Sudden onset knee pain

Sudden onset of knee pain can be from an injury to the ligaments, meniscus, bones, bursa, or soft tissue. Sudden onset is an acute injury and can be from an impact or direct trauma. In some cases sudden onset can be from medical conditions such a circulatory or neuropathy issue.

In sports injuries sudden onset knee injuries are usually as a result of a twisting, landing or episode of force and can cause sprains, strains, tears or ruptures. Injuries that cause the sudden onset of knee pain are listed below:
  • ACL Sprain

    ACL Sprain

    Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury or 'ACL injuries' are common in contact sports and especially those that are combined with sudden change of direction such as soccer or football. Often ACL tears do not occur in isolation and are in most cases are associated with damage to other structures within the knee such as the cartilage or the collateral ligaments.

  • Medial Ligament Sprain

    Medial Ligament Sprain

    A medial ligament sprain or MCL injury is a tear of the ligament on the inside of the knee, usually a result of twisting or direct impact.

    Medial ligament injuries are common in contact sports such as football and rugby, as well as martial arts. They can also occur in daily life through falls and twists of the knee joint.

  • Lateral Knee Ligament Sprain

    Lateral Knee Ligament Sprain

    A lateral ligament sprain is a knee ligament injury involving a tear to the ligament on the outside of the knee and is most likely following a direct blow to the inside of the knee.

  • Patella Dislocation

    Patella Dislocation

    The patella can dislocate outside of its normal position, usually round the outside of the knee. It can also partially dislocate, called a subluxation.

  • Knee Contusion

    Knee Contusion

    A knee contusion or bruised knee occurs due to an impact on the knee. This can be due to a fall directly onto the knee or something hitting the knee, such as a ball or club. Contusion is the medical term for a bruise. Treatment depends on how bad the injury is.

  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

    The posterior cruciate ligament is important for stabilizing the knee and preventing it from bending back the wrong way.

  • Lateral Meniscus Tear

    Lateral Meniscus Tear

    Lateral meniscus tear is an injury to the semi circular cartilage on the outside of the knee joint. Symptoms include tenderness and pain around the outside surface of the knee. Each knee joint has two crescent shaped cartilage menisci which cushion and support the knee. They can be injured by twisting or traumatic injury as well as degenerating over time.

  • Proximal Tibiofibular Joint Dislocation

    Proximal Tibiofibular  -  Dislocation

    Dislocation of the proximal tibiofibular joint occurs most commonly when the athlete sustains an impact or falls with their knee in a fully bent position. It is an injury to the joint at the top of the shin where the two shin bones meet at the knee.

  • Synovial Plica Irritation

    Synovial Plica Irritation

    The synovial plica is a synovial fold found along the inside of the knee cap causing pain and discomfort. It is sometimes be confused or misdiagnosed as patellofemoral pain syndrome as the symptoms can be similar.

  • Tibial Plateau Fracture

    Tibial Plateau Fracture

    The tibial plateau is the upper surface of the tibia or shin bone. It is prone to becoming fractured in high speed accidents such as those associated with skiing, horse riding and certain water sports.

  • Knee Sprain

    Knee Sprain

    A knee sprain is an injury or damage to any of the four ligaments which support the knee.

  • Osteochondral Knee Fracture

    Osteochondral Knee Fracture

    An Osteochondral fracture is a tear of the cartilage which covers the end of a bone, within a joint. It is also known as Osteochondritis Dissecans and is common in the knee joint, especially in association with other injuries such as ACL tears.

  • Posterolateral Corner Injury

    Posterolateral Corner Injury

    Posterolateral corner injuries cause pain at the back and outside of the knee. They are not particularly common injuries, although around half of cases occur due to sporting injuries, with road traffic accidents being another common cause.

  • Tennis Leg

    Tennis Leg

    Tennis leg is a general term used to describe pain in the leg caused by a tear of the inner head of the big calf muscle, the plantaris muscle or sometimes both.

  • Acute Patella Injury

    Acute Patella Injury

    An acute patella injury is an injury to the kneecap or patella from a direct blow or fall onto the knee. A fracture of the patella is also possible.

  • Patella Tendon Rupture

    Patella Tendon Rupture

    The patella tendon connects the kneecap to the shin bone. A partial rupture of this tendon is often from a jumping or explosive load on the tendon.

  • Articular Cartilage Injury

    Articular cartilage injury is damage to the tough cartilage that lines the ends of bones. We explain the symptoms, causes and treatment of an articular cartilage injury to the knee.

  • Hamstring Tendon Rupture

    Hamstring - Rupture

    A full or partial rupture can occur in the hamstring tendons as they insert into the back of the knee.

  • Biceps Femoris Tendon Avulsion

    Biceps Femoris - Avulsion

    The Biceps Femoris is one three hamstring muscles. An avulsion strain or fracture involves the tendon pulling away from the bone.

  • Unhappy Triad of the Knee

    Unhappy Triad

    The unhappy triad is a severe injury which involves damage to three of the four major ligaments in the knee.