MedClinic > Blog > Algology > Joint pain


Pain in knee joint, the treatment of which must be carried out immediately when the first unpleasant symptoms occur, happens due to the damage of knee joint. The causes of pain are different. Both simple injuries and severe degenerative processes in the knee joint can lead to discomfort and pain symptom.

Why can there be pain in the knee joint?

Causes of knee pain are:

  • arthritis;
  • gonarthrosis;
  • bursitis;
  • tendonitis;
  • osteomyelitis;
  • Baker’s cyst;
  • infectious diseases;
  • Lyme disease;
  • Reiter’s syndrome;
  • Koenig’s disease.

Types of pain in knee joint

The causes of pain in the knee joint affect the nature of manifestation of unpleasant and painful symptoms:

  • Gonarthrosis – pain in knee joint during flexion, swelling of soft tissues, signs of arthritis, frequent bone fractures and dislocation of joints. Pain syndrome is acute, intensifies after a long time of not using legs, the gait changes.
  • Meniscopathy – crunching and pain in the knee joint when bent. Severe acute pain in the knee leads to immobilisation of the limb. Clinical picture is less pronounced in the elderly, which is associated with less amount of articular fluid. Symptoms increase after a prolonged load on the leg, then gradually decrease. A decrease in the intensity of pain symptom is accompanied by the appearance of severe swelling of the knee joint. The attack of pain lasts up to 1-3 weeks.
  • Arthritis – aching knee joint pain, accompanied by the appearance of oedema and redness of the skin near the joint.
  • Periarthritis – aching pain, that worsens during walking and with pressure on the knee joint.
  • Tendonitis – swelling of the joint, soreness occurs with a change in atmospheric pressure, crunching is heard during bending.
  • Bursitis – stiffness of movements, inflammation and redness of the skin, worsening of general health, weakness and drowsiness, poor appetite.
  • Osteomyelitis – deterioration of general well-being, weakness and drowsiness, fever, acute pain, knee joint swells, the skin reddens.


  • History taking.
  • Physical examination.
  • X-ray of the knee.
  • Ultrasound of the knee joint.
  • MRI / CT of the knee.

Treatment methods

The treatment of pain in the knee joint is selected individually, depending on the reasons. All diseases that cause pain in the knee joint can be treated medically in the early stages of development. Difficulties in timely treatment can be because most diseases do not have a pronounced symptomatic picture until the knee joint is severely affected by the pathological process.

For severe pain in the knee, the patient is prescribed pain medication. To reduce swelling and redness of the skin, topical agents are prescribed – ointments and creams. For the fastest restoration of the mobility of knee joint, a mandatory measure is to perform exercises of therapeutic gymnastics.

When pain in the right shoulder (left) is characterized by a pronounced intensity, and general pain medication does not help to reduce it, a patient may be recommended intra-articular injections of the following drugs:

–         hyaluronic acid is one of the most effective methods of treating osteoarthritis of the joints. Since 2003, it has been included in the list of measures recommended by the World Health Organisation for patients with mild to moderate symptoms of osteoarthritis (Kellgren Lawrence stages 2 and 3). Being a natural component of articular cartilage, it contributes to the normalisation of metabolic processes in the tissues of the joint, forms a protective film on the damaged cartilage, restores the amortisation function of the latter, and improves its elasticity.

–         chondroprotive drugs (Alflutop, Traumeel, etc.) – the introduction of drugs that helps restore the composition and quality of tissues. The impact of drugs in this group has a positive effect, although it does not have sufficient evidence.

–         hormonal drugs (Diprospan, hydrocortisone) – the introduction of drugs with a powerful anti-inflammatory effect that help relieve symptoms of the disease, reduce swelling, relieve pain and inflammation. However, this is only a symptomatic treatment and does not affect the cause of the pathology. Long-term treatment with these drugs leads to the opposite effect – the destruction of articular cartilage and articular surfaces of bones. Also, these drugs have several contraindications: diabetes, hypertension, overweight, peptic ulcer.

The benefits of injecting medications with hyaluronic acid:

  • Reducing pain and improving joint mobility.
  • Reduced need for painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Slowing the progression of o
  • Ability to avoid or postpone surgery.

Surgery is appointed only in extreme cases when conservative therapy does not give a positive result. Preference is given to minimally invasive techniques, which allows quickly to recover the motor ability of the leg.

  • Arthroscopy is an innovative method of treating pathological processes in the joints, which is carried out using a special endoscopic device equipped with a small camera at the end.
  • Prosthesis of the shoulder joint – an operation that is performed in extreme cases, when no other methods can give positive dynamics. Prosthesis implies a complete replacement of the joint, or its parts.

Only the attending physician can determine the causes of pain in the knee joint and choose the most effective treatment.