You know that the knee connects the thigh and the lower leg. You may or may not know that the knee consists of two joints, not just one: the tibiofemoral joint and the patellofemoral joint (which is the largest joint in the human body.) What you also know, without question, is that chronic knee pain can be agonizing and life-altering.
Many patients who experience knee pain try to treat it themselves – with ice, heat, medications, and/or a knee brace, hoping it will go away on its own. And, superficial pain often does resolve on its own. Chronic knee pain, on the other hand, is far more difficult to treat with home remedies. When the pain in your knee lasts more than 48 hours and/or worsens to a deep pain in the knee joint, it’s important to be evaluated and treated by a knee pain specialist.
Causes of Chronic Knee Pain
Knee pain affects individuals of all ages and can range from mild to severe. The most common causes of knee pain include:
- An injury such as a torn ligament, sprained tendon, torn cartilage, or knee bone fracture that is caused by a fall or exertion of force or overuse of the knee joints.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Osteoarthritis, which develops when cartilage in the knee breaks down and abnormal bony growths develop in the knee.
- Bursitis, which is an infection of the thin, fluid-filled membrane that protects the knee joins.
- Previous knee surgery complications.