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Knee Pain

Knee pain is a common issue with many different causes, including medical conditions and injuries, and can affect people of any age.

What is knee pain?

Knee pain is a general term for pain that you experience in and around your knee.

What are the symptoms of knee pain?

The symptoms of knee pain can vary depending on what is causing it.

Some symptoms associated with knee pain include:

  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Trouble standing or putting weight on the knee
  • A popping, clicking, or crunching sound
  • Giving way
  • Not being able to straighten or bend your knee

What causes knee pain?

In addition to injuries, there are a number of possible causes for knee pain, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Cartilage injuries
  • Gout
  • Bleeding into the joint

How is knee pain diagnosed?

If you are experiencing knee pain, you should speak to your consultant to determine the cause. As well as questioning you about your symptoms, they will also conduct a physical examination to check your knee (e.g. for tenderness and swelling) and assess your range of movement.

Your consultant might also recommend that you undergo specialist imaging to determine the cause of your pain, including:

  • X-rays
  • Ultrasound scan
  • MRI scan
  • CT scan

You might also need to have blood tests.

How is knee pain treated?

The treatment will of course depend on the underlying cause. There are usually both surgical and non-surgical options for you and your consultant to consider.

Non-surgical options include:

  • Over-the-counter or prescription pain medications – can help manage pain
  • Injections to the knee joint – can reduce symptoms and the pain associated with them
  • Physiotherapy – this can help you build strength in your knee and/or teach you proper exercise and movement techniques

Surgical options include:

  • Arthroscopic surgery – using a small telescopic camera (arthroscope) your consultant can inspect your knee joint and treat certain conditions (e.g. meniscal (shock absorber) tears, remove loose bodies)
  • Compartmental knee replacement surgery e.g. partial knee replacement – only the damaged parts of the knee are replaced with a prosthesis
  • Total knee replacement surgery – the entire knee joint is replaced with a prosthesis

If you are unsure what treatment options are available for your knee, or are having difficulty deciding on a treatment course, our team of expert specialists are here to help.

This content has been checked and approved by

Mr Gareth G Jones  ›

Mr Gareth G Jones is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Clinical Senior Lecturer in Orthopaedics at Imperial College London.

Find your specialist in knee pain at King Edward VII's Hospital

If you suspect you have knee pain and you’re seeking an expert opinion, you can find the UK’s leading knee specialists here at King Edward VII’s Hospital. Our consultants are hand-picked for you, making it easy to access the best possible care.

Mr Sam Oussedik  ›
Special interests include:
Sports injuries (+ 6) more
Mr Mark Webb  ›
Special interests include:
Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (+ 10) more
Mr Chethan Jayadev  ›
Special interests include:
Knee surgery (+ 4) more
Mr Alex Liddle  ›
Special interests include:
Hip replacement (+ 5) more
Mr Gareth G Jones  ›
Special interests include:
Knee surgery (+ 10) more
Professor David Barrett  ›
Special interests include:
Knee surgery (+ 3) more
Mr Sean Curry  ›
Special interests include:
Hip surgery (+ 3) more
Mr Robert Marston  ›
Special interests include:
Lower limb trauma (+ 8) more
Mr Shah Punwar  ›
Special interests include:
Hip surgery (+ 12) more

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Call 020 7467 4344

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