3 Causes of Sudden Knee Pain

Sports injury. Woman with pain in knee joint sport workout. Young woman fitness model outside.Your knees are centrally involved in a wide range of everyday movements, from walking to cycling to bending down. Knees are often relied on to support your entire weight, so they are designed to be remarkably sturdy and resilient.

Even so, it’s inevitable that at some time in your life you will experience knee pain, usually occurring suddenly without any warning. Here are three of the most common causes of knee pain that may affect you.

Tendon or ligament injury

Tendons and ligaments are both composed of thick, fibrous tissue, but they have different functions. Tendons attach muscle to bone, making them part of the mechanism that creates movement. Ligaments connect bone to bone, providing stability. Tearing or inflammation in any of these connective tissues frequently results in sudden pain. Athletes and physically active people are particularly susceptible to such injuries, but they can happen to anyone.


A bursa is a sac containing lubricating fluid that is located at the junctions where bone, muscles and tendons meet. Its role is to reduce friction and irritation that occurs when the tissues rub together. Bursitis is an inflammation of these sacs that frequently results from repetitive motion. People such as gardeners and carpet layers who spend a great deal of time on their knees are especially vulnerable to bursitis, which can also affect shoulders, hips and elbows.

Torn meniscus

Menisci are located in your knee joint between the thigh and shin bones. These rubbery pads of tissue act as a shock absorber to cushion impact. Sudden twisting or rotating of the knee can tear a meniscus, resulting in sharp pain and swelling. Depending on the severity of the damage, treatment can range from rest and ice packs to surgery.

Regardless of the cause, knee pain can seriously impact your quality of life. Our team of orthopedic specialists will evaluate your condition and review all available options for treatment and effective pain relief.

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