5 Signs You Have Serious Knee Problems That Needs To be Checked

Updated on October 9, 2023

Knee issues are common among athletes, especially those who play contact games. However, that’s not to say you can’t be a victim of the same if you’re not in that category. A knee problem could come as a result of a medical condition or a random knock. Some of the most common knee injuries include dislocation, meniscal tears, tendonitis, and fractures.

Depending on the adversity of the problem, the healing can either take days, weeks, or even months. Since injuries to this part of the body may not seem serious at first, many people ignore and wait for the natural healing process to take its course. However, this could leave an underlying condition if not given proper knee pain management. This article will discuss five of the most common signs that suggest serious knee problems.

1. A Swollen Knee

Perhaps, this is the most common of them all, since most knee injuries include a little swelling around the area. However, if your knee swells up within a few hours after an injury, it could be a sign of a more serious issue. The most probable result could be a fracture or an ACL tear. 

It could also take up to 24 hours for the swelling to occur. If that happens, then it could signal a meniscus injury, a problem that results from the tearing of certain knee tissues. It is, therefore, important to start looking for knee doctors as soon as you see these signs.

2. Difficulty In Extending the Knee Fully 

The range of motion of your knee can be limited minutes or a few hours after the injury. Some of the main reasons why you can’t extend your knee could be because of swelling, inflammation, or general pain. 

Regardless of the course, this is a good signal that you need to consult a specialist as soon as possible. Even if it doesn’t seem serious, it’s still important to take the necessary precautions since you could be walking with an injury that might worsen with time. 

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Runner knee injury and pain with leg bones visible

3. Knee Giving Out

If you’ve recently healed from a knee injury, the problem could reoccur while playing football or you’re at your workstation. Therefore, it’s imperative that you take note of any changes. For instance, if your knee is giving out when making sharp turns during the game or during landing, it must be checked by a professional immediately. 

If the knee buckles after similar movements, then you might have damaged the ligament. The affected areas in such a situation include MCL, PCL, and ACL. Knees giving out is also a common problem among those aged 50 years and above. If you’re one of them, you can apply a knee brace to help with mobility and relieve the pain. However, if this still doesn’t help, then you might want to see a doctor. 

4. Pain In A Specific Spot

This is another common sign that should be taken seriously. Specific injuries cause pain in certain areas rather than every part of the knee. For instance, meniscus tears are characterized by pain along the joint line. In addition, people with lateral meniscus tear feel pain on the outside, while those with medial meniscus tear feel it along the inside of the knee. 

Localized pain is also a symptom of stress fractures. It occurs on the bone around the area where the injury occurred.

5. Locked Knee

You could also experience a locked knee. This is mostly due to inner cartilage tear from which the resulting fragment floats at the center of your knee. Therefore, you might find it difficult to flex your leg, which in turn blocks motion. This type of injury—famously known as bucket handle tear—will definitely require surgery to get rid of the floating fragment(s). 

There are other meniscus tears that could lead to knee locking, but treatment may not require a surgeon. Nonetheless, it’s still very important to pay a visit to your doctor so that they can ascertain the situation and check if there is a need to undergo meniscus surgery.

Final Remarks 

Any unusual sensation in your knee requires immediate attention. Never ignore the signs, especially if some of them are among the ones listed in this article. A locked knee and your leg not stretching are some of the easier ones to spot. 

A swollen knee and localized pain could signal various issues. Depending on your age, your knee giving out might also be an indicator of a more serious injury. Therefore, it’s a wise idea to always consult a medical practitioner or a knee specialist whenever you come across these symptoms. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.