Avatar universal

peculiar knee pain

When I kneel on my left knee I get a sharp pain below and left of my patella, as if kneeling on a tack. Pressing on it or walking or bending or running does not trigger the pain, only when kneeling.
What can it be?
272 Responses
Avatar universal
How are you feeling? How old are you? What is your name?
When any patient complains of “knee pain,” the initial differential diagnosis in most of the cases includes: Osteoarthritis, Ligament damage, Meniscus damage or Patello-femoral disorder.
You have mentioned that you have pain on kneeling down that is in extreme flexion. This suggests that it might be due to either meniscus injury or due Patello-femoral disorder.
The location of pain says that it might be due to meniscus problem.
When did your pain begin, what were you doing at the time, and what were the initial symptoms?
Do you experience any grinding, locking, catching, or giving way of the knee?
Are there any positions that make your knee more or less comfortable?
What is the quality of your pain (sharp, shooting, dull, etc.)?
Have you tried anything to help the pain and, if yes, has that been successful?
Have you ever had surgery on your knee? Do you have any hip or ankle pain?
Keep me informed.
I'm 52 years old. I broke my patella about 6 years ago. Now when ever I'm standing it feels like something is crawling on me
I'm 52 years old. I broke my patella about 6 years ago. Now when ever I'm standing it feels like something is crawling on me
Avatar universal
I am feeling fine. How are you? And who are you?
I am 54. My name is Kendra.
I do not experience any grinding, locking, catching or giving way of the knee.
There are no positions that make my knee uncomfortable other then putting my weight on it while kneeling. It feels totally normal otherwise. The pain is as if I knelt on a sharp rock or tack or even as if my bone is splintered. It began a couple of weeks ago while kneeling.
I have not tried anything to help the pain other then not kneeling on it.
Never had surgery. No hip pain or ankle pain.
I have this exact problem and googled it and ended up here.  Whatever happened with it?
Avatar universal
Hi Kendra,
I am fine, thank you. I am physician.
Grinding is characteristic of osteoarthritis; locking and catching are characteristic of meniscus injuries and osteochondritis dissecans (meniscus injuries are much more common than osteochondritis dissecans); and giving way is more characteristic of ligamentous injuries.
You don't have any of these symptoms which signify you are not having advanced stage of disease.
You don't have hip pain or knee pain that rules out any nerve involvement.
I think it might be due to result of a collateral ligament or meniscus problem (or both) until proven otherwise.
I recommend you to see an orthopaedician at earliest and get imaging studies done for further evaluation.
X-rays study including AP weight-bearing, AP in 45° extension, lateral, and sunrise views. MRI should also be obtained to better evaluate the extent of injury. Arthroscopy is the gold standard diagnostic tool for meniscal tears but may not be necessary.
Treatment plan could be like small tears may be treated conservatively with rest, ice, bracing, and physical therapy. Larger tears and tears in patients who are competitive athletes and wish to return to competitive sport may require surgery.
Hope this helps you.
Keep me informed if you have any queries.
Avatar universal
Hi, i have a similar problem and have been doing a bit of reading. a few weeks ago I was kneeling on some timber decking for most of the day doing some construction work at home. I didnt notice anything unusual. a few weeks later I am now experiencing severe burning to the side of my right knee but only when kneeling. From what i have read it appears to be nerve damage as a result of kneeling on a hard surface for a long time. It supposedly will go away on its own but may take some time, poss months.
Avatar universal
I have a similar condition.  Sharp pain, almost feel like something is tearing when I kneel. Otherwise I am fine walking, standing, exercising, even doing leg extensions with my regular weights.  The worst position is "child's pose" in Yoga.  Do you think acupuncture might help? Thanks J.
Avatar universal
I get the same in the right knee. If I kneel full weight on the knee it feels as if i've knelt on a sharp flint. Really thought I'd done just that the first time it happened. Pain is intense as long as I keep weight on it. Localised below and to right of patella. I can't trigger the pain by running or by moving the joint in any way although the area is slightly tender if I press it hard. There is no lump or indication of any foreign body under the skin. I'll post the diagnosis if I get any joy from the NHS. Kenny make sure to do the same if you find out what it is.
i have the same exact pain in the same location.   No one can figure it out,  and when i ask for an MRI they are quick to say no.  otherwise i can do anything of any weight on my leg with no problems, except knelling especially on the outer rim of the knee if I must kneel i do so by switching my weight to the inside if my knee .
Avatar universal
Has anyone determined the cause of the peculiar knee pain?  I have the same issue and wanted to find out some information.    thanks,
Avatar universal
I have the same knee pain when kneeling on my right knee...for a few years at least now.   I thought it had gone away but rediscovered it while my son was taking a ride on my back.  It is like kneeling on a tack very sharp pin pointed pain.    
Avatar universal
When I kneel on my knees and then sit back on my ankles I experience a severe burning sensation in my lower right leg below the knee about 3 inches and on the outside. This has been occuring for the last two weeks. No flippin idea whats going on here. I am in Physical Therapy and will ask about it and reply with a post if I find anything out.  
Avatar universal
I have the exact same pain when I kneel on my right knee.  It's a very sharp intense burning pain. Has anyone been given a rational reason and therapy for this?
Avatar universal
I experience similar symptoms: When I kneel down on my left leg--like a ballplayer waiting on the on-deck circle--I experience an intense burning sensation. For me, it feels like a really bad rug burn, which is what I thought it was at first, but there are no exterior signs of a burn or inflammation (swelling). The pain subsides in a few seconds, and if I rub, poke, or press it, I feel no discomfort. The knee is mobile and there is no activity that brings pain except for the kneeling.

I have never had surgery on the knee, I have had no injury to the knee. I exercise moderately and am not considered overweight--well at least for a 53 year old man--but I was riding a stationary bike more frequently (4-5 x per week) and at a higher resistance level for a few month before this pain.

If anyone knows what this is, any contribution to this thread would be appreciated.
Avatar universal
Me too! I have had the exact same sharp pain to the outside of my right knee when kneeling. Although the pain doesn't show up when I poke or touch my knee, I can duplicate the pain when my knee is slightly bent and I press below the knee cap and rub to the painward side while still pressing. I almost thought it was a chipped bone at first, but now (because of the above) I think it is a collection of fluid and the pain is from the fluid trying to migrate to an area of muscle or tissue that doesn't want to separate. Some of you may be aware of how powerful hydraulic pressure can be. Just a few pounds pressure can produce enormous power. I don't think its "water on the knee" in the normal sense but believe its related or similar. Let me know if my remarks are familiar to you.  Thanks - Pete O
Avatar universal
I have what appears to be exactly the same problem as you described.
I'm a 52 yr old woman, unfortunately very out of shape (& overweight).  But other than that I'm pretty healthy..no other health issues at all...although my Dr says my blood pressure is slightly high and I need to loose weight.
So about 2 weeks ago my daughter and I started to go to the gym.  I don't overdo it....and only walk (fast for me) on the treadmill etc.  But at least I'm doing something.  Anyway about the same time I realized that I have extreme pain in my left knee (slightly to the left side) when I kneel on it.  I first felt it just leaning against the bath tub to reach the other side while cleaning, it is extremely sharp almost like a knife being stuck in my knee (I thought I'd broken something).  But other than a burning sensation for a while afterward it went away.  Then a few days later I actually had to kneel to do something and Holy Cow I almost keeled over with the pain.  But again it doesn't last long and then it's gone.  I can walk, go up/down stairs okay and poking/proding my knee doesn't appear to hurt either.
So needless to say it sure would be nice if someone could let us know what's going on.
Avatar universal
I, too, have that same pain in my right knee (sort of to the lower right of my kneecap) - I'm a 33 yr old woman, out of shape and overweight, but I work on staying active.  I play volleyball, participate in water aerobics, golf and walk on my treadmill.  I first noticed the pain while DH and I were engaged in some, ah, bedroom fun ;) .  We had previously decided that we need to replace our mattress, so when I first felt the stabbing pain, I thought that a spring had come undone, but that turned out not to be the case.  I don't have any pain in my knee other than when I kneel on it.  It's been almost a month now and there hasn't been any subsidence in the pain.  It's starting to put a crimp in said bedroom fun, which neither DH nor I is (are?) happy about it.  Plus spring yard season is right around the corner - I want to cry when I think about trying to kneel for weeding and planting.  I suppose one of these days I'll break down and go see my doc.  I'll let you know if I get any definitive answers.    
Avatar universal
I left a post a month ago and returned to post an update. I went to the Doc and they believe it is a type of tendinitis. There are lots of tendons around the knee, but the Doc sees it as "patellar tendonitis" and said it may be from riding the stationary bike with the resistance too high. I asked why it hurt only when kneeling, and he said when the knee is bent, you're stretching the tendon and then placing weight right on it, and the combination "probably" causes the pain. Anyway, I was told to do RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation), so when I exercise--even walking for an extended period--I will RICE it. It's been three weeks now it feels a bit better, but if I put the full weight on it, it will still hurt. I had tendinitis in my left elbow (tennis elbow) and it took years to heal. (Of course, I don't have a therapist or trainer to make sure I always RICE myself.) Since I use my knees as often as I use my elbow, I figure this will take a long time to heal too. I can only speak for myself, and everyone should see their own doctor. Just wanted to share my experience.
Avatar universal
It took quite awhile but the pain gradually receded and now hardly nothing at all. I still believe it was a mild version of water on the knee. Not enough to restrict movement, but enough to cause fluid (hydraulic) pressure when kneeling on the area containing the fluid. Hope everyone else has the same results. Incidentally, my daughter told me she had the same problem a while ago and it eventually went away also.
Avatar universal
My knee pain began about 5 years ago after roller skating on a big ramp. At that time I was about 27 and thought I was still 15. After a week of repetitve bails from sometimes over 8-feet onto my poor knees ( I did wear protective gear:knee pads ect..) well, I got better at it, and fell less and less.
A short time after while kneeling on the tile floor in my living-room I felt this pain for the first time. A very intense, sharp, brief pain just as said above (glass,nails,screws,chipped bone,knife) it knocked me on my back as I lied clueless on the floor. This pain was so sudden and intense that you could almost visualize the penetration of a foreign objet into the knee, but to my surprise  there was nothing there, and the pain had gone away as fast as it had come.
I've had this occaisonal pain (only when kneeling full weight) in both knees for the last 5 years and it hasn't gotten any better since. It is something bareable in the sense that I don't spend my time kneeling on hard surfaces, but when I forget about it...well I make my familly laugh as I dive to the side and even sometimes flat on my face...because it really really hurts. I've hurt myself in so many ways that I could dub myself an ambassador of pain and this is one of the most intense forms of pain I've ever felt, yet brief and it doesn't ache after unless I kneel back onto them.
Other than that my legs and knees work perfectly without the slightest pain. When standing, the painful area is hidden away in my knee's articulation and cannot be reached in any way. But if I am to bend my knee about 50 degrees it becomes accessable. And if I pressure massage it I get a numb tingling sensation somewhat like when you bump your funnybone (elbow).
Well I thought I'd share this with you because it happened again this evening so I googled my way here to see if I could figure this out.
Sorry for such a long post...
Avatar universal
I posted a comment back in Feb and wanted to also give an update.  I was somewhat heavily exercising (elliptical and aerobics classes) back in November/December 08 when I first noticed the pain.  I have since stopped the elliptical and aerobics and no longer have the pain. (I did keep up with other types of exercising - such as strength training - and basic exercises - just didn't do anything that might affect that area.) I did mention it to my doctor back in March even though I didn't have the recurrence of the pain much at all.  She indicated to put heat on the affected area which I did for about a week.  At that time (end of April 09) I didn’t have the pain at all and will slowly get back into the elliptical and possibly aerobics to determine if that is what set off the knife-stabbing pain.  All of these comments have been very interesting and I have really found this forum on the knee pain to be a terrific source of information!  Will keep you posted as I get back into the heavier exercising.    P.S. – it took me some time to get this posted and in the meantime I have been using the stairmaster almost daily for over 2 months – still no sign of the pain.  I have yet to get back into aerobic type of exercise (jumping) and the elliptical.  Will keep you posted.
Avatar universal
Hi, I found this the same way most of you probably did by doing a search on pain only when kneeling. As I read down the list of replies I had hoped for a clear answer but I am still not sure that heat , ice etc. will help. I am female and 45 and the pain started a few years ago. I thought at first that I was getting the pain because of an old fall since only my right knee was affected but now my left knee hurts when I kneel too. I am overweight but trying to excersise, I follow yoga dvd's and do fine untill childs pose or plank on knees which I can hold for all of half a second before I have to roll to the side. It's hard to understand why so many people seem to suffer with this but no one has a real answer as to why.  I will keep coming back here with the hope that some kind soul will find a way to cope with if not cure this pain.
Avatar universal
I`m new and saw posts about sharp knee pain I`m 56 and over weight and have had pain in my knees but my right knee has been the one with the real sharp like getting stabbed with a knife like feeling . Other people posted that it was when they were kneeling mine hurts when i`m sitting or trying to sleep. It does catch and click when I try to move to a different position it has been bothering me for months I have had a cotesone shot in both knees but it really did not help in my right knee. I`ve never had knee surgery. Does anyone else suffer from this or know what it would be. Thank you sherry
1091982 tn?1256942513
I was having similar issues with my knee. The doctor found several loose fragments in between my bones and kneecap. Have you hit your knee or bumped it in any way?
I hope that you get some relief!
Avatar universal
I too get a sharp burning pain in my knees while kneeling. I do not have knee pain when walking or bending my knees in any direction. This started several months back with just a burning sensation in my right knee when I would kneel, like a rug burn.  Now it is a burning pain and in both knees.  My doctor had me get xrays.  Xrays showed mild arthritis in both knees. I'm not convinced this is the problem.  She offered to prescribe physical therapy if I wanted it.  I'm anxious to find out what this is all about.
Avatar universal
I am so happy I found you lot, I've been having this pain too and going crazy thinking what could be wrong. IT only happens when I kneel and put weight on it, it stings or feels as if I had an open wound that was stretching open and when I checked, there was no injury. I pressed  and poked around it and felt nothing. Turned it this way and that, no pain. Played badminton and did my pilates, no pain. Only when I kneel on it do I feel pain.
Most of you describe it well and I feel so much better knowing it's something minor. It's called housemaid's knee or Pre-Patellar Bursitis from what I've read.Check here for more info.  http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cybertherapist/front/knee/housemaids_knee.htm
Put ice on it and take some painkillers and anti inflammatory tabs. Here's wishing everyone good health and painless knees.
Avatar universal
So glad to find this post.  I have had that same pain when kneeling, like kneeling on a rock, for months now.  Recently it has started hurting me slightly even when not kneeling and that has me a little concerned.  Have not been vigilent with RICE, but that is my immediate plan.  
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