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Knee pain

Definition

Knee pain is a common symptom in people of all ages. It may start suddenly, often after an injury or exercise. Knee pain may also began as a mild discomfort, then slowly worsen. 

Alternative Names

Pain - knee

Causes

Simple causes of knee pain often clear up on their own with self care. Being overweight can put you at greater risk for knee problems.

Knee pain can be caused by:

Less common conditions that can lead to knee pain include bone tumors.

Home Care

For knee pain that has just started:

For knee pain related to overuse or physical activity:

Tips to relieve knee bursitis pain:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your doctor if:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your health care provider will perform a physical examination, with careful attention to your knees, hips, legs, and other joints.

To help diagnose the cause of the problem, your health care provider will ask medical history questions, such as:

The following tests may be done:

Your doctor may inject a steroid into the knee to reduce pain and inflammation.

You may need to learn stretching and strengthening exercises and podiatrist (to be fitted for orthotics).

In some cases, you may need surgery.

Prevention

  

References

Frontera WR, Silver JK, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2008:section 7.

Honkamp NJ, Shen W, Okeke N, Ferretti M, Fu FH. Knee: Anterior cruciate ligament injuries in the adult. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr, Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 23, section D.

Huddleston JI, Goodman SB. Hip and knee pain. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Harris ED Jr, et al, eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 42.



Review Date: 11/9/2012
Reviewed By: A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang. Previouly reviewed by Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept. of Orthopaedic Surgery (6/4/2011).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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