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Sports Medicine

Pain in the knee back of the knee



I am a runner and bicyclist. I hurt my knee when I crashed on my bicycle the other day but I continued my ride with some pain. The next morning the knee was swollen up and I could not bear to put the full weight on the knee. The pain is focused on the back side of the knee and when I walk I feel my knee popping out of place and there is also some noise. Should I rest my knee or do other stuff?


You may be familiar with the following mnemonic, which is usually appropriate during the initial stages following an injury or the onset of symptoms:

P - Protection from further injury;
R - Relative rest, which means remaining as active as your symptoms allow (cross-training, daily activities, etc.) while minimizing symptoms as much as possible;
I - Ice application periodically to reduce pain and control swelling;
C - Compression, such as by using an elastic bandage or knee sleeve, again to reduce pain and control swelling; and
E - Elevation, ideally above the level of your heart.

If you continue to have symptoms which limit your activities, consider consulting with your physician who can perform a complete history and physical examination, and also determine whether information from imaging studies is necessary to determine the best course of treatment.

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Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University