Knee injuries are among the most common bone and joint injuries among athletes. Fortunately, some of them are not serious and get better quickly. Others might involve ligament or meniscus damage and could need surgery. How can you know? If you’re thinking, “I can’t bend my knee at all” after you suffer a knee injury, then watch my latest Ask Dr. Geier video.

I can’t bend my knee. Should I be worried?

One of the most popular articles I’ve ever written on my site is one titled, “Signs your knee injury is serious.” In it, I share 5 or 6 signs and symptoms that could suggest that you might have broken or torn something in your knee. Difficulty bending your knee is one of those signs.

To be fair, your knee might feel a little stiff after you aggravate it in some way. If you can’t get your knee bent past 30 or 40 degrees, though, there could be more going on.

"Doctor, I can't bend my knee and it hurts!"

Likewise, if you struggle to get your knee fully straight, it could represent a serious injury.

Sometimes difficulty bending your knee is caused by a torn meniscus that is blocking motion of the knee. It could also represent a ligament injury, like a torn ACL, that causes the knee to be extremely swollen and painful.

If you can’t bend your knee at all, or you can’t bend it more than a few degrees, it could be worthwhile to see a doctor and find out what your injury is. In this video, I discuss some of the possible scenarios.

Also read:
How do I know if I have a serious knee injury?
Is my knee giving out a sign of an ACL injury?

Please remember, while I appreciate your questions, I cannot and will not offer specific medical advice by email, on my website, on my podcast, or in social media. My responses are meant to provide general medical information and education. Please consult your physician or health care provider for your specific medical concerns.

Discover The Solution To Your Biggest Knee Injury Challenge Even If You Have No Medical Knowledge and You’ve Looked Everywhere and Haven’t Been Able To Find an Answer!
Click here to learn more!

Recommended Products and Resources
Click here to go to Dr. David Geier’s Amazon Influencer store!
Due to a large number of questions I have received over the years asking about products for health, injuries, performance, and other areas of sports, exercise, work and life, I have created an Amazon Influencer page. While this information and these products are not intended to treat any specific injury or illness you have, they are products I use personally, have used or have tried, or I have recommended to others. THE SITE MAY OFFER HEALTH, FITNESS, NUTRITIONAL AND OTHER SUCH INFORMATION, BUT SUCH INFORMATION IS DESIGNED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THE CONTENT DOES NOT AND IS NOT INTENDED TO CONVEY MEDICAL ADVICE AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE. YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON THIS INFORMATION AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR, NOR DOES IT REPLACE, PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT. THE SITE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ACTIONS OR INACTION ON A USER’S PART BASED ON THE INFORMATION THAT IS PRESENTED ON THE SITE. Please note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.