What Are the Common Causes of Severe Knee Pain?

Knee pain is one of the most common complaints that affects people of all ages. Clearly, knees are weight-bearing and complex joints that provide support and flexibility. In simple terms, our knee joints are responsible for motion. Depending on the type and severity of joint damage, knee pain can be minor and major as well.

Well, there are many causes of knee pain. It can be a result of an injury such as torn cartilage or a ruptured ligament. Apart from this, there are some medical conditions (like arthritis, gout, and infection) that can cause knee pain. Many types of minor knee pain can be treated with the help of home remedies. However, some serious cases require immediate medical attention.

Let’s dive into some common causes of severe knee pain:



In simple terms, Gout can cause joint swelling, redness, warmth, and extreme pain. Well, these symptoms can be developed suddenly and without warning. According to a recent survey report, approximately half of all gout cases affect the big toe joint. Health experts say that Gout symptoms result in a build-up of uric acid crystals as well. The pain from Gout is excruciating and leads to redness, swelling, and warmth.

Osteonecrosis (Avascular Necrosis)

It is a condition that impacts your bone tissues. Due to the lack of adequate blood supply, bone tissues start dying. Usually, people experience severe pain along with stiffness and swelling due to Osteonecrosis. Clearly, Osteonecrosis or Avascular Necrosis of the knee joint is not common. However, people suffering from Osteonecrosis will start limping while walking. According to a recent survey report, older women are more likely to develop Osteonecrosis.

Tumor in the Knee Joint

You may be surprised to know that a tumor is possible in the knee joint. Well, it’s a rare condition but possible. According to health experts, a tumor will develop slowly and can cause intermittent. Usually, pain may be more noticeable at night time, causing intermittent and poor sleep.

Knee Arthritis

Many different types of arthritis can cause severe knee pain. Two common conditions that can lead to knee pain are Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): Simply, it is a type of autoimmune disorder that initially affects your wrists and joints. People suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) first appear in the ankles, knees, or other joints. In fact, you may experience stiffness, swelling, and severe pain in your knee joints. Apart from this, you will feel sponginess and redness in your knee joints.

Knee Osteoarthrosis: It is one of the most common forms of arthritis that develops with age. Knee osteoarthritis is less likely to cause swelling than gout, redness, an infection, or pseudogout.

Septic Knee Bursitis

This problem occurs when a bursa becomes inflamed and infected. Septic Knee Bursitis is a result of bacteria entering the bursa through a scrape, cut, or other trauma to the skin. Septic bursitis affects your elbow and knee joints. Some symptoms of septic bursitis include joint stiffness, swelling, fever, tenderness, inflammation, and more. Diagnosis of septic bursitis involves analysis of the bursal fluid and aspiration.

Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis is another major cause of knee pain. Well, some common symptoms of reactive arthritis are irritated eyes, swollen fingers, genital discharge, and other skin problems. Reactive arthritis develops when the body’s immune system has a weird response to an infection, sexually transmitted disease (STD), and stomach bug. The infection may resolve in weeks or even months with the right treatment.

Pseudogout: Calcium Pyrophosphate Deposition (CPPD)

Just like gout, pseudogout is caused by sudden, severe joint pain, redness, swelling, and warmth. Clearly, pseudogout progresses to osteoarthritis. It commonly affects the wrists and knees. CPPD causes stiffness, pain, tenderness, warmth, redness, and inflammation in joints. It’s pretty rare but CPPC affects shoulders, hips, knuckles, elbows, ankles, or toes. Pseudogout is also known as crowned dens syndrome.

Who is affected by CPPD?

Well, CPPD affects both women and men. As people age, this problem gets more common. People who have an increased risk for CPPD include kindly failure, a thyroid condition, low magnesium, parathyroid disease, and more. According to a recent survey report, CPPD is quite unusual in young patients.
Some symptoms of CPPD are:

  • Swollen Joint
  • Intense and Sudden Joint Pain
  • Red Skin

In the Nutshell!

Knee pain is one of the most common complaints today. However, the right treatment can help you get rid of knee pain and other knee problems. There are many treatments out there that can help you minimize pain and strengthen your knee joint.

Some surgical treatments for knee pain involve:

  • Lateral Release
  • Patellar Excision
  • ACL Reconstruction
  • Meniscus Repair
  • Knee Replacement and more.

If conservative treatments are not responding, then surgery is the only option to repair structural damage. One should not ignore knee pain. If you are experiencing any knee problems, then consulting a knee specialist is an ideal move.

Author Bio:

Dr. Prateek Kumar Gupta is highly trained arthroscopy and sports surgeon in AOSM. He treats sports injury and other orthopaedic injuries including foot, ankle, hip, elbow with special interest in knee and shoulder issues that hinders patient/players quality of life.

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