What is behind knee pain?

Behind knee pain is discomfort or soreness behind the knee joint. It may occur with or without movement and can be severe enough to limit movement. People may describe behind knee pain as discomfort, inflammation, increased warmth or burning, soreness, stiffness, or pain.

Behind knee pain is a common sign of a Baker’s cyst, which is a buildup of synovial fluid behind the knee. Synovial fluid lubricates the joints and reduces friction between the joint cartilages. The symptoms associated with a Baker’s cyst tend to come and go, and the condition will not cause any long-term damage to the knee.

However, behind knee pain may be a symptom of deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the leg), which is a serious and life-threatening condition. The blood clot can break loose and cause a pulmonary embolism in the lung, a heart attack, or even stroke. Deep vein thrombosis has similar symptoms to a Baker’s cyst.

If you experience pain behind the knee and calf with painful swelling and bruises, seek immediate emergency medical care. If your symptoms persist or cause you concern, contact a medical professional.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with behind knee pain?

Behind knee pain often occurs along with other symptoms that vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. These symptoms include swelling or edema, inflammation and redness, soreness, or pain. If you are experiencing other symptoms along with your behind knee pain, be sure to tell your health care provider. This additional information can help your doctor make a diagnosis. Read more about behind knee painsymptoms

CAUSES

What causes behind knee pain?

Behind knee pain can be due to a fairly mild condition, such as a torn hamstring that responds well to rest and self-care measures. However, behind knee pain can result from a Baker’s cyst or deep vein thrombosis. With both conditions you may have pain, swelling, and bruising behind the knee and calf. In contrast to a Baker’s cyst, deep vein thrombosis is a life-threatening condition that needs... Read more about behind knee paincauses

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Jul 30, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.