Anterior knee pain is experienced by many people in all walks of life, from adolescents to senior citizens. It is the most common knee pain diagnosis we make. The pain occurs at the front and center of the knee and can refer (travel) to the back of the knee. This means a patient can feel pain in the back of the knee, but the pain is actually generated from the structures in the front of the knee.
Multiple conditions that cause knee pain in this area include:
To understand the causes of anterior knee pain, it helps to know how things are supposed to work. The kneecap sits over the front of your knee joint. As you bend or straighten your knee, the underside of the patella glides over the thigh bone that makes up the upper part of the knee joint. Strong tendons help attach the kneecap to the bones and muscles that surround the knee. These tendons are called:
Anterior knee pain begins when the kneecap does not move properly and rubs against the lower part of the thigh bone. This may occur because:
Anterior knee pain is more common in:
Kneecap pain is a dull, aching pain that is most often felt:
Activities that usually cause the pain include:
Most people will initiate Activity Modification (stop activities that cause increased pain) and over-the-counter NSAID’s (Advil, Aleve, etc.) and some people use Tylenol as a pain reliever.
If these initial treatments fail, then we recommend you come to our office for an orthopaedic evaluation. This will include X-rays and a meticulous physical examination. From this, your doctor can determine:
If you’re experiencing knee pain, please reach out so that we can address your concerns and get you on the path to better health.
Visit our website to learn more about pain management and our expertise in hip and knee diagnoses and treatments.
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