Feels Like Glass In My Knee When I Kneel (4 Possible Causes)

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If you have a feeling where you think there’s glass in your knee (while kneeling), it could serve as an indication of a knee problem. Some of these knee problems include kneecap dislocation, Bursitis, Osgood-Schlatter, or Iliotibial band syndrome. Each of these symptoms have their causes and solutions, it’s best to visit your doctor if this feeling persists.

Did you know that the knee comprises the most used joints in the body? Being part of the lower skeletal joints facilitates most of our leg movement. We need our knees to function optimally to have a regular daily routine.

But comfort may not always be on our side. This vital joint sometimes causes us a lot of discomfort. Some people may experience pain in the knee, sometimes going to the extreme. People have said that it felt like they had glass in their knees.

The glass would pierce you whenever you tried to bend, and that was precisely how they felt. Patients may not compare this feeling to the typical crunching knee sound we sometimes get. This crunching may not be alarming, and it often disappears after some time on its own.

So, why does it feel like glass in your knee when you bend?

The following knee conditions may be causing you the pain and glass-like feeling you experience in your knee.

1. Bursitis

Our knees have a fluid-filled sac that cushions the knee ligaments, tendons and bones called the Bursa. When the Bursa gets inflamed or irritated, it may create a painful interaction between these knee components.

This inflammation gets termed as Bursitis or the Housemaid’s knee. You will find it difficult to bend, and the pain may be associated with a glass feeling due to the sharp pain. Putting your knee under stress like running or anything causing excessive movement may cause Bursitis.

Other Bursitis symptoms include:

  • Swelling on the knee
  • Pain when you press on the knee
  • Warmth
  • Tenderness
  • Itchiness
  • Uncomfortable when walking or moving the lower leg below the knee

Bursitis has a wide range of factors that may cause it. It may be from a bacterial infection, knee overuse, obesity, or arthritis. This condition may also arise from gout.

This inflammation happens if uric acid fails to get passed in urine and accumulates on the knee, causing inflammation. You should see your doctor once you experience these symptoms since they tend to worsen over time.

Treatment will be more therapeutic if it is not from an infection. You may get antibiotics to treat infection and pain-relieving medication.

Placing ice on the knee, resting the knee, and cushioning to support it will help you feel better sooner.

2. Kneecap dislocation

Our knees have the patella, which acts as a kneecap covering the knee. When this knee cap shifts out of place, then you may get a kneecap dislocation. This condition may result in a glass-like feeling in your knee area when you bend.

If the tendons in the knee that connect the patella to the knee muscles malfunction due to various reasons like an injury, you develop a dislocated kneecap.

This condition will be caused by:

  • Hyperextension of the knee
  • Wrong foot placing after a leg rotation
  • Knee injury

Most people develop an outward kneecap dislocation, while a few develop inward.

Treatment for kneecap dislocation will include the following:

  • You may be prescribed pain-reducing medication.
  • You may get your kneecap manually returned to its location by a doctor.
  • The doctor may require knee surgery to fix your knee tendons and ligaments. This surgery happens after the pain medicines and therapy doesn’t help resolve the problem.

3. Osgood-Schlatter disease

Osgood-Schlatter disease develops when you experience pain below the knee (tibial tuberosity). This condition occurs when the tibial tuberosity gets an inflammation.

This condition may be causing a glass-like feeling in your knee. Often, young athletes will suffer from this condition. However, even if you are not involved in athletics, you may still develop Osgood-Schlatter disease.

It would help if you did not ignore the following symptoms:

  • Pain on the tibial tuberosity region
  • Pain gets worse with physical activity
  • Your quadriceps tightening
  • Having a bony protruding below your knee
  • Pain that prevents you from participating in sports

This condition will result from your bone growth plate getting irritated. If the growth plates get pressured during sports, they may be inflammation. This inflammation will be because these plates are made of cartilage and not bone. Hence they will not be strong enough.

For treatment, if it feels like glass below your knee when bending, then you will start with the non-surgical treatment plan. Here you will need to do icing, limit sporting activities, rest the leg, and use non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs.

You may get a surgical treatment if the conservative method doesn’t work. However, this surgery is recommended only for adults to develop the bone-growth-plates fully.

4. Iliotibial band syndrome

In other cases, patients complaining of the glass feeling in their knee while bending get diagnosed with Iliotibial Band Syndrome. This condition will affect most runners and cyclists.

Did you know we have the Iliotibial band running across our pelvis to our tibia? This band will work to stabilize the knee during flexing and extension.

When this band gets overused, you will experience pain and a glass-like feeling when you bend.

Other symptoms will include:

  • Inflammation
  • Popping sound on the knee during physical activity
  • Needled-like pricks on your leg

If the symptoms persist, iliotibial band syndrome is treated through conservative treatment, medicinal treatment, or surgical procedures.


Why is my knee pain when I kneel on it?

You may be suffering from Bursitis, Osgood-Schlatter disease, or kneecap dislocation.

Why does my knee feel sharp?

Sharp pain from your knee, especially when you bend, may indicate that you suffer from any of the above-discussed knee conditions.

What causes a popping or glass feeling in my knee when I bend?

This popping sound could be a sign you have a kneecap dislocation. As the kneecap shifts from its usual place, it will produce a popping sound in your knee.


No matter the cause of your knee discomfort, you need to see a doctor. Some conditions will be less severe, and you will get treatment at home and feel good within a short period.

I have seen serious cases where someone goes for surgery before getting further serious complications. Therefore, you should seek medical attention whenever it feels like glass in your knee when you bend.

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Nudrat Naheed
Hi, I am Nudrat, The Heart And Brain author, IR student, and painter. Writing about health fascinates me because it helps me to explore a new healthy routine and share it with others. I write primarily about general health, pregnancy, postpartum, and allergies here. If you don't find me writing, I'm busy painting or reading on global politics.

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