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Why do I have pain behind the knee?

There are many causes of pain in the back of the knee. There are varying degrees of severity of each condition. Read on to find out more about what may be causing the pain behind your knee.
What Causes Pain Behind the Knee?
Possible causes for pain in the back of the knee include:
- Osteoarthritis: This is a wear-and-tear condition that wears down the cartilage and meniscus of the knee over time. Patients with this typically develop the pain over time, and are in their late 50's to 60's. Patients report feeling pain, soreness and tightness behind the knee. They frequently feel this at night, and it is worse with more walking.
- Meniscus tearsThe meniscus is a shock-absorbing cushion in the knee. Tears of the meniscus can cause patients to feel severe pain at the back of the knee. Frequently, patients are in their 40's to 50's, and many patients start having this pain after some event, for example a period of intense exercise or going on a holiday.
- Baker’s cyst: Baker’s cyst is a collection of fluid that builds up at the back of the knee. Baker's cysts may cause discomfort and swelling at the back of the knee, or many times they may not cause problems at all.
- Muscle strain/injury: This would be more clearly related to an episode of exercise. The muscles at the back of the knee include the hamstrings and the gastrocnemius. Muscle strains would typically get better on their own within a few days, and if such pain persists, a medical evaluation is needed. 
- PCL tear: The PCL is a ligament behind the knee. Again, the patient would usually have had a significant injury such as a sporting injury or road traffic accident.
- Other causes: Various other conditions can cause pain at the back of the knee, including blood clots in the veins and serious causes such as a tumour. The important thing is not to self-manage for beyond a short period of time and seek medical attention early. 
Diagnose and Treat Pain behind the Knee
For each condition, there are various ways of treating it, and this depends on the severity of each condition. We can tell the severity of each person's condition using information from the clinic assessment and scans, such as an MRI scan. 
Also, the most common causes - Osteoarthritis and Meniscus tears - are progressive conditions, meaning the conditions worsen over time if not properly treated. As the conditions worsen, simple treatment methods may start to become ineffective, and we may have to use more complex methods.
The broad groups of treatments are: 
- medications and physiotherapy
- Injections into the knee
- Key-hole surgical procedures
- Open surgical procedures


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Dr Ang CL


  • 毕业于新加坡国立大学医学专业

  • 曾就职于新加坡中央医院骨科

  • 曾在英国皇家骨科医院进修

  • 爱丁堡皇家外科医生学院的院士

  • 也是知名的美国外科医生学院的院士

  • 擅长膝关节伤痛,退化及复杂的膝关节问题

  • 提供有扎实科学依据的治疗方式

  • 待人亲切有同理心

  • 主笔多部膝关节手术相关的章节及著作


38 Irrawaddy Road, 伊丽莎白诺维娜医院

专科中心 #07-40 
新加坡 329563


电话: 6970 5835

传真: 6970 5935    


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