What are the signs of knee problems?

Knee symptoms can occur due to chronic diseases that affect your knee as well as to injuries to the structures that comprise your knee joint. Knee symptoms can arise from problems with the bones of your upper and lower legs and the kneecap, ligaments, tendons, menisci, bursae, and surrounding muscles that stabilize the knee joint.

Knee Problems Spotlight

Four important ligaments help to maintain the stability and function of your knee joint: the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments and the medial and lateral collateral ligaments. The menisci are two pieces of cartilage that cushion the bones of your knee joint, permitting them to move smoothly against one another. Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that serve as an extra layer of protection for the joint.

Traumatic causes of knee symptoms include bone fractures, tears and sprains of the ligaments, damage to the menisci, inflammation of tendons or bursae, and damage to the cartilage of the kneecap. Injuries may be sudden, such as a blow to or twisting of the joint, or they may develop slowly over time. The goal of the clinical evaluation is to determine the root cause for the symptoms.

The different forms of arthritis are the most common chronic diseases to affect the knee. Osteoarthritis results from wear and tear on the joint, while rheumatoid arthritis arises from a dysfunction of the body’s immune system. Rarely, tumors and infections of the knee joint and surrounding areas may produce knee symptoms.

A knee injury can require emergency care, and a sprain may be accompanied by more-serious injuries to the joint. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms, such as paralysis or inability to move a body part, loss of sensation, absent pulses in the feet, uncontrolled or heavy bleeding, or uncontrollable pain.

If your knee symptoms are persistent or cause you concern, seek prompt medical care.


What other symptoms might occur with knee symptoms?

Knee symptoms may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Some chronic conditions that frequently affect the knee joint may also involve other body systems.

Localized symptoms that may occur along with knee symptoms

Knee symptoms accompany other symptoms affecting the area of the knee or leg including:

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What causes knee symptoms?

Knee symptoms can occur due to chronic diseases that affect the knee, such as the many forms of arthritis, as well as to injuries to the structures that make up the knee joint.

Traumatic causes of knee symptoms

Knee symptoms may be caused by trauma or injuries, including overuse or stress injuries including:

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 6, 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.

This Article is Filed Under: Bones, Joints and Muscles

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