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Knee Pain

Kelly Cunningham, MD -  - Regenerative Medicine Specialist

Austin Ortho + Biologics

Kelly Cunningham, MD

Regenerative Medicine Specialist & Sports Medicine Specialist located in Austin, TX

Knee pain can, and sometimes should, stop you in your tracks. Pain is one way your body lets you know there’s a problem that needs some attention. Kelly Cunningham, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who leads the team at Austin Ortho + Biologics in Austin, Texas. He’s a recognized expert in knee pain and the conditions that cause it. Don’t do further damage to your knee by “working” through the pain. Instead, call Dr. Cunningham today for an appointment or book your visit online.

Knee Pain

What causes knee pain?

The causes of knee pain are as diverse as the patients experiencing it. Dr. Cunningham uses a detailed review of symptoms to help identify the cause, which includes where and when you experience the pain and what relieves your pain.

For instance, the pain felt at the anterior or front aspect of your knee may be due to problems with your kneecap (patella), such as patella tendinitis. When your pain is at the back of your knee, you may be experiencing hamstring tendonitis that’s causing discomfort in your knee region.

Dr. Cunningham also completes a comprehensive knee exam as well as diagnostic tests, such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other advanced imaging studies, to further determine what condition(s) may be causing your symptoms.

Other common causes of knee pain include:

  • Ligamentous injuries, such as an ACL tear
  • Arthritis
  • Iliotibial band syndrome
  • Cartilage injuries, such as a torn meniscus
  • Fracture
  • Dislocated kneecap

What other symptoms might indicate a problem with my knee?

Signs and symptoms that may indicate a problem with your knee and might occur with or without significant pain include:

  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Redness and warmth in the knee area
  • Weakness or instability in your knee
  • Popping or crunching noises when you move your knee
  • Inability to fully straighten your knee


You may also experience pain with kneeling, running, or walking that decreases when you rest your knee. Sometimes arthritis can cause stiffness in the morning that gradually decreases as you get up and move around. Problems in your feet or ankles can throw your gait out of alignment, which can cause knee, hip, and lower back pain.

What are the treatments for knee pain?

Dr. Cunningham recommends treatment based on the nature and severity of your knee pain, as well as the joint damage he notes on exam and testing.

When you experience sudden knee pain during an activity, Dr. Cunningham recommends his patients follow the P.R.I.C.E. protocol, which stands for:

  • Protect the knee by ceasing the activity
  • Rest the knee by refraining from exercise and other activity that may aggravate it
  • Ice the knee as soon as possible after the injury occurred and then for 15-20 minutes several times a day over 72 hours
  • Compression bandages to the knee to help reduce swelling
  • Elevate the knee above your heart to decrease swelling