Knee pain and rheumatic disease 3.83/5 (6)

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Illustration: Nevit Dilmen. CC BY-SA 3.0


About one in four adults are afflicted with knee pain during periods. The causes may be acute or chronic rheumatic disease, injury, but also other conditions. Below are a number of such reasons listed below, most often with links for more in-depth information.

Rheumatic diseases with knee pain


Symptoms with swelling, redness and warmth, weakness and instability, reduced streching ability. Most bothering in the morning


  • Stiffness and pain after physical strain
  • Little bothering in the morning
  • Normal blood samples

Bakers cyst

  • Popliteal swelling (behind the knee)
  • May be due to arthritis or osteoarthritis of the knee joint

Ilio-tibial band syndrome

Loose foreign body (Osteocondrititis)

Osteonecrosis, Avascular necrosis

Septic arthritis

  • Infection, most often bacteria
  • Painful, red, hot (resembling gout)
  • Some people get fever
  • Gonococcal infection

Other causes of knee pain

The kneecap (patella)

Illustration: Knee-pads.BodyParts3D / Anatomography. CC BY-SA 2.1

Fracture of the kneecap

  • Rare
  • Most often sports injury

Chondromalacia patella

  • Pain under the kneecap
  • MRI shows damage to the cartilage between the kneecap and other knee joint

Patella luxury ("The kneecap out of joints")

Patello-femoral pain

Among the common causes of knee pain

  • May be due to overload
  • Often unexplained triggering cause
  • Pain above and below the kneecap

Runners knee

  • Among the most common running injuries
  • Several causes

Tendonitis along the leg (tibia) (Meningitis / tibial periostitis)

  • Among the most common running injuries
  • Pain along the lower 2 / 3 of the leg at the transition to the muscles

Tendonitis over the kneecap (pre-patellar) or at the Quadriceps tendon

  • Often overloaded by sports like jumping and sprinting

Bursa inflammation at the kneecap (pre-patellar or infra-patellar bursitis)

  • Gradually swelling within a few days. Typically after sitting a lot on the knees (tilers, masons)
  • Swelling and pain just above the kneecap
  • Redness
  • Normal moving
  • Infection must be excluded

The knee joint otherwise

Hoffa fat pad syndrome

  • The front of the knee
  • Increased pain by kneeling or squatting, walking or running


Meniscus wear (degenerative lateral meniscus)

  • Pain on the outside of the knee (laterally)
  • Gradually (over years) among adults without prior injury
  • The knee can "lock"

Pes anserinus bursitis (Bursa inflammation)

  • Pain and swelling on the inside just above the knee

Plica syndrome

  • By running
  • Pain on the inside of the kneecap by stretch and bend

Schlatter (Tibial tuberculosis apophysitis)

  • Teenagers
  • Pain under knee, especially after stress

Tendonitis in popliteus tendon

  • Pain behind the knee
  • Sports injury, especially when running downhill


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