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Try our Knee Pain Symptom Checker if you are not sure what might be causing your knee pain. Simply tick the symptoms that apply to you to view the knee injuries which match your symptoms.
Knee injuries are either acute which means they happened suddenly and are acutely painful or they are chronic or overuse knee injuries which have come on gradually over time. An acute knee injury can become chronic if it is not treated properly, likewise a chronic injury can be classed as acute if it flares up or becomes acutely painful.
Back of knee pain
Common causes of pain behind the knee include Bakers Cyst which is a specific swelling behind the knee caused by another knee injury. Hamstring Tendinitis causes pain behind the knee where the hamstring tendons insert. This is usually an overuse knee injury where the symptoms come on gradually. One knee joint injury which may cause pain in the knee joint as well as pain at the back of the knee is a Posterior Cruciate Ligament injury and is caused by the knee being bent the wrong way through impact or twisting.
Kneecap pain or patella pain occurs at the front of the knee and is also known as anterior knee pain. Pain behind the kneecap could be patella pain syndrome or runners knee as some people call it. In younger female athletes Chondramalacia patella is a common cause of pain under the kneecap.
Pain below the kneecap is usually patella tendonitis or jumpers knee. This and most other causes of anterior knee pain are over use injuries which come on gradually.
A swollen knee is usually a sign of a knee joint injury or knee sprain resulting in damage to knee ligaments and other structures in the knee. The most common knee joint injury is an anterior cruciate ligament sprain or acl injury. A medial knee ligament injury on the inside of the knee can also occur with knee cartilage meniscus injury. A lateral knee ligament injury causes pain on the outside of the knee.
If the swollen knee occurs gradually then arthritis is the most common cause along with Bakers cyst if the swelling is at the back of the knee, although knee synovitis or loose bodies within the knee joint can also occur.
Outside knee pain
The most common cause or lateral knee pain or pain on the outside of the knee is Iliotibial Band Syndrome which is also known as runners knee as it is an overuse injury that comes on during a run.
A lateral ligament sprain and cartilage meniscus injury are both examples of acute knee injuries resulting in lateral knee pain. Knee cartilage inflammation can also cause pain on the outside of the knee and comes on gradually.
Inside knee pain
The most common cause of pain on the inside of the knee or medial knee pain is a medial knee ligament sprain. A bad medial knee sprain can also occur in conjunction with knee cartilage injury or acl sprain. Cartilage inflammation can come on gradually and also be a cause of medial knee pain.
Knee pain in children
Knee pain in children often happens as they grow. Osgood schlatters disease is a painful condition causing pain at the front of the knee where the patella tendon (or patella ligament) attaches to the bumpy bit at the top of the shin bone or tibia.
Running Knee pain
If you run regularly on the roads then you are probably going to suffer knee pain from running at some time or other. Running knee injuries are mostly overuse injuries which develop over time as a result of over training, poor foot biomechanics or incorrect running shoes.
Runners knee is a term used to describe either patella pain syndrome where the kneecap tracks wrongly against the bone underneath causing kneecap pain or Iliotibial band syndrome which causes pain on the outside of the knee as the long tendon rubs over the bone on the outside of the knee. These two over use running injuries are most common along with patella tendinitis or jumpers knee which causes pain at the bottom of the kneecap.