Why Does My Knee Hurt When I Bend It?

Taking a simple walk shouldn’t be hindered by knee pain, yet many people experience discomfort when bending their knees during everyday activities. 

This pain can range from a persistent dull ache to a sharp stabbing sensation, leaving you wondering: Why does my knee hurt when I bend it and walk?

This common issue can have various causes, from minor overuse to more serious conditions. Understanding the root cause of this pain and discomfort is essential for finding effective relief. 

In this blog, we’ll explore the various causes and factors that can contribute to knee pain when bending and discuss treatment strategies to help you alleviate discomfort and regain mobility.

why does my knee hurt when i bend it and walk - Dr Hesham Al Khateeb

Why Does My Knee Hurt When I Bend It and Straighten It?

Knee pain when bending and straightening can have various causes, ranging from minor issues like overuse or muscle strain to more serious conditions like ligament tears or arthritis. Here are some potential reasons why your knee might hurt when you bend it:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Meniscus Tears
  • Knee bursitis
  • Ligament strain
  • Tendonitis
  • Iliotibial (IT band) syndrome
  • Bone fracture or dislocation
  • Injury or trauma to the joints or ligaments of the knee
  • Patellofemoral syndrome
  • Baker’s cyst

How to Treat Pain When Bending the Knee?

Treating knee pain when bending often involves a combination of approaches, which depends on the underlying cause and severity of the pain. Here are some common treatment options:

Conservative Treatments
  • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation): Resting the knee and applying ice packs can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Compression with a bandage and elevating the knee above heart level when possible can further aid in reducing swelling.
  • Pain Medication: To alleviate pain and swelling, you may consider taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) to help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can develop a personalized exercise plan to improve muscle strength around the knee, improve flexibility, and correct any biomechanical issues contributing to the pain. 
  • Orthotics: Orthotics are inserts placed inside shoes to stabilize the ankle and foot. They can help correct alignment issues and provide support to the foot and ankle, reducing stress on the knee joint and alleviating pain.
  • Immobilization:  In cases of severe injury or instability, the knee is immobilized with a brace, splint, or cast. This measure will help protect your knee and prevent you from moving it, helping alleviate pain and healing.
Surgical Treatments

If your condition fails to improve with nonsurgical treatments, knee surgery may be necessary. Some common surgical options for knee pain include:

  • Arthroscopic Surgery: This minimally invasive procedure involves inserting a small camera called an arthroscope into the knee joint through small incisions to diagnose and treat various knee problems, such as cartilage tears, and meniscal tears.
  • Partial or Total Knee Replacement: A surgical procedure to replace damaged knee joint surfaces with artificial components to alleviate pain and improve function. In partial knee replacement, only the damaged part of the knee is replaced with an artificial implant, while in total knee replacement, the entire knee joint is replaced.
  • Meniscus Repair or Removal: If a meniscus tear is causing the knee pain, the surgeon may repair the torn meniscus tissue if possible. In cases where the tear is irreparable, they may remove the damaged part of the meniscus.
  • ACL Repair: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair surgery involves reconstructing the torn ACL, which connects the thigh bone to the shinbone. This procedure aims to restore stability to the knee joint, which is especially important for activities involving twisting, pivoting, and jumping.
  • Multi-ligament Repair: In cases where multiple ligaments in the knee are damaged, surgery may involve repairing or reconstructing two or more ligaments to restore stability and function to the knee.

How Can I Prevent Knee Pain When Bending?

  • Avoid or limit movements that cause knee discomfort.
  • Do low-impact activities like biking or swimming to stay active while reducing pressure on your knee.
  • Prior to exercising, ensure to warm up and cool down adequately to safeguard your muscles and reduce injury risk.
  • If overweight, consider losing weight as excess weight can strain the knee and heighten pain risk.
  • Make it a habit to stretch regularly to loosen tight muscles and improve flexibility.
  • Add strength training exercises into your routine to help build knee stability.
  • When working on your knees, use knee pads to shield your kneecaps and alleviate pressure.
Why Does my Knee Hurt when I Bend it - Dr Hesham Al Khateeb

Consult Dr. Hesham Al-Khateeb for Knee Pain Treatment

Understanding the reasons behind knee pain when bending is crucial for effective management and treatment. Whether it’s due to overuse, injury, or underlying conditions like arthritis, seeking professional help is essential for accurate diagnosis and personalized care. 

If you’re experiencing persistent knee pain, reach out to Dr. Hesham Al-Khateeb, a leading surgeon specializing in hip and knee replacements in Dubai. With his wealth of experience and expertise, Dr. Hesham can provide comprehensive evaluation and tailored treatment plans to alleviate your knee pain and help you regain mobility and quality of life. 


If it hurts at the back of your knee while bending, it’s likely due to tendonitis, baker’s cyst, or knee injury. Consult a knee surgeon for treatment.

The sensation of a knee injury can vary depending on its cause. It might manifest as sharp, shooting pain, a dull ache, or a burning sensation. Swelling and tenderness to the touch are common symptoms of knee surgery. Additionally, you may experience difficulty bending, straightening, or putting weight on your knee.

If your knee cap hurts when you bend it, it’s likely due to patellofemoral pain syndrome, tendonitis, knee bursitis, or patellar fracture. Consult a knee surgeon for diagnosis and treatment.

Fixing your pain may include a combination of RICE, light physical activity, and strengthening the muscles around the knee. You also may need medication, physical therapy, or surgery.

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