Read below about knee numbness, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your knee numbness from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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10 Potential Knee Numbness Causes

  1. 1.Wernicke - Korsakoff Syndrome

    Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a condition that affects the brain due to low vitamin B1 levels. Symptoms can be loss of balance, drowsiness, staggering and confusion. If it persists this can result in memory loss.

    Although this is a chronic condition, treatment can prevent it from worsening.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea or vomiting, leg numbness, feeling confused and not making sense while talking, amnesia, jerky, unsteady, or uncoordinated walk
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  2. 2.Piriformis Syndrome

    Piriformis syndrome is a condition when a muscle spanning the lower spine to the top of the thighbone presses upon the sciatic nerve, causing pain and numbness.

    1-2 months

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pelvis pain, butt pain, pain when passing stools, leg numbness, hip pain
    Symptoms that never occur with piriformis syndrome:
    involuntary defecation, leaking urine
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Stroke or Tia (Transient Ischemic Attack)

    A stroke is a medical emergency. Strokes happen when blood flow to the brain is stopped.

    Indefinite

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    new headache, dizziness, being severely ill, stiff neck, arm numbness
    Symptoms that never occur with stroke or tia (transient ischemic attack):
    bilateral weakness
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service
  4. 4.Lower Leg Weakness

    Any leg weakness is a sign of nerve damage, which is very worrisome and requires you to go see a doctor immediately!

    MISSING

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    lower leg weakness, foot weakness, arm weakness, severe pelvis pain, loss of vision
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  5. 5.Fibromyalgia

    Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes widespread pain, tenderness, and fatigue.

    Fibromyalgia is generally a lifelong condition

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, arthralgias or myalgias, anxiety, depressed mood, headache
    Symptoms that always occur with fibromyalgia:
    arthralgias or myalgias
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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  6. 6.Sciatica

    The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve of the human body, and it runs through the buttock, down the thigh and into the calf, sending information to the muscles in the back of the thigh and leg, as well as the surrounding skin. The sciatic nerve itself is supplied by nerves coming from the spine in the lower back. Sometimes, one of the disks separating the vertebrae (bones of the spine) may bulge out a little bit, putting pressure on one of these nerve roots, causing sciatica, or shooting pain down the sciatic nerve.

    Problem will resolve itself within several weeks in 80-90% of cases.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, numbness in one foot, pain in one leg, numbness in one thigh
    Symptoms that always occur with sciatica:
    back pain that shoots down the leg
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.Traumatic Vertebral Fracture

    Vertebral fracture is a fracture or dislocation of a vertebra that can cause bone fragments to pinch and damage the spinal nerves or spinal cord. Most spinal fractures occur from car accidents, falls, gunshot, or sports.

    Variable depending on severity (months)

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    back pain, constant back pain, severe back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, back pain affecting the spine
    Symptoms that always occur with traumatic vertebral fracture:
    back pain
    Symptoms that never occur with traumatic vertebral fracture:
    mild back pain
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service
  8. 8.Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

    The kneecap (patella) is located directly in front of the thigh bone (femur), and should normally glide freely up and down. In this condition, called patellofemoral pain syndrome, the kneecap may rub against the thigh bone instead of gliding smoothly, causing damage and pain.

    Most people get better within weeks to months of physical therapy.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    knee pain, pain in one knee, knee pain that gets worse when going up stairs, dull, achy knee pain, knee pain that gets worse when squatting
    Symptoms that always occur with patellofemoral pain syndrome:
    knee pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Fibular Nerve Injury

    Fibular nerve damage can be caused by a wide range of conditions, including trauma, surgery, weight loss, and others.

    Depends on underlying cause.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in the distribution of fibular nerve, numbness in fibular nerve distribution, difficulty walking or weakness with foot dorsiflexion
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  10. 10.Herniated (Slipped) Disk in the Lower Back

    The backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. In between the bones are soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place. Although people talk about a slipped disk, nothing actually slips out of place. The outer shell of the disk ruptures, and the jelly-like substance bulges out. It may be pressing on a nerve, which is what causes the pain.A slipped disk is more likely to happen due to strain on the back, such as during heavy lifting, and older individuals are at higher risk.

    The pain associated with a slipped disk usually goes away within six weeks. If the pain lasts longer, consult a doctor. They may send you to see a back specialist for an MRI of your spine, and surgery may be considered.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    lower back pain, moderate back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, back pain that gets worse when sitting, leg weakness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Knee Numbness

  • Q.Have you been experiencing any muscle weakness that is symmetrical (equal on both sides of your body)?
  • Q.Are you having any difficulty walking?
  • Q.Have you lost some or all of your sense of taste?
  • Q.Stick your tongue straight out. Does it:

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our knee numbness symptom checker to find out more.

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Knee Numbness Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced knee numbness have also experienced:

    • 17% Ankle Numbness
    • 12% Tingling Upper Leg
    • 10% Thigh Numbness
  • People who have experienced knee numbness had symptoms persist for:

    • 36% Less Than a Day
    • 26% Over a Month
    • 20% Less Than a Week
  • People who have experienced knee numbness were most often matched with:

    • 12% Stroke or Tia (Transient Ischemic Attack)
    • 7% Piriformis Syndrome
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

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