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The knees are one of the primary load-bearing joints of the body. They are utilized in almost every activity that we undertake and that is why they have a tendency to get damaged or worn out. Problems with the knees are extremely common among older people, however, athletes, dancers and other young people involved in strenuous activity also suffer from knee problems quite often.

Burning Sensation In The Knee

A burning sensation in the knee is a common symptom. It can occur in any part of the knee, however, the top or the kneecap is one of the most commonly affected areas. The back of the knee is the second most common part. Some people can also have the sensation all around their knee, as well as the sides of the legs.

It is speculated that the burning sensation is because of the inflammatory changes that are taking place inside the knee.

What Causes This Burning Sensation?

The burning sensation can be caused by a number of reasons. These include a recent trauma or injury to the knee. This could be the result of a one-time impact as seen in the case of a car accident or a fall or due to repeated injuries as in the case of an athlete.

Another cause for this sensation to occur could be due to a ligament tear in the region. The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is injured very commonly in footballers, runners and other sports as well. This injury is notoriously slow to heal and the chance of a recurrent injury down the line always remains high.

In elderly individuals, the burning sensation is commonly associated with a cartilage tear or osteoarthritis. The knee would be subject to the development of frequent swellings if this is the case. Other joints are also likely to be affected if arthritis associated with old age is the primary cause.

There is also something called as Iliotibial Band Syndrome. This is something that affects runners most commonly. Here the bands connected the ilia and the tibia are inflamed. The patient will characteristically complain of a burning sensation down the sides of the leg.


Your doctor will start of with a thorough medical history, do a clinical examination and then order a few scans to pinpoint the main underlying cause.  A few blood tests may also need to be done along with the MRIs and X-rays.


The treatment specifics will depend upon the diagnosis, however, some amount of rest, ice therapy, elevating the knee and using it minimally are parts of most treatment protocols. You may also be required to wear a knee brace to help speed up your recovery.

Severe injuries, advanced arthritis, and a few other conditions frequently require surgery. The large majority of the patients report relief after getting surgical intervention, however, the chronic nature of the disease means that some precautions and limitations will have to be imposed life-long.

It is important to not ignore the burning sensation felt in the knee and report to your doctor at the earliest possible time.

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