Drawing pain in the knee joint

The main causes of pain under the knee

Knee joints are a very important part of the musculoskeletal system. Every day they have to withstand enormous loads, and given their superficial location and structural features, the risk of damage and various diseases is very high. Most often people complain of pain in the knee joints themselves, which are caused by arthrosis or arthritis, but no less dangerous is the situation when it begins to disturb the pain under the knee. Such discomfort can be caused by serious causes and markedly worsen the quality of human life. So let's understand why the leg in the knee joint can hurt.

Why does my leg ache under the knee?

Immediately determine why a person is worried about pain under the knee is very difficult, because this area of ​​the human body is complicated. There is a large number of anatomical structures, the damage of each of which can be accompanied by pain. So, the pain at the back of the knee can be associated with damage:

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  • of the knee joint structures,
  • of the muscular skeleton of the knee joint,
  • of the extraarticular ligaments,
  • of the blood vessels,
  • lymph nodes,
  • of nerve fibers,
  • of the fatty tissue of the popliteal fossa.

The complexity of diagnosis makes use of such methods of examination as radiography, computer and magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound. Especially informative is MRI, which allows you to clearly consider the soft tissue and find the cause of pain.

The popliteal fossa contains a large number of important anatomical structures

Causes associated with knee arthritis

As a rule, diseases of the knee joints are accompanied by pain along the anterior surface of the knee, but some ailments are manifested precisely by painful sensations in the popliteal fossa.

Kist Baker

This benign cystic formation, which consists of a dense connective tissue membrane, and inside is filled with viscous jelly-like contents. Anatomically associated with the capsule of the knee joint, so it is located nearby and most often in the popliteal fossa.

Women are more likely to suffer, but the prognosis is favorable. Education never degenerates into a malignant tumor, although it can bring a lot of inconvenience to its owner. Completely get rid of Baker's cysts can only be surgically done. But it is important to know that the cyst often recurs, so sometimes it may take 2-3 operations or more to get rid of it.

Symptoms of Baker's cyst:

  • formation is round or oval;
  • the skin over it is not changed, the surface is smooth;
  • feels soft, soft, elastic;
  • as a rule, pain is absent, but sometimes painful pain can occur;
  • is located in the popliteal fossa;
  • sizes are different - from inconspicuous to 3-5 cm in diameter;
  • if the cyst reaches a large size, it can limit the amplitude of movements in the knee joint.

Baker cyst, or popliteal hygroma

Knee meniscus cyst

This is a fluid-filled formation in the thickness of the cartilage tissue of the meniscus of the knee joints. This pathology often affects young and active people, athletes. Its cause is considered to be increased load on the cartilaginous intraarticular tissue.

The main symptom of the disease is pain that occurs on the lateral surface of the knees and from behind. Painful sensations are disturbed at movements in knees and are absent in a status of rest. In some cases, there may be a slight swelling in this zone.

If you do not start treatment, then the cyst of the meniscus can cause a secondary deforming arthrosis of the knee joint. Completely get rid of education can only be surgically.

Knee joint meniscus cyst

Knee meniscus injuries

If the pains under the knee are worried and they started after some kind of trauma, then you need to think about damaging the back of the lateral or medial knee meniscus. Also, the meniscus rupture may occur as a result of inflammatory or degenerative-dystrophic processes. Treatment of such an injury is only prompt.

Diseases of the periarticular soft tissues

Recommended to read: Hypertensis of popliteal fossa

Pain sensations at the back of the knee may be associated with inflammation, overexertion or damage to the muscles, ligaments and synovial pods of the popliteal fossa. For example, often ligaments under the knee after a long walk, heavy physical labor, a prolonged stay on their feet.

In this area, tendinitis and bursitis can develop, which are caused by aseptic or infectious inflammation. In this case, there is acute or pulling pain, which appears or increases with the load. If the inflammation is purulent, there is redness of the skin under the knee, it becomes hot to the touch, edema is formed, the function of the joint is impaired. Symptoms of general malaise, such as fever, may also occur.

Treatment of pain under the knee of this nature, as a rule, conservative. To begin with, it is necessary to provide complete rest to the aching leg. To this end, you can use special orthoses. Assign anti-inflammatory and analgesic therapy, with infectious inflammation - antibiotics. After the elimination of acute inflammation, medical gymnastics and physiotherapy procedures begin. Prognosis for tendinitis and bursitis of the knee is favorable.

In the knee joint area, several tendons are attached which, if inflamed or stretched, are accompanied by pain.

If infection occurs in the popliteal zone, purulent inflammation of the fatty tissue may occur. Lymph nodes can also be drawn into the pathological process. In such a situation, under the knee, you can feel painful enlarged lymph nodes. Skin over them blushes, develops edema. Treatment is conservative, with the help of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial therapy. In case of inefficiency, surgical sanitation of a purulent focus begins.

Vascular diseases

The popliteal artery and vein pass through the popliteal fossa. Accordingly, the pain can be caused by the lesion of one of these anatomical structures. The most common cause of pain under the knee of a vascular nature are:

Varicose veins

Venous stasis due to the failure of valvular valves is often accompanied by pain in the legs. She, as a rule, appears under the knee and falls on the shin. Painful, appears in the evening or after a long stay on his feet. It is accompanied by swelling of the lower extremities. With superficial varicose veins, it is possible to consider enlarged venous nodes under the skin or a vascular network, the preferred location of which is the popliteal fossa. In the case of varicose veins, there may not be external signs.

Popliteal vein thrombosis

This is a fairly rare pathology that can occur with venous inflammation( thrombophlebitis), with a clotting disorder( thrombophyllia), or as a complication of varicose veins. In patients with thrombosis, patients complain of intense pain in the popliteal region. For several hours, the leg becomes dark cherry or cyanotic, hot to the touch. It strongly swells, sometimes increases 2 or more times in diameter.

Treatment can be both conservative( injected with anticoagulants, antibiotics), and surgical. If the patient does not start therapy on time, the patient may be left without a leg due to gangrene development.

Embolism of the popliteal artery

The overlap of the lumen of the arterial vessel with emboli is not uncommon. By localization of thromboembolism, the lesion of the lower extremities is on the 4th place after the coronary, cerebral arteries and aorta. The cause is mainly embolic diseases of the heart( rheumatism, septic endocarditis, ciliary and other types of arrhythmias, heart defects, artificial heart valves).

In the case of embolism of the popliteal artery, there is a sharp and very intense pain. The leg becomes pale and cold to the touch. On the arteries of the foot, one can not feel the pulse. If help is not provided within 2-3 hours, then gangrene develops, which requires limb amputation. The treatment is mostly surgical.

Embolism of the popliteal artery and its consequences

Popliteal artery aneurysm

This is the protrusion of the artery wall to the side. It can be both an inborn defect, and acquired due to damage to the arterial wall, for example, an atherosclerotic process. If an aneurysm is present, then in the popliteal fossa, you can feel a soft and elastic formation that pulsates. Pain occurs when an aneurysm reaches a large size, because of which the surrounding nerves and other structures are squeezed.

If an aneurysm is found, it must be surgically removed. Otherwise, it can burst at any time and cause extensive and fatal bleeding.

Nerve damage

The tibial nerve passes through the bottom of the popliteal fossa, the damage of which can be accompanied by pain in this zone. The main diseases of the nerve:

  • tumor( neurinoma),
  • trauma( injury, pinching, stretching, tearing),
  • inflammation.

In addition to pain, with lesion of the tibial nerve, there is a violation of the sensitivity of the skin of the lower leg and the foot, a decrease in tendon reflexes, a paresis of the foot, a decrease in muscle strength and atrophy of the calf muscles. Treatment depends on the cause.

Thus, the pain under the knee can be caused not by one dozen reasons. In each case, to determine the etiology of pain is very important, since this directly affects the treatment and its success.


If there is pain under the knee at the back

When our legs are healthy, we do not notice what kind of happiness it is - to easily overcome stairs, walk a lot, easily sit and get up from the chair. But here you feel the pain under the knee. Life became more complicated, movement became difficult.

What can I do to make the pain go away? Many people face problems in the knee joint. This area of ​​the legs is subject to daily loads, its trauma or inflammation are not uncommon phenomena. In this case, many complain of pain under the knee from behind.

Why does pain appear?

First we need to understand the causes that caused the appearance of painful sensations that bring discomfort to daily life and limit mobility.

  1. Trauma or sudden movement of the foot can lead to rupture of tendons, damage to the meniscus or displacement of the patella. The result of an injury may also be a stretching( in the worst case, a rupture) of ligaments or a dislocation. All these lesions are accompanied by severe pain in the knee joint, which is the reason for immediate contact with a surgeon to start surgical treatment.
  2. Back pain can be a consequence of arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, gout - inflammation of one of the elements of the knee joint.

    How the human knee is made

  3. Pain under the knee can occur due to an infectious disease - psoriasis, venereal diseases or popliteal abscess.
  4. When bending the knee, it can cause pain of the meniscus cyst. The leg will ache under the knee from behind and when walking.
  5. Varicose veins often provoke pain under the left knee cap. It is aggravated when a person bends his leg or climbs the stairs. A characteristic feature of pain under the knee is the stagnation during rest, so this syndrome is called the "sickness of the windows".As long as a person walks - the leg hurts, stops at the window - the pain under the knee is gone. It is the diseased veins and the vascular pathologies of the legs that cause unilateral pain. You need to treat veins.
  6. The cause of permanent pulling pain may be an aneurysm of the popliteal artery. But this disease is rare.
  7. When a disease with osteochondrosis in the lumbar region, pains often occur, giving to the legs. Therefore, the cause of pain under the knee cap may well be an exacerbation of the spine.
  8. If the leg hurts under the knee from behind and the pain spreads to the foot, the inflammation of the tibial nerve passing through the bottom of the popliteal fossa is probably the cause. Especially noticeable is the sharp and intense pain when walking or otherwise loading the legs.
  9. In the case of muscle strain, softening and cartilage damage, pain can occur under the knee at the back.

If the leg hurts under the knee from the rear, then the causal mechanisms of pain should be considered, without losing sight of all the components of the complex structure of the joint: bone tissue, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and muscles.

Diagnostics and treatment

Ultrasonic knee diagnostics

The correct diagnosis for pain under the knee can only be made by a doctor. To do this, he must examine the affected area, clarify the nature and localization of pain, professional activity and hereditary factors. Then the patient should undergo examinations: X-ray, ultrasound, angiography and others, which allows to determine the nature of the disease reliably. Treatment of the knee depends on the severity of its damage. With intense, acute pain that usually occurs after trauma, pain in the knee is stopped, the patient is delivered to a medical institution, where, if necessary, surgical intervention is performed.

If hospitalization is not required, a special lining or joint is applied to the pain relief under the knee to the affected area or the joint is securely fixed. Anti-inflammatory ointments may be prescribed, medicines-non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or antibiotics. Physiotherapy exercises and physiotherapy help strengthen the muscles and restore damaged knee functions.

Neoplasms under the knee

At the initial stage, almost all diseases of the knee joint can be cured, except for Baker's cyst, where puncture or removal is necessary. Baker's cyst is usually accompanied by intense pain under the knee at the back, the joint swells and a seal forms under the knee. The joint of the person inside is covered with a synovial connective tissue membrane that produces fluid. Increasing the production of fluid in the inflammatory process leads to its accumulation in the interweaving bag, so there is a neoplasm called Baker's cyst. The first symptoms of the disease are mild discomfort at the back of the knee, which, if not started on time, can develop into a drawing pain.

The main thing is to pay attention to the problem in time, put the right diagnosis and start treatment. And do not ignore this fact if the leg hurts under the knee from behind unsteady. If the pain appears, then there is a reason causing it.

After the course of treatment is completed, you need to perform rehabilitation measures: develop joints, support the knee with elastic bandage, take medicines that strengthen bone tissue, ligaments, tendons and vessels.

Recommendations for the prevention of the disease

What should I do so that the pulling pain under the knee from behind does not arise? What are the preventive measures for the disease? The first is to avoid hypothermia of the legs, the second - to watch your weight. Obesity can provoke pain in the knee joint, because excessive loading leads to its deformation and destruction. And to reduce the burden on the joint, you need to bring your weight back to normal.

The athletes are at risk. For prevention, it is recommended that you properly distribute the load, adhere to a special diet and use protective equipment - knee pads and cruciform bandages. Legs that are occupied by sedentary work are subject to the disease of the legs, in which the limbs are for a long time in a bent or crossed state. They are encouraged to conduct leg warm-ups between work breaks.

You walked a lot and are tired, now your legs are aching, you feel heaviness in your legs - prepare them a warm foot bath. For best effect, add a little sea salt to it. If the leg is pulled and the veins ache, you can make a foot bath with chamomile, which has anti-inflammatory properties and helps fight swelling. Brew a glass of chamomile water, let it brew and pour into the foot bath.

To remove pain in the knee helps compress of burdock. To do this, several leaves of the plant need to be washed, dried, stacked on top of each other, from above put a hot kettle. The knee, greased with vegetable oil, wrap a stack of burdock leaves with a fluffy side, top with cellophane and secure everything with a handkerchief.

The leg under the knee hurts - prepare the chestnut tincture. This is an old and time-tested recipe.300 g of crushed chestnut is poured into 0.5 liters of vodka, it is insisted for 2 weeks( do not forget to shake daily).Before going to bed rub the diseased area, and the pain will gradually go away.

If you suffer from pain under the knee, try to reduce pressure in your legs whenever possible. For example, if you are watching TV or reading, lift your legs and fix them with sofa cushions. If possible, rest more often in raised legs on the chair during the working day.

You suffer from varicose veins, you have sensitive veins on your legs and, as a consequence, your leg hurts under the knee from behind - do exercise therapy.20 times stand on tiptoe, then rest a little and relax and repeat the exercise. Improves blood circulation and strengthens the calf muscles.

People after 40 years of age are recommended to strengthen their leg muscles, doing various sit-ups, forward-back attacks, exercise "bike".Remember: preventing any disease is much easier than curing.


Pain under the knee: symptoms and diagnostics

  • 4 Prevention

Features of the knee joint

Popliteal pains have one characteristic - they can be quite difficult to recognize. To understand why such feelings can arise, it is necessary to understand the anatomy of the joint itself and the fovea located behind it. Often the appearance of pain is not connected with the knee joint.

  1. Top and bottom popliteal fossa surround tendons and muscles.
  2. The bottom of the pit is located on the posterior portion of the joint capsule, on top it is covered with ligaments.
  3. The artery and vein are present in the central region of the fossa. Also in this place is a vascular-neural bundle.
  4. In this area there are lymph nodes that prevent the infection of the human body.

Therefore, the pain in this area can be caused by the impact of a variety of factors that lead to damage to the listed structural elements. To detect pathology, it is extremely important to immediately consult a qualified specialist.

Causes of pain under the knee

Diseases of the joints

  • Baker's cyst.

This pathology is usually characterized by severe pain and slight edema of the fossa. The internal area of ​​the joint is covered by the synovial membrane that produces the fluid. If there is inflammation of this shell, excessive discharge of the liquid is observed, which leads to squeezing and swelling of this shell.

In this disease, in the region of the posterior wall of the joint capsule, a seal forms, which causes painful sensations. If you press on the cyst, its size decreases slightly. Most noticeable is the formation with straight limbs. To reveal this pathology at the beginning of its appearance is problematic, because it has small dimensions and does not cause uncomfortable sensations.

For the purpose of conservative therapy of pathology, a doctor can prescribe injections of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as glucocorticosteroids, which help to eliminate inflammation. In addition, special lining can be used for the knees.

  • Cyst of the meniscus.

With this pathology, there are painful sensations at the back of the knee, which increase during movement and when trying to bend the leg. In the course of an external examination, they can not be noticed, therefore, a comprehensive study is required.

  • A break in the meniscus.

If the pain occurs after sudden movement or traumatic injury of the joint, the cause may be a rupture of the back region of the meniscus. Sometimes a similar problem is the result of arthrosis - a break in the meniscus is due to the destruction of the cartilaginous tissue. In this situation, pain can not always be eliminated in a conservative way, and surgery is performed.

Diseases of the tendons

Often, pains from behind or from the side of the knee are caused by damage to the integrity of the ligaments and tendons. With high loads, damage to soft tissues often occurs, which causes discomfort.

Quite often the cause of pain lies in bursitis or tendonitis of an inflammatory nature. These pathologies are accompanied by pulling sensations, which are the result of excess loads.

To get rid of this pathology, it is very important at the beginning of its development to see a doctor. The specialist must provide the person with peace. In addition, he will definitely limit the mobility of the joint - as a rule, plaster is applied for this. To remove inflammation, it is necessary to use hormonal drugs and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The most important factor affecting rapid recovery is optimal loads.

Vascular and Nervous Pathologies

  • Popliteal artery aneurysm.

With the development of this pathology, there is a drawing pain, which has a pulsating character. When palpation, you can find a small seal. The cause of this disease is the stratification of the artery, in which it begins to protrude. It is very important to immediately get help from a surgeon - delay can cause serious bleeding.

  • Inflammation of the tibial nerve.

It is located on the bottom of the popliteal fossa. Sometimes, under the influence of various factors, its inflammation may occur. If this happens, a person experiences severe pain during movement, as well as when bending the knee, and such feelings are felt all over the foot. Often there is a change in tendon reflexes. Ankle muscles can also change their tone. In this situation, a surgical procedure is indicated.

  • Popliteal vein thrombosis.

This disease is diagnosed very rarely, but sometimes it does lead to pain behind the knee. Identify this disease can be quite difficult, because during the examination pathological changes can not be detected.

Sometimes pathology is detected after the development of complications, which seriously threatens the health and life of a person. Therefore, it is so important to conduct an ultrasound examination of the vessels at an early stage. If a large thrombus is detected, a surgical procedure is indicated.


If in the ankle area of ​​a person there were infected wounds that caused the appearance of pain, the risk of developing an abscess increases.

In lymph nodes, which are under the knees, gets an infection that causes the development of inflammation and increase in their size. It is these processes that lead to sharp painful sensations. If you have this problem, you need to contact a surgeon - using an operation, he will open an abscess.


All diagnostic procedures that are aimed at identifying the cause of pain in the knee joint are standard enough. Diagnosis usually involves the following activities:


Pain in the knees - causes and methods of treatment

The joints of the legs throughout the life experience a huge load, because they are responsible for the ability of a person to move painlessly, stand, play sports or work. However, some diseases and pathological conditions can cause severe pain and deprive mobility joints for some time, or for good. Therefore, it is so important to diagnose in a timely manner the causes of pain in the knees and prevent the development of pathology or serious complications.

Types of pain in the knees

The onset of pain in the knee joint is caused by the damage of connective and soft tissues. This is due to injuries, their complications, and also because of chronic and some other diseases.

The first sensations of discomfort appear when an excess of inflammatory, intraarticular fluid, or blood with hemarthrosis begin to squeeze the nerve endings that permeate the joint tissues. When diagnosing pain, the following features are considered:

  • Sudden pain is a clear sign of a fresh injury or meniscus damage. It also occurs when the acute bone growth in the tissue is introduced;
  • Shooting pain - occurs when the inflammatory process affects the nerve endings, as well as at one of the last stages of arthrosis;
  • Pulsating pain - occurs with rheumatoid arthritis, thrombophlebitis and acute inflammation of soft tissues;
  • Aching pain - speaks about the course of chronic processes in the joint. The causes of aching pain in the knee are inflammation and the initial stages of arthrosis, as well as the manifestation of meteodependence in disorders in the vascular system;
  • Drawing pain - observed with different pathologies of the knee joint at certain stages of development;
  • Cutting pain when trying to move - due to the rupture of a meniscus or a pinched nerve, not only in the knee itself, but also in the spine;
  • Constant pain - occurs when spasms of nearby muscles, capsule fibrosis, reactive synovitis and neuropathies.

Causes of Acute Pain in the Knee

Joint trauma is the most common cause of acute pain in the knee. The consequences of an unsuccessful jump or impact are usually seen very clearly, but it's not always possible to understand which part of the joint is damaged. To choose the right method of treatment, correct diagnosis is necessary. There are the following possible variants of knee joint injuries:

  • Sprain or ligament rupture. Usually accompanied by a strong sudden pain and a characteristic crack when the fibers are damaged, and a feeling of dislocation of the limb appears. If the trauma is strong enough, then instability of the joint may occur;
  • Fractures of hip and patella bones. In this case, the cause of pain in the knees is a soft tissue injury due to deformity and unnatural limb position;
  • Meniscal damage. Severe pain occurs a few seconds after traumatization, but after 10-20 minutes, when local shock passes, the uncomfortable pain in the joint becomes aching, as the vessels are affected, and bursting because of the developing synovitis. Sometimes, when the cartilage ruptures, a blockage appears: between the bones, the severed part of the meniscus is jammed, which causes severe pain in any attempt at movement.

Causes of pain in knee joints

Very often, the cause of aching pain in the knees are inflammatory diseases that occur in acute or chronic form. The main diseases of knee joints of this origin are:

  • Arthritis is a group of inflammatory diseases with similar symptoms, but of different origins: lipoarthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis. Characteristic signs are an increase in local temperature and redness, swelling of the joint and pain in the knees, increasing with movement;
  • Bursitis - lesions of the tendon or joint capsule. They are accompanied by constant pain, which is pronounced and does not depend on motor activity. Bursitis occurs when the capsule is stretched under the action of pus and presses on the nerve endings;
  • Cyst Becker - with an active stage there is pain in the popliteal region, extending along the gastrocnemius muscle into the sole and hinders the bending of the joint;
  • Tendinitis - an inflammation of the tendons and ligaments, which are characterized by visible edema and unpleasant sensations in a particular area. With flexion and extension of the knees, as well as muscle contraction, the sensitivity is increased, and pain is given to the muscles of the thigh and lower leg.

Another cause of pain in joints of the knees are diseases of non-inflammatory nature - tendopathy, meniscopathy and chondropathy. In these pathologies, as a rule, some kind of connective tissue is affected - meniscus, cartilage, ligaments or tendons. Such dystrophic diseases are characterized by pain in the knees during walking, flexion and extension of the limb, crunching in the joint, and sometimes involuntary shaking of the foot.

Pain in the knees caused by blood circulation disorders

About 5-10% of all knee pains are vascular, which are caused by a circulatory disturbance. Usually they occur during a period of active growth coinciding with adolescence, and are associated with the fact that the accelerated development of bones does not always have time to grow blood vessels.

Similar pains sometimes persecute a person throughout life, but their intensity usually decreases after 18-20 years. This sharply distinguishes them from arthrosis, which increases with age and causes a decrease in the mobility of the joints.

The onset of pain is usually associated with a change in weather, colds or physical exertion.

If the cause of pain in the knees is established and this is a violation of the circulation, a massage is prescribed, warming ointments or vasodilating preparations. Special therapy for these conditions is not required.

With a sharp violation of blood circulation, aseptic necrosis of the bones of the knee arises, which is accompanied by severe pain, and the very death of hard tissues occurs very quickly - in just a few days.

Other causes of knee pain


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