Pain In The Knee When Straightening Leg
Posted on: 12 April, 2021 When a person experiences pain in the back of their knee when straightening their leg, it is called posterior knee pain. Pain in the back of the knee, called the popliteal fossa, is common, but there is a wide range of causes, ranging from ligament injury to arthritis.
- 1 Why does my knee hurt when I straighten my leg?
- 2 Why can’t I straighten my knee all of a sudden?
- 3 How do I know if I tore my ACL?
- 4 How long does it take a hyperextended knee to heal?
Why does my knee hurt when I straighten my leg?
Treatment – Treatment is not necessary if a cyst is not causing symptoms. However, a person can use NSAIDs to reduce inflammation and pain, as well as cold packs. If necessary, a healthcare professional can drain the cyst. According to a 2014 study, the cysts can return, even after surgery.
To prevent pain in the back of the knee, a person can avoid putting too much stress or strain on the knee joint when possible. To do this, a person can engage in low-impact sport, such as swimming or cycling. Consuming a healthy diet and staying active can help reduce a person’s risk of deep vein thrombosis.
A person should see a doctor if:
pain is severethe knee is swollen and inflamed they develop a fever
If a person has a history of blood clots, they should also make an appointment to see a healthcare professional. If a person has symptoms of DVT, they should seek treatment quickly. This is because blood clots can travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism,
A pulmonary embolism is when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the lungs. Pain in the back of the knee can develop for many reasons. The back of the knee may hurt when a person straightens their leg because of a variety of issues, including blood clots, muscle or tendon injuries, arthritis, or cysts.
Physical therapy, rest, and pain medications are common treatments for many of these causes, but sometimes a person will need surgery treat the issue.
What happens when your knee hurts when you straighten it?
Back of the knee pain, which is usually worse when you straighten it, can be caused by a Baker’s cyst, tendonitis, arthritis, or even muscle strains. It can often be treated with rest and other at-home treatments.
Why does the inside of my knee hurt when I try to straighten it?
Medial meniscus injury – The menisci are crescent-shaped discs of cartilage in the knee joint. The medial meniscus is located on the inside of the knee and the lateral on the outside. An injury can occur due to a specific movement, such as the knee twisting.
Why can’t I straighten my leg without knee pain?
There are 7 major causes that prevent your knee from straightening. These include meniscus tears, quadriceps tendon injury, patellar tendon injury, ACL injury, acute swelling, osteoarthritis, patellar dislocation, and muscle imbalance.
Can bend knee but hurts to straighten?
Knee Pain When Straightening Your Leg Your knees are complex joints that bear a lot of your body weight and power your legs for a wide range of activities like walking, running and jumping. It’s important to take care of your knees so you can live out your normal daily life and enjoy physical activities.
- However, despite your best efforts, injuries and conditions can affect your knees, which can limit their use.
- Some conditions cause pain that only when trying to straighten them but not bending them.
- Common conditions that cause this kind of pain include: 1.
- Torn meniscus The meniscus is a small, flat piece of cartilage that rests between the thighbones and shinbones on each side of your knees.
There are two menisci in each knee. They exist to absorb shock in the knees and keep the bones from grinding against one another. A traumatic injury that causes the knee to violently twist can cause a meniscus to tear. A torn meniscus might fold on itself, which can keep you from fully straightening your leg and cause knee pain when you try to do so.2.
Runner’s knee Runner’s knee is the common term for pain around the kneecap. This is a condition in which the tendon that connects your kneecap to your shinbone becomes inflamed from repetitive motions. This can make it painful around the kneecap when you try and fully straighten your leg. Pain around the kneecap is often referred to as runner’s knee since runners frequently bend their knees and absorb a lot of shock from pavement and hard ground, but it is a condition that can affect anyone.3.
Strained muscles Overexertion of the knee can cause one or more of the muscles in your thigh or shin to become stretched or torn. Some strains cause pain that affects your knee whether it’s bent or straight, but some strains might only cause pain when you try to fully straighten your knee.
Why can’t I straighten my knee all of a sudden?
Why can’t I straighten my knee? – Knee injuries often occur after a twisting injury or a direct contact injury. As an athlete, we learn to shake off many knee injuries. After an injury, most of you will wonder if your damage is serious or perhaps just a simple knee strain.
Those of you without a known injury, but with a history of knee osteoarthritis might also lose the ability to straighten your knee. Pain when trying to straighten the knee is common. In general, as specialists, we look for two different situations. One where you cannot straighten your knee because you feel that something is stuck inside the knee and blocking you.
The second is someone who injured themselves and can get the knee fully extended, and has severe pain and swelling when trying to straighten the knee. Below we dive deeper into the causes of pain when trying to straighten your knee. Also discussed below are the five most common problems that make it difficult to straighten your knee. How do you determine if you have a serious knee injury? If you hurt your knee twisting it, or if you were struck by someone else and you have pain trying to straighten it, you may have a serious knee injury. But you may not. There is a difference between someone with pain trying to straighten the knee, and someone who simply can’t straighten the knee because they feel like something is blocking their motion.
- It turns out that if you lose the ability to straighten the knee fully, or you can not straighten the knee without pain then the risk of having a serious injury increases.
- Less worrisome are people who simply woke up and now have pain trying to straighten the knee.
- Often times that might be some inflammation or swelling and is often due to some underlying osteoarthritis.
Determining if you have a severe knee injury is important. After most mild knee injuries we are back on the field fairly quickly. If after a few days you cannot straighten your knee without pain then you cannot return to the playing field. Basically, if your loss of extension (straightening the knee) persists for more than a few days you should see a doctor for an evaluation, This tear is displaced and caught between the two bones of the knee After an injury, there are a few different reasons why you might not be able to straighten your knee. Often you can’t straighten the knee simply because of pain and swelling. In cases where you can not straighten the knee because of swelling, you will notice that your ability to move the knee improves as the swelling goes down.
Besides, when you have lost the ability to straighten your knee because of swelling, you do not usually feel as if something is stuck inside the knee and blocking your movement. In serious knee injuries, you will often feel as if something is blocking your ability to straighten your leg or your knee feels locked and it is not able to move freely.
Here is a list of knee injuries that can make it difficult to straighten your knee.
Meniscus tear, Specifically a bucket handle tear of the meniscus. This is a unique tear where the torn piece of meniscus flips into the center of the knee joint.
This torn piece then locks your knee and prevents it from straightening. If you have a bucket handle tear of the meniscus, you will find it impossible to straighten your knee completely. These tears can be repaired or sutured back into place. The sooner they are repaired, the better the chance that the tear will heal well. With a bucket handle tear, you will usually feel as if something is caught in the knee and preventing it from straightening. That’s because the meniscus has flipped over and is sitting in the middle of the knee joint preventing it from fully straightening.
ACL tear, If you had a twisting injury and felt a pop, there is nearly a 75 % chance that your injured your ACL. Many athletes with an ACL tear will find it painful to straighten the knee. The knee isn’t locked, but it hurts too much to straighten it out.
Within a few days of tearing your ACL, the swelling will start to diminish, and you will likely be able to straighten your knee. Sometimes athletes who tear their ACL will also rip the meniscus too. This is another reason why it might be hard to straighten the knee. Torn ACL If you twisted your knee and felt a pop, then you noticed that you could not straighten your knee you should see a Sports Medicine Physician. Your next steps if you think you have an ACL tear are discussed here,
MCL Injuries, MCL or medial collateral ligament tears in the knee hurt. They hurt a lot. That pain will be on the inner or medial side of the knee. An MCL tear can be mild or severe. The ligament can be stretched or completely torn. Both situations will cause severe pain, so the pain level doesn’t correlate with how severe the injury is. We wrote about MCL injuries in this post, Most MCL tears do not require surgery, some may require a brace. MCL injuries often hurt a lot so they prevent you from being able to straighten the knee without pain.
Swelling, There are many reasons why your knee might be swollen, We explore the common causes of knee swelling here, Swelling is common after severe injuries due to bleeding. That can cause enough inflammation and pain that straightening the knee is just too painful. Bleeding can occur due to a meniscus tear, ACL tear or MCL tear.
Knee swelling can also occur without an injury. People with osteoarthritis can develop swelling due to inflammation. People with gout or Lyme Disease can also develop significant swelling. If the swelling is severe enough, you will lose the ability to straighten your knee. You should work with your doctor to find out why your knee is swollen.
Patella or kneecap dislocations : Patella dislocations are far more common than previously thought. If you felt or heard a loud clunk or pop in the front of your knee while turning or you were struck in the front of your knee then it is possible that your kneecap came out of place and went back into place on its own.
We call this a spontaneously reduced patella dislocation. Many people who dislocate their kneecap will develop significant swelling due to bleeding inside the joint. After a patella dislocation, you will find it difficult to straighten the knee due to pain. This post on patella dislocations goes into far more detail.
Tendon Injuries: Some people can not straighten their knees due to weakness or tendon injury. Injuries to the quadriceps or patella tendons will affect your ability to straighten the knee. If one of those two strong tendons are torn, then you will not be able to straighten your knee. If you ripped your patella tendon or your quadriceps tendon, then you physically will not be able to straighten the knee. That is because the muscles which allow you to straighten the knee are no longer attached to your kneecap. That is why people who tear their patella tendons notice significant weakness. Patella tendon and quadriceps tendon injuries are more common in professional sports and adult weekend warriors. These are very rare injuries in high school and collegiate sports. Tears of the patella or quadriceps tendon will always require surgery to repair them. The patella or quadriceps tendon will need to be reattached and sutured to the patella.
If you have suffered an injury to your knee and you are unable to straighten it, then there is a good chance that you have sustained a severe knee injury. If you can’t straighten the knee fully, or cannot straighten the knee without pain, then you should consider seeing a Sports Medicine doc sooner rather than later. Howard J. Luks, MD is an orthopedic surgeon & sports medicine specialist. An expert in shoulder, knee, and other sports injuries, he is widely known as one of the country’s best orthopedic surgeons.
Should I go to the ER if I can’t straighten my knee?
Seek immediate medical attention – Ask someone to drive you to urgent care or the emergency room if your knee pain is caused by an injury and is accompanied by:
- A joint that appears deformed
- A popping noise at the time your knee was injured
- Inability to bear weight
- Intense pain
- Sudden swelling
Can a meniscus tear heal on its own?
In the case of meniscus tears, some people think the injury will heal over time on its own. But the truth is that there are different types of meniscus tears — and some tears won’t heal without treatment. If your tear is on the outer one-third of the meniscus, it may heal on its own or be repaired surgically.
Does a torn meniscus hurt all the time?
What are the symptoms of a meniscus tear? – Symptoms of a meniscus tear, such as pain, depend on the size and location of the tear and whether other knee injuries occurred along with it. Pain can also be caused by swelling and injury to surrounding tissues.
- With small tears, you may have little to no pain at the time of the injury.
- A little swelling often develops slowly over a couple of days.
- Many times, people can walk with only a little pain, although pain increases when you squat, lift, or rise from a seated position.
- These symptoms usually go away, although you may still have pain when you bend or twist your knee.
In a typical moderate tear, you feel pain at the side or in the center of the knee, depending on where the tear is. Often, you are still able to walk. Swelling usually increases slowly over a few days and may make the knee feel stiff and limit bending.
There is often sharp pain when you twist or squat. Symptoms may go away but can come back from overuse or when you do activities that involve twisting. The pain may come and go over a period of years if the tear isn’t treated. Larger tears usually cause more pain and immediate swelling and stiffness. Pieces of the torn meniscus can float into the joint space.
This can make the knee catch, pop, or lock. You may not be able to straighten your knee. If other injuries occurred with the meniscus tear, especially torn ligaments, you may have increased pain and swelling, a feeling that the knee is unstable, and trouble walking.
- Older people whose menisci are worn may not be able to recall a specific event that caused a tear, or they may recall symptoms developing after a minor incident such as rising from a squatting position.
- Pain and a little swelling are often the only symptoms.
- Pain at the inside of the knee can mean there is a tear to the medial meniscus.
Pain at the outer side of the affected knee can mean there is a tear to the lateral meniscus.
How do I know if I tore my ACL?
Signs and symptoms of an ACL injury usually include: A loud pop or a ‘popping’ sensation in the knee. Severe pain and inability to continue activity. Rapid swelling.
Why does my knee hurt when I straighten my leg after sitting?
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome – Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) causes pain in the front of the knee and around the patella or kneecap. PFPS is often the result of overuse or poor alignment of the kneecap. It’s also referred to as runner’s knee or jumper’s knee because it’s most common in people who play sports.
How long does it take a hyperextended knee to heal?
How long does it take to recover from a hyperextended knee? – How long it takes you to feel better depends on how severely your knee was hyperextended and any other injuries you experienced. If your hyperextension didn’t damage anything inside your knee and you don’t need surgery, it should take between a few weeks and a month to recover.