14 Feb Pain behind the Knee?
Your knee is a complex, tough yet flexible joint. However, aging and wear and tear makes it vulnerable to stress and damage. While the knee allows mobility, it bears the weight of the entire body. This leaves it susceptible to injury.
The joint is made up of the following components –
- Patella or kneecap at the front of your knee takes most of the force the knee is subject to
- Meniscus or the the fluid-filled discs act as shock absorbers and help the knee maintain stability and balance
- Articular cartilage acts as a cushion between your thigh and shin bone
- Ligaments prevent the knees from moving too much and maintain stability
- The joint capsule is filled with synovial fluid for lubrication for the joint
- Bursa sacs are filled with fluid to reduce friction, prevent swelling and inflammation
If the knee is injured, the pain may originate behind the knee, causing posterior knee pain. Injuries include sudden impact to the knee causing fractures, inner knee pain, overuse strains, and sprains due to incorrect movement. Those with low bone density, and reduced balance and flexibility are at a higher risk of developing pain behind the knee.
Pain Behind the Knee
Most common causes of pain in the back of the knee include the following –
- Baker’s cyst – This is a fluid-filled cyst that causes discomfort and swelling, if the fluid-filled sacs (bursa) become inflamed.
- Arthritis – The cartilage in the joints wears down over time leading to pain, swelling, discomfort and even loss of motion.
- Meniscus Tear – There are two menisci that cushion the knee joint. It may become damaged due to injuries and degeneration.
- Other causes – Pain behind the knee may also be due to a ligament tear or a sprain as the result of an injury.
Treatment for Posterior Knee Pain
The first step in treatment is an accurate diagnosis of your pain and discomfort. Your doctor will likely begin with a physical exam to check for visible signs, such as swelling and tenderness, the range of movement and assess the integrity of the knee joint. They may also order X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound or MRIs to establish a more accurate diagnosis.
Interventional treatment for knee pain, as practiced by the pain management specialists, aims to reduce your pain and discomfort with minimally invasive treatment options. These may include a combination of –
- Steroid injections to relieve the pain and reduce inflammation in cases of knee osteoarthritis
- Nerve block injections to reduce pain so that you can undergo other treatments
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to promote healing, especially in cases of an injury, tendon tear or sprain.
- Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint