Why do I have pain in the back of my knee?

When I see patients for a knee problem, one of the first questions I ask is where they hurt. More specifically, I want to know what part of their knee hurts and when. Patients often say, “It hurts in the back of my knee.” What could be the cause of pain in the back of your knee? I share my thoughts in my latest Ask Dr. Geier video.

Why do I have pain in the back of my knee?

There are a number of structures in the back of your knee, such as the hamstring tendons and the posterior cruciate ligament, or PCL. Typically you will have a specific traumatic event to injure one of those structures.

In adults, you can develop pain in the back of your knee without any trauma. You might notice pain or swelling from a Baker’s cyst. You could have pain from a meniscus tear or osteoarthritis. Frequently you notice the pain but don’t remember how or why it started.

"Doctor, I have pain in the back of my knee!"

In this video, I discuss the possible causes in more detail and explain how we can figure out the cause of your knee pain.

Also read:
Why did a cortisone shot not help my pain?
When should you go to a doctor after a knee 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.

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