Why Has My Knee Suddenly Started Hurting?

Article by Matthew Batch

Why Has My Knee Suddenly Started Hurting?

Sudden onset of knee pain typically follows a clear instigating event and can be associated with injury to one or multiple structures in and around the knee. Bone, joint capsule, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and muscles can all be affected. For this reason, it is vital to ensure your condition is professionally assessed so that you can treat it appropriately. Several types of acute knee injuries are described below.

The anterior cruciate ligament is injured during a pivoting manoeuvre whilst the knee is bent, such as when changing direction whilst running. Pain, difficulty weight-bearing, an audible popping sensation and rapid onset of swelling are often experienced. It is also common for the meniscus to be injured in this manner.

Less prevalent conditions are fractures of the tibial plateau, the weight-bearing surface of your shin bone, and osteochondritis dissecans. Fractures of the tibial plateau require large forces, such as when falling whilst skiing or horse riding, and there is an inability to bear weight through the affected leg. Osteochondritis dissecans occur in adolescents and involve injury to the bone beneath the cartilage due to a lack of blood supply. This can be accompanied by pain, swelling and locking of the knee if a loose fragment of bone gets caught between the joint surfaces.

As you can see, knee injuries and their treatment vary considerably, so please consult your knee physiotherapist or doctor for their opinion on your knee pain.

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