Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Anatomy

Knee Stiffness Overview

What is knee stiffness?
A person with knee stiffness has decreased range of motion of the knee, or feels resistance when moving the knee joint. Knee stiffness may be caused by injury, inflammation, or irritation of the knee joint. Knee stiffness is common in those who have arthritis.

What are the symptoms of knee stiffness?
Symptoms of knee stiffness include knee pain, knee swelling, knee tenderness, and bruising of the knee. More serious symptoms include fever, severe knee pain, and redness of the skin overlying the knee joint.

How does the doctor treat knee stiffness?
Treatment of knee stiffness depends on the underlying cause. Treatment may include rest, elevation, cold compresses, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Some may benefit from antibiotics, crutches, and an elastic wrap to the knee.

Continue to Knee Stiffness Anatomy

Last Updated: Feb 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Knee Stiffness References
  1. Bijlsma JW, Knahr K. Strategies for the prevention and management of osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2007 Feb;21(1):59-76. [17350544]
  2. Jackson JL, O'Malley PG, Kroenke K. Evaluation of acute knee pain in primary care. Ann Intern Med. 2003 Oct 7;139(7):575-88. [14530229]
  3. Laskin RS, Beksac B. Stiffness after total knee arthroplasty. J Arthroplasty. 2004 Jun;19(4 Suppl 1):41-6. [15190548]
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