Swollen knee

Knee swelling, swollen knee pain, and swelling above the knee can be from several causes. A swollen knee no pain is common and can be from a reaction to a small incident where the capsule becomes irritable. Usually swelling in the knee is due to an injury to the ligaments or meniscus from within the knee joint and capsule such as an anterior cruciate tear or a bucket handle tear to the meniscus.

Swelling behind the knee is usually associated from an injury within the joint but can also be from a baker’s cyst or a soft tissue injury such as a tear. A swollen kneecap could indicate a simple haemotoma or a more complex dislocation. Injuries that cause this symptom 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.

  • Medial Meniscus Tear

    Medial Meniscus Tear

    A torn meniscus is a tear to the semi circular cartilage in the knee joint causing pain on the inside of the knee. It is commonly injured through direct impact in contact sports or twisting but can also occur in older athletes through gradual degeneration. Treatment depends on how bad the injury is and may require surgery.

  • 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.

  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

    Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

    Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) also known as runners knee, chondromalacia patellae, anterior knee pain and patellofemoral joint syndrome is a generic term used to describe patella pain at the front of the knee.

  • Chondromalacia Patella

    Chondromalacia Patella

    Chondromalacia patella (CMP) involves damage to the articular cartilage which is the smooth hard cartilage under the kneecap.

  • Baker's Cyst

    Baker's Cyst

    A Baker's Cyst or Popliteal cyst is a prominent swelling at the back of the knee. It is usually caused by an underlying injury or condition in the knee joint.

  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

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

  • Osteoarthritis of the Knee

    Osteoarthritis - Knee

    Osteoarthritis or wear and tear on the knee joint is a common cause of knee pain. We explain the injury and treatment options.

  • 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.

  • Knee Synovitis

    Knee Synovitis

    Knee synovitis occurs when the synovial membrane which lines and lubricates the knee joint, becomes inflamed. Swelling or stiffness in the knee joint may develop following another injury or from arthritis or gout.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Patellofemoral Instability

    Patellofemoral Instability

    Patellofemoral instability usually involves the patient having a sensation of their kneecap 'slipping away' or feeling loose on movement of the knee.