Knee Injuries

If you are not sure what your knee injury is then why not check out our symptom checker? Knee injuries are categorized by:

Acute knee injuries

Medial meniscus tear is a tear to the cartilage meniscus on the inside of the knee usually from trauma or twisting of the knee and often in conjunction with a medial ligament sprain. Pain is be felt on the inner surface of the knee along the joint line. Swellingmay occur within 48 hours of injury.

Lateral meniscus tear is a tear to the cartilage on the outside of the knee. Pain is usually felt along the joint line with swelling developingwithin 24 to 48 hours. Bending the knee or squatting may also reproduce knee pain.

MCL sprain or medial collateral ligament sprain or tear of the medial ligament on the inside of the knee.

ACL sprain or anterior cruciate ligament injury occurs from a sudden twisting or trauma to the knee. Symptoms include pain in the knee with immediate swelling. An audible pop or crack at the time of injury and a feeling of instability.

Articular cartilage injury is damage to the tough cartilage that lines the ends of bones. There may be locking of the knee due to loose bodies floating within the joint.

PCL sprain or posterior cruciate ligament injury occurs when the knee is bent back the wrong way. Symptoms typically include pain which over time may also be felt in the calf region. There may be swelling and instability of the joint.

Patella dislocation is a dislocation of the knee cap, usually round the outside of the knee joint. Pain will be felt immediately at the time of injury and there is likely to be swelling in the joint with an obvious displacement of the kneecap. Often the kneecap may briefly dislocated and then return to its normal position

Patella tendon rupture is a tear of the patella tendon or ligament is it is sometimes known and can be partial or complete. Often severe pain is felt just below the knee cap with rapid swelling.

Quadriceps tendon rupture is a tear of the quadriceps or thigh muscle along the top of the knee cap.

Lateral ligament sprain is a tear to the lateral collateral ligament on the outside of the knee. It is often caused by impact on the inside of the knee which stretches the outside of the knee.

Housemaids knee or knee bursitis is a swelling of a bursa or small sack of fluid in the knee. The most common is pre patella bursitis causing swelling on the front of the knee cap.

Acute fat pad impingement is where the infrapatella fat pad becomes impinged under the knee cap usually as a result of hyperextension or the knee bending backwards.

Biceps femoris avulsion occurs when the biceps femoris hamstring muscle tears at the tendon pulling a small piece of bone away with it. Symptoms include sudden pain at the back of the knee where the tendon inserts along with swelling.

Tibiofibular joint dislocation occurs most commonly when the athlete sustains an impact or falls with their knee in a fully bent position. It is a dislocation of the tibia and fibula bones at the top near the knee.

Tibial plateau fracture is knee injuries resulting in a fracture of the top of the tibia bone.

Osteochondritis dissecans is a knee injury common in adolescents where a fragment comes away from the surface of the joint. Symptoms can vary considerably but can include joint pain, swelling and locking of the knee.

Quadriceps tendon rupture is a tear of the tendon along the top of the knee cap.

Front knee

Patellofemoral pain occurs when the patella rubs on the bone underneath causing and aching type pain in the knee particularly at the front of the knee around and under the patella. Pain is often worse when walking up and down hills or sitting for long periods of time

Patella tendinitis or jumpers knee is pain in the tendon which attaches the kneecap or patella to the top of the shin bone or tibia, usually from over use but can occur from a rupture which does not heal properly.

Osgood-Schlatters disease mostly affects children and young teenagers and is an over use injury causing pain below the knee cap on the tibial tuberosity or bony bit at the top of the shin.

Fat pad impingement is also sometimes known as Hoffa's syndrome. The fat pad in the knee which is a soft tissue that lies beneath the kneecap gets impinged causing knee pain.

Synovial plica irritation is sometimes confused with patellofemoral pain. Symptoms include a sharp pain at the front inside edge of the kneecap which may also also be felt towards the back of the patella. The synovial plica may sometimes feel like a thickened band under the inside of the kneecap.

Pre-patella bursitis, also known as housemaids knee or knee bursitis is a swelling of the bursa or small sack of fluid at the front of the knee cap.

Quadriceps tendinopathy is an over use injury causing pain along the top of the kneecap during and after exercise. The patient is likely to feel stiffness the day after training and have pain when standing from a crouched position.

Infrapatella bursitis symptoms include pain at the front of the knee with swelling over the area of the infrapatella bursa,  similar to that of jumper's knee.

Patellofemoral instability involves the patient having a sensation of their kneecap slipping away or feeling loose on movement of the knee.

Sinding-Larson-Johansson affects adolescents resulting in include pain at the front of the knee which gets worse during and after exercise. The bottom the kneecap will be particularly tender to touch.

Osteochondritis dissecans is a knee injury which is common in adolescents where a fragment comes away from the surface of the joint.

Slipped capital femoral epiphysis occurs when there is a fracture at the neck or top of the thigh bone. It is more common in boys aged 11 to 16 years old and occurs gradually over a period of time.

Perthes' disease affects children, most commonly aged between four and eight, but can also occasionally occur in younger children and teenagers. Symptoms include tiredness and pain in the groin and sometimes in the knee even though it is a disease of the hip

Outside knee

Iliotibial band friction syndrome is an over use injury where the long tendon on the outside the the thigh rubs on the outside of the knee. Pain and inflammation comes on some time into a run and gets gradually worse.

Lateral meniscus injury is an injury to the cartilage meniscus on the outside of the knee. Pain that comes on gradually as opposed to an acute meniscus tear is due to degeneration of the cartilage.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome occurs when the kneecap rubs on the bone underneath. Pain is usually felt at the front of the knee but can occur on the outside border of the kneecap.

Osteoarthritis in the knee is wear and tear of the knee joint. A deep aching pain in the outside of the knee is experienced. Stiffness in the joint is common, particularly in the morning however this may reduce with movement.

Biceps femoris tendinitis or tendinopathy causes pain where the tendon inserts on the outside back of the knee.

Proximal tibiofibular joint sprain or dislocation occurs when the tibia and fibula bone separate at the top near the knee.

Synovitis of the knee occurs when the synovial membrane which lines and lubricates the knee joint, becomes inflamed causing pain, swelling, inflammation and stiffness in the joint.

Inside knee

Patellofemoral pain occurs when the patella rubs on the bone underneath causing and aching type pain in the knee particularly at the front of the knee around and under the patella.

Medial meniscus injury is an injury to the cartilage meniscus on the inside of the knee. It is more often an acute injury but can occur gradually through degeneration of the knee, particularly in older athletes.

Pes anserinus tendinopathy is inflammation of a tendon on the inside of the knee. it has similar symptoms to medical meniscus injury. Pes anserinus bursitis is inflammation of a small sack of fluid behind the tendon.

Medial ligament injury is a sprain, tear or stretching of the medial ligament on the inside of the knee. It is more often an acute injury but can occur gradually through overuse.

Osteoarthritis or wear and tear in the joint can also cause symptoms on the inside of the joint.

Slipped capital femoral epiphysis occurs when there is a fracture at the neck or top of the thigh bone. It is more common in boys aged 11 to 16 years old and occurs gradually over a period of time.

Back of the knee

Bakers cyst is a prominent golf ball sized swelling at the back of the knee which comes on gradually and can have a number of causes.

Biceps femoris tendinopathy is inflammation or degeneration of the biceps femoris hamstring muscle as it inserts into the back of the knee.

Popliteus tendinopathy is injury to the small popliteus muscle at the back of the knee. Pain will be reproduced when the knee is bent against resistance whilst the lower leg or tibia bone is rotated outwards.

Gastrocnemius tendinopathy is inflammation or degeneration of the tendon of the big calf muscle where it originates at the back of the knee. It is also known as tennis leg.

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