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What causes knee pain?

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Quick Answer

Possible causes of knee pain include arthritis, mechanical problems and injury, according to Mayo Clinic. Knee pain may develop over time when a person has a slightly misaligned kneecap.

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What causes knee pain?
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Full Answer

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and it often affects the knee, states Mayo Clinic. Over time, cartilage in the knee deteriorates, resulting in osteoarthritis. Gout is another form of arthritis that can occur in the knee. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect most joints in the body.

Knee pain may occur when a piece of a bone or cartilage breaks off and becomes caught in the knee joint, notes Mayo Clinic. Knee pain may also be the result of a dislocated kneecap or an overly-tightened ligament. Foot or hip pain can also lead to knee pain due to changes in walking causing excessive stress on the knee.

Tearing the anterior cruciate ligament is one of the most common injuries that causes knee pain, according to Mayo Clinic. Twisting the knee while bearing weight can cause a torn meniscus, which may lead to knee pain. If the tendons that attach the knee muscles to the bones become irritated and inflamed, there may be knee pain. Inflamed bursae may prevent the tendons and ligaments from gliding over the joint smoothly.

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