Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Tender Knee Overview

Another name for Tender Knee is Knee Tenderness.

What is knee tenderness?
A person with tenderness has knee pain that increases when pressing on the surface of the knee joint or moving the joint through its normal range of motion. Knee tenderness may be caused by injury, inflammation or infection. Arthritis is the number one cause of persistent knee tenderness.

What symptoms are associated with knee tenderness?
Symptoms that can occur with knee tenderness include joint stiffness, joint swelling, joint redness, joint warmth, knee pain, and joint deformity.

How does the doctor diagnose knee tenderness?
The doctor will often suspect the underlying cause for tenderness after taking your history and performing an examination. Testing is often required to confirm the diagnosis. Commonly performed tests include blood tests such as uric acid, CBC, ESR, Lyme disease assay, and rheumatoid factor. Other tests include x-rays of the knee, and in some cases, MRI scanning of the knee. If a knee joint is swollen the doctor may obtain a sample of fluid from inside the joint by performing a procedure called arthrocentesis. Arthroscopy is a procedure doctors use to look inside the knee joint to detect evidence for arthritis or injury. Analysis of the fluid can provide information on the underlying cause for the arthritis and joint tenderness.

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