What You Need To Know
- The most common causes of knee pain are related to aging, injury or repeated stress on the knee.
- Common knee problems include sprained or strained ligaments, cartilage tears, tendonitis and arthritis.
- Diagnosing a knee injury or problem includes a medical examination and usually the use of a diagnostic procedure such as an x-ray, MRI, CT scan or arthroscopy.
- Both non-operative and surgical treatment options are available to treat knee pain and problems depending on the type and severity of the condition.
Knee Pain Diagnosis Chart
Reviewed by: KPE Medical Review Board
A knee pain diagnosis chart can be a really useful tool to help you work out why you have pain in your knee. There are lots of different structures in and around the knee that can cause pain.
Knowing what typicallycauses pain in each area of the knee makesit easier to reach an accurate knee pain self diagnosis.
We have therefore devised these two knee pain location charts so that you can see what causes pain in the parts of the knee.
What Are Different Types Of Knee Pain
There are different types of knee pain, depending on the root cause. The most common type of knee pain is due to overuse or injury, such as from playing sports. Other common causes of knee pain include arthritis, gout, and bursitis. Treatment for knee pain depends on the cause. For example, if the pain is due to arthritis, treatment may involve taking medication or having surgery.
Over one-third of all Americans have felt pain in their major joint at some point in their lives. It can be sharp, dull, burning, or excruciatingly painful, accompanied by a strange noise or silence. If you wake up with a painful and stiff knee but begin to experience some relief in the morning, you may be suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The protective cartilage that protects the ends of your leg bones is worn down as a result of osteoarthritis. As a result, the bone rubbing against each other can cause pain, swelling, and loss of motion. This type of knee injury is caused by a tear to the anterior cruciate ligaments. In fact, gout is the most common type of arthritis in the big toe. When you bend or kneel over time, you may irritate the bursa in the knees, resulting in gradually worsening symptoms. Injury is a less common cause of abscesses, but it can still occur.
The most common cause of knee pain is a combination of old age, injury, or repeated stress on the knee. In general, knee problems include sprains and strains of ligaments, cartilage tears, tendonitis, and arthritis.
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G Generalized Knee Pain
1. Knee Osteoarthritis
Knee osteoarthritis is a severe form of knee joint arthritis that develops from gradual wear and tear over many years.
This is most common in older adults. Its thought that a prior history of one or more knee injuries, could make you more susceptible to develop knee osteoarthritis.
Repetitive stress on the knee or natural anatomical abnormalities can increase chances of developing knee osteoarthritis.
Additionally, being overweight or obese can place additional stress and strain on the knees and add susceptibility to developing arthritic changes.
A general, deep ache in the knee is common with knee osteoarthritis. The knee will feel stiff in the mornings and when initiating standing after prolonged sitting.
There may be reduced knee range of motion and decreased strength. Pain may come and go and remain constant, depending on how severe the arthritic changes are.
Prolonged walking, standing, squatting and stair climbing usually painful.You may also notice intermittent swelling and warmth around the knee.
2. Inflammatory Arthritis
Inflammatory arthritis is an umbrella term for a group of conditions that develop from an overactive immune system.
Conditions under this category can include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, ankylosing spondylosis, and gout.
Some autoimmune diseases will have inflammatory arthritis as a symptom rather than the sole diagnosis, such as with lupus.
3. Knee Bursitis
How Do You Check Yourself For A Torn Meniscus
A McMurray test is commonly used to determine the source of a torn meniscus. Your doctor will straighten and rotate the knee after it has been bent. Tension is created as a result of this process. If you have a tear in your knees anterior joint, this movement may cause pain, clicking, or a clunking sensation.
Meniscus tears, as opposed to knee trauma, can be caused by other factors. They are caused by an aging process in which cartilage wears away over time. It is only a matter of contacting a medical professional to determine the cause of your injury. However, there are some warning signs of a possible tear to the knee. After a knee injury, the majority of people are capable of putting weight on the affected knee and walking normally. It may take a few days for pain, swelling, and stiffness to set in as the body adjusts to the new sensation. People are sometimes uneasy when they hear the popping and locking noises of their knees, but this is unavoidable when they have more severe injuries.
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Torn Meniscus Surgery: The Best Option For Pain Relief
For patients who have arthritis and a tear in the knees torn anterior segment, tearing the anterior segment is often the best option. Surgery typically relieves pain while allowing the patient to maintain normal function of the knee. It is also possible to avoid joint problems in the long run by having surgery performed on the joint. If you are planning on undergoing surgery, you should exercise as prescribed by your doctor and move gently.
Overuse Injuries To The Knee
- Overuse Injuries occur when there is repeated or prolonged pressure on the knee.
- Activities such as skiing, biking, jogging, or jumping are a few examples of causes of overuse knee problems.
- Overuse injuries happen over time.
- Overuse injuries occur when there is repeated stress on the joints
- Overuse injuries lead to irritation and inflammation to the knee.
Overuse injuries of the knee include:
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Pain Gradually Came On
A gradual onset of knee pain usually indicates an underlying problem that may have been there for a while without you realising. Sometimes, the knee will cope with a developing problem for so long, and then for no obvious reason will start being uncomfortable. It may be knee arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis or wear and tear
In theCommon Knee Conditionssection we look at common knee problems, what causes them, typical knee symptoms and how to treat them.
Knee injuries are often caused by:
- A Force Through The Knee e.g. from a fall or a tackle or
- Sudden Deceleration e.g. stopping suddenly causing the leg to bend too far backwards
- Twisting e.g. skiing
These most commonly result in knee injuries to theligaments and/or cartilage.Pain is usually instant, or certainly comes on within 24-48 hours and may be accompanied by swelling and bruising.
Visit theCommon Knee Injuriessection to find out more including symptoms and treatment options for different injuries to help you make an accurate knee pain diagnosis.
Brief Anatomy Of The Knee
The knee is a vulnerable joint that bears a great deal of stress from everyday activities, such as lifting and kneeling, and from high-impact activities, such as jogging and aerobics.
The knee is formed by the following parts:
Tibia. This is the shin bone or larger bone of the lower leg.
Femur. This is the thighbone or upper leg bone.
Patella. This is the kneecap.
Each bone end is covered with a layer of cartilage that absorbs shock and protects the knee. Basically, the knee is 2 long leg bones held together by muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
There are 2 groups of muscles involved in the knee, including the quadriceps muscles , which straighten the legs, and the hamstring muscles , which bend the leg at the knee.
Tendons are tough cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Ligaments are elastic bands of tissue that connect bone to bone. Some ligaments on the knee provide stability and protection of the joints, while other ligaments limit forward and backward movement of the tibia .
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Key Points About Knee Ligament Injuries
- Knee ligaments are the short bands of elastic tissue that holds the knee together. There are 4 main ligaments in each knee.
- Knee ligament injuries can be caused by trauma, such as a car accident. Or they can be caused by sports injuries.
- The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the most common ligaments to be injured.
- Treatment may include medicine, muscle-strengthening exercises, a knee brace, or surgery.
What Else Can Help
These knee pain diagnosis charts are a great place to start when it comes to working out what is wrong with your knee, but what do you then do about it? You’ll find loads of great information about each of these knee problems, and more, using the links above.
Alternative, following multiple requests from our readers, we have recently published our second book, “Beat Knee Pain: Take Back Control”.
It tells you everything you need to know to help you work out what is wrong with your knee and gives you loads of great advice on how to get back to doing what you love. You’ll find all the information from this site and loads more. We know many people prefer having the information is book form so they can navigate through easily, so do check it out.
Beat Knee Pain: Take Back Control has an average rating of 4.8/5 and is ranked the #2 Best Seller in Orthopedics on *.
*Ranked #2 Best Seller in Orthopedics on Amazon.com in October 2021
Knee pain location charts are just the start. Now that you’ve got a good idea what is going on, it’s time to start fixing it so you can get back to the things you love.
Page Last Updated: 12/02/21
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C Pain At The Kneecap
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: Most common. Caused by a problem with how the kneecap moves. LEARN MORE>
- Chondromalacia Patella: Damage to the cartilage on the back of the kneecap. Typically affects healthy people under the age of 40.LEARN MORE>
- Arthritis: Wear and tear or degeneration of the knee bones and cartilage. Typically affects over the 60’s. LEARN MORE>
- Housemaids Knee: Inflammation of the prepatellar bursa, often causing localised swelling at the front of the knee. Can occur at any age, most commonly in people who spend lots of time kneeling. LEARN MORE>
- Bipartite Patella: Where the kneecap bone is in two pieces, having failed to fuse during childhood. LEARN MORE>
How Is Arthritis Of The Knee Treated
Healthcare providers can’t cure knee arthritis. But they have some tips that might reduce the severity of your symptoms and possibly stop the arthritis from getting worse, including:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise using low-impact activities instead of high-impact activities . Aim for about 150 minutes of exercise per week.
- Wear shock-absorbing inserts in your shoes.
- Apply heat or ice to the area.
- Wear a knee sleeve or brace.
- Physical therapy exercises that help with flexibility, strength and motion.
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What Causes Arthritis Of The Knee
Experts have identified some genes that might cause arthritis, including arthritis of the knee. They predict that there are more genes not yet discovered. You could have a gene linked to arthritis without knowing it and a virus or injury could trigger arthritis of the knee.
Though the cause is unknown, some risk factors increase the possibility of arthritis of the knee. Risk factors of osteoarthritis, specifically, include:
- Age. Osteoarthritis happens to older adults more often than younger adults and children.
- Bone anomalies. Youre at a higher risk for osteoarthritis if your bones or joints are naturally crooked.
- Gout. Gout, also a type of inflammatory arthritis, might lead to osteoarthritis.
- Injuries. Knee injuries can cause arthritis of the knee.
- Stress. A lot of stress on your knees from jogging, playing sports or working an active job can lead to osteoarthritis of the knee.
- Weight. Extra weight puts more pressure on your knees.
Pain Located At The Bottom Of The Knee
Pain at the bottom part of the knee is commonly associated with four conditions:
- Osgood-Schlatter disease: This is a condition common in children in which the tendons of the knees pull on the knee’s growth plate during rapid growth spurts.
- Osteochondritis dissecans: This is an uncommon disorder that causes the knee meniscus starts to loosen and, in some cases, detach from the bone.
- Patellar tendonitis: This is the inflammation of the tendon of the kneecap, also known as “jumper’s knee,” that commonly occurs in athletes who jump or run
- Patellofemoral instability: This is a condition, once known as traumatic patellar dislocation, in which the patella gets moved out of the groove that connects it to the bottom of the femur.
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How Does A Jumpers Knee Happen
A jumpers knee happens because of the overuse of knee tendons, especially while engaging in sports that involve frequent jumping, such as volleyball and basketball. When you jump, you place immense pressure on different parts of the knee tendons, including the patellar tendons, pes anserinus tendons, and popliteus tendons. Repeated overuse leads to tiny tears of the knee tendons and repeated stress in the tendons in the knee, leading to increased weakness in the tendons.
Generally speaking, the body can initiate the natural healing response to heal the tiny tears in the tendons. But if you continue engaging in activities and dont rest up, your body wont have the time to fix the multiplying tendon tears, leading to bilateral knee tendinopathy. As such, a jumpers knee occurs when you overuse the knee tendons during physical activities, ignore the signs of knee tendinitis, and dont give your body the time it needs to heal.
Meniscus Tear Pain Down Leg
If you have a torn meniscus, you may be unable to extend your leg freely and may be better off bent knee. Pain along the knee joint and the meniscus usually occurs during a repetitive action .
Meniscus tears have an abundance of color and size. It is possible to split a knee joint in half, rip it around its circumference in the shape of a C, or thread a wire through the joint to connect it to the rest of the knee. Following an operation, swelling and pain can last for up to 24 hours. An MRI scan is frequently used to diagnose meniscal injuries. MRIs can be used to determine whether the kneecap has been torn by 70% to 90%. When describing your symptoms, make sure you do so correctly. When swelling first appears after an injury, this can provide important clues about where and how severe the injury is.
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Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
The anterior cruciate ligament is often injured during sports activities. ACL injuries are more likely to occur in athletes who participate in cutting and pivoting sports like soccer, football, and basketball. Changing direction rapidly or landing from a jump incorrectly can tear the ACL.
About half of all injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament occur along with damage to other structures in the knee, such as articular cartilage, meniscus, or other ligaments.
Learn more about ACL injuries:
Seven Types Of Knee Pain And What They Could Mean
Seven Types of Knee Pain and What They Could Mean?
Knee problems are one of the most popular aches and pains that people go through. There can be many causes of knee pain, ranging from arthritis to knee injury. In this article, were going to look at knee pain that comes in seven forms, what they mean and what you need to do to release the pain. Keep reading to understand your pain better and find a solution that applies. Also, alternatively you can opt for knee replacement surgery at Ansh Obecure.
1. Knee pain with a crunch
Knee crunching sounds dont have to be a cause for concern.
This is sound is called Crepitus and does not require any special therapy if you do not have any other symptoms. However, if you experience pain with it, you should consult a doctor to have your knee checked.
The rubbing of cartilage on the joint surface or other soft tissues around the knee during joint movement causes crepitus. Knee crepitus is primarily driven by the patellofemoral joint, which connects your knee cap to your thigh bone, or femur. Cartilage, the smooth, elastic tissue that covers the ends of bones, generally permits them to move freely in the joint. However, the cartilage surface may lose its smoothness with time. The crunching youre hearing is most likely caused by roughened cartilage in your knee, which prevents the bones from sliding as freely in the joint as they should.
2. Knee pain when running
- Patellar tendinitis
- Iliotibial band syndrome
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Can Knee Injuries Be Prevented
To help prevent knee injuries:
- Make sure your kids wear the recommended protective equipment for sports .
- Make sure your kids wear supportive athletic shoes that are in good condition.
- During workouts, kids should always warm up and cool down.
- Encourage kids to do regular strength training to support muscles, and stretching or yoga to improve flexibility.
- When jumping, kids should bend the knees while landing. This takes pressure off the ACL and prevents injury.
- If kids cut laterally or pivot frequently , encourage them to crouch and bend at the knees and hips to reduce the chances of an ACL injury.
- For kids who play just one sport, conditioning and training year-round even if it’s at a lower intensity than during the competitive season can help them stay in shape and make an injury less likely.