Do you feel any discomfort or pain in your knees? As we resume our regular activities and sports after the pandemic, knee injuries have become a common problem, especially after long periods of inactivity. Although most knee injuries do not require surgery, it is important to be aware of any symptoms that indicate a more severe issue and seek advice from a knee injury specialist. Here are some symptoms to watch for:


When your knee sustains an injury, it’s natural for some fluid to accumulate around the area as part of the body’s healing response. This initial swelling is usually mild and subsides with rest and elevation. However, if you notice a significant increase in swelling within a few hours of the injury, it could be a sign of a more serious underlying issue, such as a fracture or a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). In such circumstances, the swelling may cause excruciating pain and restricted mobility. 

Popping Sound

If you hear a loud, popping sound coming from your knee after a fall or awkward landing, it might indicate a torn ligament. This type of injury can cause sudden, sharp pain and instability in your knee joint. Ignoring this symptom can lead to long-term problems and compromise your knee’s function and stability, which may affect your overall mobility and quality of life. It’s important to seek medical attention if you experience this type of injury.

Inability to Bear Weight

If you are feeling intense pain and discomfort while trying to put pressure on your injured leg, it could be a sign of a serious knee injury. There may be a number of underlying causes for this inability to bear weight, such as ligament tears, fractures, or meniscus injuries.

Knee Giving Out or Buckling

A sudden knee buckling during activities like twisting or jumping may indicate a ligament injury. Ligaments provide stability to the knee joint, and their damage can lead to instability and impaired joint functioning.

Locked Knee

Sometimes, a torn piece of the meniscus can get stuck in the knee joint, which can make it difficult to move the knee normally. This condition is called a locked knee, and it can cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility. The knee may not be able to fully extend or flex. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to fix the meniscus tear and restore proper knee function.

Inability to Fully Extend the Knee

It is normal to experience minor knee discomfort and stiffness after injuries. However, if you can’t completely extend your knee, it may indicate a more severe underlying issue, such as a patellar dislocation, a torn ACL, or a meniscus tear. These conditions can significantly impact knee function and mobility and cause persistent pain and instability. It is important to seek early intervention to facilitate a smoother recovery process and improve long-term outcomes for your knee health.

Consult a Skilled Doctor at Pacific Crest Orthopedics If you’re uncertain about the seriousness of your knee injury and would like a specialist’s opinion, contact our office at 415-923-0944 for a consultation. We offer telehealth options over the phone for your initial consultation, if preferred.