Sudden Knee Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


Your knee is a complex joint that has lots of moving parts. This makes it extra prone to injury. As we age, the stress of everyday movements and also activities can be sufficient to set off symptoms of pain and also exhaustion in our knees. If you’re going about your daily tasks as well as feel sudden knee pain, it can be difficult to recognize what to do next. Some causes of sudden knee pain are health emergencies needing focus from a medical professional. Other knee problems you can treat at home.

In this write-up, we’ll walk you through problems that create sudden knee pain so you can spot the differences and also intend your following steps.

Causes of Sudden Knee Pain

Knee pain that shows up out of nowhere may feel like it could not be related to an injury. Yet the knee is a tricky body component. It includes many components that can become:

  • stretched out
  • worn
  • aggravated
  • partially torn
  • completely ruptured

It doesn’t take a traumatic blow or tough fall for the parts of your knee to become hurt.

Right here’s a summary of common knee issues. More details regarding each issue (and their therapy alternatives) follows the table.


A fracture can create sudden knee pain. A tibial plateau fracture involves the shinbone as well as kneecap. This kind of fracture creates:

  • swelling
  • sharp pain
  • inability to move your joint

Distal femoral fractures involve the lower upper leg and also kneecap and also trigger similar symptoms. A damaged kneecap can likewise happen, creating extreme pain as well as swelling.

Fractures that entail these bones can occur from terrible injuries or basic falls.


Tendons attach your joints to your bones. Recurring actions (such as strolling or running) can trigger your tendons to come to be inflamed and also inflamed. This condition is referred to as tendinitis.

Tendinitis of the knee is fairly common. Patellar tendinitis (jumper’s knee) and also quadriceps tendinitis specify subtypes of this problem.

Rigidity, swelling, and a dull pains are the trademark signs and symptoms of tendinitis in your knee. You may additionally be not able to move the impacted joint until after you relax it.

Runner’s Knee

Runner’s knee describes knee pain that starts behind or around your kneecap. This condition prevails in active adults.

Signs include a dull pulsating behind your kneecap, specifically where your knee meets your thigh, or thigh bone. Runner’s knee can additionally trigger your knee to pop and grind.

Torn Ligament

Typically injured ligaments in your knee are the former cruciate ligament (ACL) and also the medial security ligament (MCL).

The PCL, LCL, and MPFL ligaments in your knee can likewise become torn. These ligaments connect the bones over and also below your kneecap.

It’s not unusual for either among those ligaments to end up being torn, specifically in athletes. Often you can pinpoint the moment the tear taken place to a deal with on the football field or an overextension playing tennis.

Other times, the cause of the injury is less stressful. A hit to the knee at a poor angle can tear the ACL, for example.

If you tear either among these ligaments, you’ll normally listen to a standing out noise, followed by swelling. Severe knee pain usually follows. You may be unable to move the joint without support from a brace.


Sudden knee pain can suggest the beginning of osteoarthritis (OA). OA is one of the most typical kind of arthritis.

Older individuals, particularly athletes and also people in professions like construction who often did repetitive movements, are most in danger for this problem.

Pain, tenderness, as well as swelling of the knee are indicators that OA is beginning to establish. Most of the times, the pain in your knee won’t provide unexpectedly. More likely, it will certainly cause gradually raising levels of pain.

While OA can impact only one knee, it’s more likely it would impair both knees.


The bursae are fluid-filled sacs in between your joints. Bursae can end up being irritated around your knees, triggering bursitis.

Consistently bending your knees or hemorrhaging in your bursae can create a sudden onset of bursitis signs and symptoms. Bursitis of the knee isn’t among one of the most typical areas for this problem to happen, yet it isn’t rare.

Acute pain and swelling in one or both knees are one of the most common symptoms of bursitis.

Information verified by the team.

Injured Meniscus

Menisci are items of cartilage in your knee. A damaged or split meniscus is an usual condition that results from by force twisting your knee.

If you injure your meniscus, you might hear a popping sound followed by an immediate sharp pain in addition to swelling. The influenced knee might really feel secured right into location. This problem tends to influence just one knee at once.


A buildup of uric acid in the body triggers gout. The acid tends to accumulate in your feet, however it can likewise affect both knees.

Gout prevails, especially for middle-aged guys as well as postmenopausal women.

The problem causes extreme pain and a lot of swelling. Gout begins in surges that last for a couple of days. If you’ve never ever had knee pain prior to as well as it begins suddenly, maybe the beginning of gout.

Infectious Arthritis

Infectious arthritis is an acute kind of arthritis that develops from infected liquid bordering your joint. If left untreated, the liquid can come to be septic.

Septic arthritis is thought about a medical emergency that needs emergency surgery.

This condition triggers sudden pain in just one knee. Having a background of arthritis, gout, or a damaged body immune system can enhance your threat for infectious arthritis.

Treatment for Sudden Knee Pain

Treatment for knee pain depends upon the cause.

For Fractures and also Broken Bones

Broken bones in your knee will require to be evaluated by a doctor. You might require a cast or a splint to support the knee while the bones recover.

When it comes to a lot more serious fractures, you may require surgery, followed by a splint and also physical therapy.

For Tendinitis, Runner’s Knee, Gout, And Also Bursitis

The therapy for conditions that cause swelling, inflammation, as well as dull, burning pain generally starts with relaxing the joint. Ice your knee to regulate swelling. Boost and also stay off your joint to advertise healing.

Your doctor might suggest or suggest NSAIDs like ibuprofen. Way of life changes, such as wearing safety kneepads as well as mosting likely to physical therapy, can assist you take care of pain and also experience fewer signs and symptoms.

You may require to make changes to your diet, particularly if you’re treating gout.

For Ligament, Cartilage, As Well As Joint Tears

Ligament, cartilage and also joint tears in your knee will need to be attended to by your doctor.

After imaging diagnostics as well as a clinical assessment, your doctor will allow you understand if your therapy will certainly include physical therapy as well as anti-inflammatory medicine, or if you’ll require to undergo surgical procedure to fix the injury.

Healing from knee surgical procedure can take some time. It may take anywhere from 6 months to a year to resume your regular activities.

For OA

OA is a chronic condition. While it can’t be treated, you can handle its signs.

Treatment choices for OA may include several of the following:

  • NSAIDs or other pain medications
  • physical therapy
  • assistive tools, like a knee brace
  • treatment with a TENs device

Changing your diet, shedding excess weight, as well as quitting smoking can likewise have a favorable influence on handling symptoms of OA.

Corticosteroid injections are likewise a possibility for handling pain in your knee from arthritis. In some cases, a complete knee replacement is recommended as the definitive treatment for OA in your knee.

Key Takeaways

Sudden knee pain can arise from a stressful injury, stress injury, or flare-ups from another underlying problem.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t take a serious injury to cause a partial tear of your ligament or to wear down your cartilage. Repetitive movements, stress on your knees, as well as exercise can all kick off signs of knee pain.

There are a lot of natural home remedy and also emergency treatment treatments for problems like runner’s knee and also tendinitis. Yet only a doctor can rule out something a lot more major.

If you’re dealing with signs of pain that won’t go away or a joint that secures, don’t disregard them. If you’re experiencing extreme knee pain, speak with your doctor to figure out what’s creating it.

Ali Gadimov
Health Recovery Tips