ZocdocAnswersWhat could cause a numbing sensation in my knee?

Question

What could cause a numbing sensation in my knee?

I was playing football with some friends and I noticed afterward my knee was swollen and I had no feeling around the knee cap area. It feels warm to the touch and the area outside of that tingles. It is just my right knee. I'm a male 19 and I never played football in high school so this has me concerned.

Answer

A swollen knee following a sports injury is a very common occurrence and has many potential causes. Depending on the nature of your injury, you may have torn a piece of cartilage or one of the ligaments in the knee. These types of injury are often associated with a lot of initial inflammation, which causes swelling in the area. Instability of the knee when you are walking or a "popping" sound heard at the time of injury can be clues that you may have suffered a ligament injury. The sensation that the knee is clicking or "catching" when you try to fully flex or extend it can signify a tear in the cartilage lining the joint. If you suffered a direct blow to the front of the knee, you may have also fractured your knee cap (i.e. patella), which could also cause some local swelling and altered sensation in the surrounding area. Pain that is brought about by pushing on the knee cap is one clue that this type of injury may have occurred. In any case, you should seek care from your primary care physician or an orthopedic surgeon to be further evaluated with a thorough physical exam and potentially imaging studies.

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

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