Knee Pain

Knee injuries can be acute (sudden onset) or chronic (gradual onset). Acute knee injuries are usually the result of twisting or a hard impact and will likely involve ligament, tendon or cartilage joint injury. We have categorised gradual onset knee injuries into lateral knee pain (outside of the knee), medial knee pain (inside of the knee), anterior (front of the knee) and posterior (back of the knee).

Here we explain the most common causes of knee pain in sport including injuries that occur suddenly (acute knee injuries) from a direct impact, twisting or collision, or can occur gradually over time, often through overuse (known as chronic knee injuries).

The majority of knee injuries, especially the minor ones can be treated at home. However, here we explain some of the signs or symptoms which might indicate you should seek professional medical advice about your knee injury.

Acute knee injuries

Acute knee injuries usually occur suddenly through either direct trauma or twisting the knee joint. Symptoms usually include immediate pain with swelling and sometimes bruising. The most common acute knee injuries include knee ligament sprains, especially anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament on the inside of the knee as well as damage to cartilage and soft tissues in the joint. It is strongly advised not to carry on playing if you have acute knee pain as this can easily progress to a chronic injury if not treated properly.

Front Knee Pain (Anterior)

Anterior knee pain is pain at the front of the knee which is usually of gradual onset. The two most common causes of pain at the front of the knee are patellofemoral pain and patella tendinitis (Jumpers knee). Osgood schlatters disease affects children between the ages of 8 and 15 years and causes pain just below the knee at the top of the shin bone. Here we outline the causes of pain at the front of the knee as well as important conditions which can sometimes be missed.

Pain Behind The Knee (Posterior)

Posterior knee pain is pain at the back of the knee. Below we outline the most common causes of pain at the back of the knee, less common causes, as well as important conditions and injuries that should not be missed. Biceps femoris tendonitis (hamstring tendonitis) is probably the most common over use injury at the back of the knee although referred pain and various causes of swelling are also likely causes of pain at the back of the knee.

 

Inside Knee Pain (Medial)

Medial knee pain is a pain on the inside of the knee which usually comes on gradually as opposed to a sudden acute knee injury. If you are not sure what your injury is then why not try our symptom checker? Pain on the inside of the knee is usually an acute injury caused by a sudden trauma, however, it can come on gradually over time with poor biomechanics and overuse. Below we outline the most common medial knee injuries as well as some of the less common causes and important conditions which should not be missed.

Outside Knee Pain (Lateral)

Lateral knee pain occurs on the outside of the knee and has come on gradually, as opposed to an acute knee joint or ligament injury. If you are not sure what is causing your pain then why not check out our symptom checker? The most common causes of pain on the outside of the knee are Iliotibial band friction syndrome and Lateral cartilage injuries. Here we explain the most widely seen causes, less common causes of lateral knee pain as well as important injuries that should not be missed.