Knee Injury Symptoms List

Click on any of the symptoms of knee pain below to view a list of injuries which have that particular symptom.
  • Aching knee

    Aching knee can be from a bruise or haemotoma over the patellae. Knee bursitis can also cause aching. Osteoarthritis can also cause knees to ache. Bakers or popliteal cyst can also cause aching of the knee.

  • Audible snap in the knee

    An audible snap can be from a tear or rupture of the anterior cruciate or posterior cruciate ligaments. Snapping of the knee can also be from a patellae dislocation or subluxation. 

  • Bruising on the knee

    Bruising on the knee occurs when bleeding from within the knee joint works its way to the surface. This is usually due to an anterior cruciate (ACL) tear or rupture. It may track down the leg due to the effects of gravity over time.



  • Burning knee pain

    Burning knee pain may be from acute inflammation where the joint or tissues around the joint are hot and inflamed. It may also be caused by neural symptoms and referred from the back.

  • Front knee pain

    Pain at the front of the knee can be from the patellae where it is mal aligned. Pain in front of the knee can be due to a tendonopathy of the quadriceps or patellae tendons where it can be either acute or chronic in nature.

  • Gradual onset knee pain

    Gradual onset of knee pain can occur due to an osteochondral defect (OCD) that is worsening. Gradual onset can become chronic pain in nature and osteoarthritis is a causing factor where the joint surfaces become damaged and both stiffness and pain occurs.

  • Impact to the knee

    Impact to the knee can cause direct trauma creating bruises. Alternatively impact can create forces that injure muscles, ligaments and bones. Enough force in a certain direction can create a valgus or varus movement taking the knee inward or outward.

  • Inside knee pain

    Pain on the inside of the knee can occur suddenly (acute knee injuries) from twisting or impact, or it can occur gradually over time from overuse or degeneration of tissues and structures. Pain on side of knee can be from the main ligament medial collateral ligament (MCL), which can become damaged. 

  • Knee instability

    Knee instability or laxity can be associated with damage to the ligaments that create stability to the knee.  Muscles damage can also create instability due to either weakness or poor contraction. Instability or the feeling of giving way is associated with injuries to the medial or lateral meniscus in the knee joint.

  • Knee joint pain

    Pain in the knee joint is often difficult to localise. The patient may not be able to pinpoint the pain to a specific point. Joint pain in the knee can be from meniscus, plica, or bone damage. Pain in the knee can also be due to swelling, injuries to the bursa or fat pad or from the ligaments.

  • Knee pain kneeling

    Pain in or around the knee when kneeling can be caused by fat pad, bursa or tendon injuries. Conditions such, as housemaids knee where there is fluid or inflammation in and around the pre patellar bursa is common when kneeling. Kneeling pain can also be due to the position of the knee joint if there are issues on the knee surface, with greater flexion causing different areas to meet of the tibia and femur.

  • Knee pain running

    Pain in the knee when running can be caused by numerous factors. It can be muscular, ligamentous, meniscal, biomechanical or from a bone injury. Sometimes overuse injuries occur due to poor ankle stability or weak calves and the knee takes more repetitive load.

  • Knee pain sitting

    Pain in the knee when sitting, often described as an aching in the knee and may be related to patellofemoral pain where the kneecap is inflamed due to rubbing on the bone underneath.

  • Knee pain when squatting

    If you experience knee pain when squatting down then this can be from a number of causes including patella tendon pain, knee cap pain or cartilgage meniscus.

  • Kneecap pain

    Kneecap pain includes tenderness when pressing on, around or below the kneecap. Point tenderness just at the bottom of the patella (kneecap) can be jumpers knee or sinding-larson-johansson lesion (usually in teens). Slightly lower down on the shinbone where there is a prominent lump (tibial tubercle) is likely to be osgood schlatters disease.

  • Local knee swelling

    Local swelling on the knee means swelling at a particular point around the knee rather than a general swelling in the knee joint. This can be at the front of the knee in cases of patella tendinopathy (jumpers knee), osgood schlatters disease or sinding-larsen-johansson lesion. Swelling on the inside of the knee occurs with medial ligament or cartilage injuries.



  • Outside knee pain

    Pain on the outside of the knee or lateral pain can be from the lateral collateral ligament (LCL). Side of knee pain can also indicate an issue with the head of fibula this could be from direct trauma causing a fracture or from the peroneal nerve. Side knee pain can indicate an issue with the iliotibial band (ITB) where friction and tightness can occur.

  • Pain behind knee

    Pain at the back of the knee or pain behind the knee can is often caused by a baker’s cyst. The calf muscles can also cause pain in the back of the knee especially if injured and is more likely to be the gastrocnemius muscle. Pain behind the knee can also be caused from an injury such as a strain to the hamstring muscle group. The popliteal muscle can elicit behind knee pain when tight or injured due to it being the first unlocking mechanism of the knee.

  • Pain below the knee

    Pain below knee either at the top of the shinbone or at the bottom of the kneecap is usually related to the patellae tendon. Injuries such as a tendonopathy or fat pad impingement can cause pain below kneecap. These can be overuse or a direct impact acute injury.

  • Rapid knee swelling

    Knee swelling or an effusion that is rapid is usually through a tear or rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) where a bleed occurs. This can also bleed down into the lower leg. Joint injuries such as meniscal tears or surface damage can also cause rapid knee swelling. Insect bites or infections can also cause rapid swelling to the knee at medical emergency treatment must be sought.

  • Sudden onset knee pain

    Sudden onset of knee pain can be from an injury to the ligaments, meniscus, bones, bursa, or soft tissue. Sudden onset is an acute injury and can be from an impact or direct trauma. In some cases sudden onset can be from medical conditions such a circulatory or neuropathy issue.

  • Swollen knee

    Knee swelling, swollen knee pain, and swelling above the knee can be from several causes. A swollen knee no pain is common and can be from a reaction to a small incident where the capsule becomes irritable. Usually swelling in the knee is due to an injury to the ligaments or meniscus from within the knee joint and capsule such as an anterior cruciate tear or a bucket handle tear to the meniscus.

  • Top of knee pain

    Pain at the top of the knee or along the top of the kneecap is usually from the quadriceps tendon and can be from a tendonopathy or tendonitis. Top of knee pain is occasionally associated with an injury to the base of the patellae (kneecap) through direct trauma.

  • Twisted knee

    Twisted knee pain is common within sports. Pain during and after a twisting of the knee can be sharp, dull, constant or intermittent. This can happen when the foot stays in contact with the floor and the upper body rotates causing an altered directional force. Sometimes it can be from a collision, which causes a twisting of the knee joint.