Pain Behind knee - Explained By Dr. Rik Kundra
The knee is the body’s largest joint and the most injury-prone area. It comprises bones that break or move out of joints and ligaments, cartilage, and tendons that usually strain or tear.
Some knee injuries can heal independently with time, rest and care. Others require surgery or other medical interventions. Sometimes, the pain is a sign of a chronic condition like arthritis that gradually damages the knee.
Here are some more conditions which can cause pain behind knee:
1. Leg cramps
A cramp is the tightening of a muscle. Muscles in the calves are most susceptible to cramping, but other leg muscles too can cramp up, including muscles in the back of the thigh near the knee.
You’re more likely to have leg cramps during exercise or pregnancy. Other possible causes include:
- nerve problems in your legs
- infections, such as tetanus
- toxins, like lead or mercury in the blood
- liver disease
2. Jumper’s knee
Jumper’s knee is an injury to the tendon, the cord that connects the kneecap to the shinbone. It’s also called patellar tendonitis. It can happen when you frequently jump, such as when playing volleyball, long jump, and basketball.
These movements can sometimes cause tiny tears in the tendon. Eventually, the tendon weakens as it swells up.
Jumper’s knee causes pain below the kneecap. The pain gets worse over time. Other symptoms include:
- trouble bending knee
3. Biceps femoris tendonitis (pulled hamstring)
The hamstring consists of a muscle-trio that runs down the back of your thigh:
- semitendinosus muscle
- biceps femoris muscle
- semimembranosus muscle
These muscles allow you to bend the knee. Injuring any one of these muscles is called pulled hamstring or strain. A hamstring strain can happen when the muscle is stretched too far. As a result, the muscle can completely tear, which can take months to heal.
4. Baker’s cyst
Baker’s cyst is a fluid sac that forms behind the affected knee. The fluid inside the cyst is called synovial fluid. Normally, this fluid acts as a lubricant for the knee joint. But if you have arthritis or knee injury, your knee may produce too much fluid. The extra fluid often builds up and forms a cyst.
- pain in and behind your knee
- stiffness and trouble flexing your knee
- swelling behind your knee
5. Gastrocnemius tendonitis (calf strain)
Muscles make up the calf, which is the back of the lower leg. These muscles help you bend the knee and point toes.
Sports that require sporadic movements, like tennis or cricket, can strain or tear the gastrocnemius muscle. You can identify that you’ve strained this muscle by the sudden pain behind knee and calf it causes.
You should follow the following tips
- Rest the knee, and don’t put any pressure on it until it heals.
- Hold ice on it for 15-20 minutes, several times a day.
- Elevate the injured knee on several pillows while lying.
- Use crutches to take the weight off the knee while walking.
- Wear a compression bandage.
When to see your doctor
You may be able to treat minor injury pain at home. But call your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:
- The affected leg is red.
- The leg is very swollen.
- You’re running a fever.
- You’re in a lot of pain.
- You’ve had a history of blood clots.
However, you should visit your doctor if you suspect you have any of the symptoms discussed above. If you are looking for a knee surgeon in Dubai, book an appointment with Dr Rik Kundra. Dr Rik has experience of over 19 years of practising orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine. He specialises in knee joint preservation, biological knee reconstruction and complex knee disorders.
All content and media on this page are created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Meet Dr. Rik personally for appropriate medical diagnosis and advice.