrome appears if the knees are over-exercised for a long time. This sometimes happens during sports training.
Metabolic causes are those that occur alongside a disease that affects the several parts of the body, such as gout. Gout is one of the most common metabolic causes of knee pain.
Gout. This type of arthritis occurs when the uric acid crystals accumulate in the joints. While gout usually affects the big toe, it can also occur in the knee.
Pseudogout. Often mistaken for gout, pseudogout is caused by the formation of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the joint fluid. Knees are the most common joints affected by this condition.
Degenerative Tissue Disorders
Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis causes damage to the cartilage and surrounding tissues of the knee. It can produce pain, stiffness, and prevent the joint from working properly. Osteoarthritis is most commonly due to aging and affects almost all people by the age of 80. Osteoarthritis is considered as the most common type of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis. The most debilitating form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, is an autoimmune condition that can affect almost any joint in the body, including the knees. Although rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease, it tends to vary in severity and may appear temporally.
These are just a few of the common causes of knee pain. Any knee pain should be evaluated by a trained medical professional who can perform tests to determine the direct cause of pain.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: May 4, 2017 | Last Modified: May 4, 2017
Brian Wu, Common Causes of Severe Knee Pain, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/310653.php. Accessed on April 18, 2017
Samuel Greengard, The Common Causes of Severe Knee Pain, http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/causes-of-severe-knee-pain-leading-to-knee-replacement. Accessed on April 18, 2017