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Lump in the knee: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The knee is a joint exposed to multiple injuries, especially if you do sports. The most frequent injuries in this region are those related to ligaments and tendons. However, it is also common to see the appearance of lumps in the knee in the front or back of it.

A lump in the knee is a frequent cause of medical consultation that can occur to both men and women. It is the athletes who, for the most part, present this alteration in the knee when having to bear more weight or perform stretches where they force the joint, putting the functioning of the knee at risk.

Therefore, you must continue reading this article by FastlyHeal, where you will learn much more about Knee lumps: causes and treatment.

Causes of knee lump

A lump in the knee can be due to multiple causes, and it is essential to identify them to offer the correct diagnosis and treatment. Possible causes of knee lump include:

  • Knee injuries are caused by impact or movement out of their range.
  • The practice of any sports activity that includes running, jumping, and making changes of direction quickly, such as soccer or some other sport, can affect the joint and generate a bulge in the knee.
  • Overtraining. You can learn more about the Consequences of excessive physical exercise.
  • Exercises performed incorrectly.
  • Muscular weakness.
  • Contracture of the quadriceps muscles .

To know precisely the cause that can cause a knee bulge, it is essential to detect if it appears in the front of the knee or is behind the knee.

Lump in the front of the knee

If the lump is in the front of the knee, it is most likely some kind of lipoma, either arborescent or straightforward. Next, we explain the presence of a lipoma on the knee:

Lipoma simple

It is a fatty mass located in the fibrous capsule of the knee joint. It is a pathology that does not occur very frequently. However, it can appear and cause:

  • Functional limitation of the joint.
  • Increase in volume of the knee.
  • Knee pain and swelling.

Arborescent lipoma

This alteration is evident through pain, inflammation, and functional limitation of the joint, accompanied by an increase in volume in the front part of the knee. The causes of arborescent lipoma can be:

  • Trauma
  • Injury.
  • Illness, such as diabetes.

Consult more information about this possible cause of Lipoma: what it is, causes and treatment.

Lump behind the knee

A lump behind the knee is characteristic of specific, more common injuries such as Gout, Baker’s cyst, and knee bursitis. Next, we will know the possible causes:

The drop

It is a disease that occurs due to the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the tissues, especially in the knee joints. Increased uric acid in the blood is known as Hyperuricemia.

These accumulate and form lesions known as Tophi, which are found under the skin of the knee, causing:

  • Pain.
  • Inflammation.
  • Volume increase.
  • Functional limitation.

If you need more information about Gout, you can consult Gout: causes and treatment.


Obesity and being overweight are two causes capable of triggering the presence of injuries, including the appearance of lumps in the knee due to the excess weight that they have to bear daily in the different daily activities they perform.

Fluid retention

The presence of fluid in the knee can be due to the following causes:

  • Trauma
  • Infections
  • Physical overexertion.
  • Diseases.

The symptoms of fluid retention in the knee can be:

  • Increased volume in the knee.
  • Pain.
  • Stiffness in the knee.
  • Deformity.

Baker’s cyst

Also called a popliteal cyst because it is located in the popliteal region, it is the presence of joint fluid that comes from the capsule that bears the same name. This fluid is responsible for lubricating the knee joint.

When it accumulates, it produces the weakness of the synovial membrane that covers the joint, thus generating the presence of a cyst in the popliteal region behind the knee. This excess fluid gives rise to Baker’s cyst, which causes pain, inflammation, and the presence of a lump in the back of the knee.

Hemangioma synovial

It is a rare increase in volume, which appears at the back of the knee. It occurs in adolescents and young adults, especially in females.

It consists of a vascular alteration located in the joint capsule, in the synovial membrane, or both: this causes a series of symptoms such as pain, increased volume, and functional limitation.

Knee bursitis

Another cause of knee lumps is inflammation, known as bursitis. Specifically, it is the inflammation of a small sac located near the knee joint. This fills with fluid, which causes:

  • Pain and swelling
  • Volume increase.
  • Functional limitation.

You can find more information about possible causes in Pain below the knee: causes and treatment.

Knee lump treatment

In this treatment, the orthopedic surgeon will diagnose the lump in the knee, show the injury through medical tests, and request complimentary studies to help confirm the correct diagnosis.

  • The first thing the specialist will tell you is to rest. It would be best to stop practicing any physical activity you are doing, which could aggravate the existing injury.
  • The application of ice and compression is recommended, either with a bandage or knee brace. In addition to this, you must raise the knee.
  • Your doctor will prescribe medications such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatories for pain and inflammation.

Due to the lump in the knee, you will probably need to see a physical therapist, who will indicate the program to follow, especially stretching and strengthening in the knee joint.

In cases where surgery is required, such as removing a cyst, it should be assessed whether or not this surgical procedure is recommended since the cyst may reappear if the cause that is giving rise to it is not removed. Disturbance. In the case of lipoma, the fatty tissue causing the presence of this lump in the knee must be removed.

Remember, if you suffer from a lump in the knee, it is essential to see your trauma doctor as soon as possible to follow the correct steps to control this alteration and avoid future complications.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Lump in the knee: causes and treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of Bones, joints, and muscles.

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