What are the Treatments for Nerve Damage in the Knee?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 February 2019
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Treatments for nerve damage in the knee depend on the cause of the nerve damage. In many cases, the damage is caused by some sort of trauma or daily habit that puts excess pressure on the nerve or nerves that service the area. Identifying the cause can help a sufferer come up with an effective plan for reducing pain and swelling and restoring mobility and strength to the affected knee. Such a plan should be developed with the assistance of a doctor or other medical professional. Medications can be prescribed to help relieve pain and reduce swelling.

In many cases of nerve damage in the knee, mobility exercises combined with anti-inflammatory medications or steroids can help alleviate pain and repair damage to the nerve. Very often, nerve damage is caused by some sort of compression that results from a daily habit or injury. Crossing one's legs frequently, for example, can cause compression on the nerve. Sciatica can lead to nerve pain in the knee as well, and compression on the sciatic nerve can occur anywhere from the lower back down to the lower leg. Identifying where the compression is taking place can help alleviate damage due to sciatica, and an examination of the lower back and the legs will probably be in order.


If the nerve damage is causing chronic neurological issues, such as a loss of control of the knee or leg, a medical professional may recommend surgery. This is generally considered a last resort, as surgery can be invasive and lead to other problems. There is further no guarantee that the surgery will fix the neurological issue. Surgery can, however, relieve compression on the nerve in many cases, so it is considered an option for treating nerve damage in the knee.

Tumors or other growths can also cause compression on the nerve, leading to pain and damage to the nerve itself. In such a case, the tumor may need to be removed to alleviate the pain and begin to repair the damage. Other medical conditions can also cause compression that leads to nerve damage; arthritis can lead to swelling of the joint, for example. Other conditions that cause swelling can lead to compression as well, and a healthcare provider will more than likely recommend treating the illness that is causing the swelling or inflammation to help treat the nerve damage.


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Post 5

My godmother had total knee replacement surgery and immediately started physical therapy. However she lacks sensation, pain/feeling in certain parts of her surgery leg including the knee area. This has been the case for as long as she can remember. She was able to walk, stand prior to knee surgery but now cannot do a straight leg raise or straighten her leg from the knee up anymore. She recently had an EMG/NCV and found that she has some nerve irritation in her surgery leg. What should she be doing or not doing to help herself recover?

Post 4

I spent several months in therapy having nerve damage treatment following a nasty fall which twisted my knee.

The first part of my treatment was pretty standard. Exercises, pain killers and so on. I was offered the chance to opt into an alternative medicine treatment program for the second part, which I took.

Although I can't prove that this was the crucial factor in my recovery, I really believe it to be the case. I was a complete newcomer to acupuncture, perhaps even a bit of a sceptic! But it worked really well so I'm now a convert.

For those who hate needles or worry that this treatment is painful - relax. I was able to avoid watching the needles inserted and to be honest I hardly felt them.

Post 3

I have knee pain, but the source of my pain is from years of running. Sometimes when I am sitting, I do get excruciating pain in my knee and I wonder if I am developing arthritis in my knee. I want to switch to another form of exercise, but I haven’t found anything that gives me the same feeling that running does.

My friend swears by Bikram yoga. She says that her body is a lot stronger and she sweats a lot during her yoga session because the room is really hot. She says they do this in order to warm up your muscles before you do the poses. The only reason why I might try it is because my friend was also a runner and because of a knee injury she switched to yoga and has never looked back.

Post 2

@manykitties2 - I'm sorry to hear about your cousin's accident. I had a similar thing happen to me a few years ago when I was playing rugby. I got hit from behind and landed on my knee the wrong way. It was an incredibly painful experience, one I was lucky to have not repeated since.

As for your cousin, I wouldn't worry too much about her treatment for the nerve damage. As far as I can tell, it is a pretty common injury, especially when you play sports. Her motor exercises she'll do in physical therapy should help her get back on her feet in no time. As for the pain, the drugs the doctor will give her will help a lot.

Post 1

My cousin is currently suffering from nerve damage to her knee. She has been pretty active in her adult soccer league, but had a nasty spill a few weeks ago that caused some pretty serious damage to her leg. She wasn't able to walk on her own for quite awhile.

Right now she is going through physical therapy to help her regain full use of her leg. The medications they have given her also seem to be helping quite a bit. I am afraid thought that it is going to be quite some time before she gets back out on to the soccer field. That is really too bad because she was an amazing player. I just hope her physical therapy works so she can play again sometime.

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