Sudden pain in one of the knees is usually the result of overusing the knee or injuring it. In many cases, you don’t need to see your GP. The knee joint is particularly vulnerable to damage and pain because it takes the full weight of your body and any extra force when you run or jump.
You’re more likely to experience knee pain as you get older, and people who are overweight or do lots of sports have a higher risk of damaging their knees. Some sports that involve a lot of turning, such as football, netball and skiing, carry a particularly high risk of knee injuries. This page summarises some of the most common causes of pain in one or both knees, and offers advice on when you should see your GP.
Common causes of knee pain include:
- sprains and strains
- anterior knee pain (pain around the kneecap)
- menisci or cartilage damage
- bursitis (housemaid’s knee)
- torn ligaments or tendons
- bleeding into the joint
- Osgood-Schlatter’s disease
- septic arthritis (infected knee joint)