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Common Causes of Knee Pain



Are you having unexplained pain in your knee and don’t know what it’s from? Or did you injure yourself and thought the pain would go away but it hasn’t? Let’s discuss some of the possible reasons why you have this pain.

 

Causes


The 3 most common causes for knee pain that I see are to do with injury to the ligaments surrounding the knees (more specifically, MCL tears), damage to the cartilage inside of the knee (meniscus) and a condition affecting the knee cap (patello-femoral syndrome).


Terminology

It is important to understand certain terms with regards to human anatomy before we describe the different types of pain.


Meniscus: Bands of thick rubber-like cartilage attached to the top of the lower leg that act as shock absorbers and stabilizers for the knee.


Patella: Knee cap. Covers/protects the knee joint and acts as an attachment site for muscles & ligaments of the upper and lower leg.


Femur: Thigh bone. Connects your hips to your lower leg (the largest bone in the human body).


Ligament: Connective tissue in the human body that connects bone to other bones.


Mechanism of Injury: The specific action or motion that one does during an activity which causes an injury.


Medial: The anatomical term describing the part of the body that is closest to the middle.


Lateral: The anatomical term describing the part of the body that is closest to the outside edge.


Anterior: The anatomical term describing the part of the body that is closest to the front of the body.


Posterior: The anatomical term describing the part of the body that is closest to the back of the body.

 

Which Injury Do You Have?


Determining what type of problem is causing your knee pain should be officially diagnosed by a Health Care Provider, but let’s discuss a couple of ways to have a general idea for yourself. The easiest way to find out is to ask yourself how you may have caused the injury (mechanism of injury), where/what type of pain there is, and to evaluate certain other symptoms you may have.



For more information on the specific severities of ligament injuries, please refer to our “Ligament & Muscle Tears” section (Link to #2).


Meniscus Injury Pain Location





Patella-Femoral Pain Syndrome Location


MCL Tear Pain Location



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