ZocdocAnswersWhy does my right knee hurt when I sit or drive, but not when I stand or walk?

Question

Why does my right knee hurt when I sit or drive, but not when I stand or walk?

My right knee hurts on and along the right side of my leg the moment I sit or drive. I can stand or walk and the pain is a lot less. I am 57.

Answer

I'd recommend making an appointment to see your primary care doctor about this issue. Knee pain is a very common health issue, and there are many different potential causes. Your doctor will be able to examine the knee, ask about your symptoms, and help you decide what workup you need to arrive at a diagnosis. One common cause of knee pain is something called patellofemoral pain syndrome. This is an overuse injury to the knee that causes cartilage deterioration under the knee cap. I mention it because one of the common symptoms is pain that is worse with sitting but better with standing. Another common problem in someone your age would be the start of osteoarthritis, or "wear and tear" arthritis, which often affects the big joints such as the knees or hips later in life. Many knee problems can be treated with simple measures, such as exercises or physical therapy together with pain medications as recommended by your doctor. However, some more severe or advanced knee problems might require referral to a specialist, such as an orthopedic surgeon. However, your primary care doctor will be able to help you figure out if a referral is necessary or not.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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