What Causes Knee Pain?

Knee pain is very common in people of all ages and could be the result of multiple causes. By defining the cause of your knee pain, you have a better chance of speeding up your recovery and preventing future injury. Below is a list of five very common causes to help you narrow down your specific cause of pain. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list and that you should always consult your doctor if you are experiencing pain!


If you are constantly bending or kneeling, or if you have been prone to falls, you could have irritated the bursa (the sac that holds a small amount of fluid under your skin and above your joint) on top of your kneecap. Irritation of this can cause pain and swelling as the bursa is not as easily able to prevent the friction happening when your joints move.


A very common cause of knee pain is a fracture. A fracture is a break or a crack in one or more bones in the knee joint. The trauma from this can cause pain, swelling, bruising, or tenderness.

Dislocated Kneecap

If your kneecap has slid out of place, often due to a fall or slip, then you could be experiencing pain, swelling or bruising from a dislocated kneecap. Your kneecap normally sits over the front of your knee, and it glides over a groove in the joint when you bend or straighten your leg. When the kneecap dislocates, it comes out of this groove and the supporting tissues can be stretched or torn causing pain.

Meniscal tear

A meniscus tear occurs in the knee cartilage that cushions your shinbone from your thighbone. A torn meniscus occurs because of trauma caused by forceful twisting or hyper-flexing of the knee joint. This pain worsens with twisting or squatting motions.


The top cause of knee pain after the age of 50 is osteoarthritis. Most adults notice pain when they are active or they experience pain early in the morning from osteoarthritis. This is occurring because the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones has worn down over time.


Because there are many causes of knee pain it’s necessary to seek treatment with experienced doctors who can diagnose your condition. Call 970-419-7050 or fill out our online appointment request form to schedule your consultation with the Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies today.

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