Causes of Chronic Knee Pain

Causes of Chronic Knee Pain, Knee and Shoulder InstituteKnee is the largest joint in the body, which is essential to perform most of the daily activities. The ends of the knee bones where they come in contact are covered with articular cartilage. This is a smooth substance to protect bones and enable their easy movement. The menisci located between the femur and tibia act as shock absorbers to cushion the knee joint.

Other surfaces of the knee are covered by a synovial membrane that reduces friction in a healthy knee. When the harmony between these components gets disrupted due to disease or injury, it can cause knee pain. Dr. Steven Thomas and Dr. Gregory Bigler are board certified orthopedic surgeons providing knee joint treatments to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, and surrounding locations.


Arthritis as a Cause of Knee Pain

Arthritis is the most common cause of chronic knee pain. While arthritis can be of various types, pain in the knee is caused only by three types: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis.



This arthritis is age related and occurs due to wear and tear. People above the age of 50 are usually affected by this condition, but it may also occur in younger people. In this condition, the cartilage that provides cushion between the knee bones softens and wears away. This results in the bones rubbing against one another, causing pain and stiffness in the knee.


Rheumatoid Arthritis

This condition occurs when the synovial membrane surrounding the joint becomes thick and inflamed. Chronic inflammation of the membrane can permanently damage the cartilage, eventually causing cartilage loss and pain in the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis.


Post-traumatic Arthritis

This condition may occur due to a severe knee injury. If the bones around the knee are fractured or the knee ligaments are torn, it can lead to damage of the articular cartilage over time. As a result, knee pain, and restricted knee function may occur. Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada, and nearby areas for knee treatment.


Other Causes

Diseases or other physical conditions that may cause chronic knee pain include:



This involves pain in the front of the knee that becomes worse while walking up an incline or climbing the stairs.



This is an inflammation of the bursa caused by repeated overuse or an injury to the knee.


Chondromalacia Patella

Damage to the cartilage underneath the kneecap can lead to chronic knee pain.



Gout is a type of arthritis caused due to the buildup of uric acid.


Baker’s Cyst

This occurs due to a buildup of synovial fluid behind the knee, causing chronic knee pain.



The kneecap may get dislocated as a result of trauma, leading to acute pain in the knee.


Meniscus Tear

This refers to a rupture in one or more of the cartilage in the knee.


Ligament Tear

A tear may occur in one of the four ligaments in the knee. The most commonly injured ligament is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Bone tumors such as osteosarcoma in the knee may also contribute to chronic knee pain.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. call (702) 933-9393; Physical Therapy (702) 933-9394

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