health conditions

Knee pain

There are many causes of knee pain and it may be of sudden onset or may begin mildly and get worse.  Here are some examples of gradual onset knee pain.

Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)

We also communicate regularly with the local knee orthopaedic consultants who can assist if your symptoms require their help.

Gradual recurring pain around the knee cap.  This affects runners and non-runners and is caused by the way the patella (knee cap) moves causing stress on the cartilage.  This may be due to muscle strength imbalance or tightness, changes in the foot position altering the forces through the knee, or to small anatomical differences making patellofemoral syndrome more likely.

It is treated with rest and ice, then strengthening exercises and stretches.  Severe cases may require surgical intervention.

Osgood Schlatters Disease

Pain below the kneecap which worsens with activity.  This affects teenagers (males more than females) usually after a growth spurt as the muscles grow more slowly than the bones causing friction, which can lead to a bony lump forming just below the kneecap.  Treatment is rest, ice and strapping/stretching when ready.


This is themost common cause of knee pain in the over 50s.  Pain is usually of gradual onset caused by wear and tear to the cartilage lining the joint.  Treatment involves massage and gentle joint articulation.  Knee surgery may be recommended.

Bakers cyst (Popliteal Bursitis)

Pain and swelling at the front of the knee causing difficulty bending the knee.  It usually affects anyone who spends a long time kneeling, for example carpet fitters.  Treatment involves rest, ice, medication and occasionally injections.

Pes Anserine Bursitis

Another condition caused by overuse, irritating the bursa (fluid filled sac) on the inside of the knee.  Treatment involves rest from any activity such as swimming and running which aggravates the pain.

Jumpers Knee (Patella Tendonitis)

Pain is felt on the outer side of the joint and is often seen in runners causing excessive friction of the band that runs down the outer side of the thigh (IT band).  Occasionally sufferers feel a snapping sound (as the knee is bent) and some swelling.  Treatment involves rest and occasionally strapping.  Checks for muscle imbalance are important to prevent reoccurrence.

Acute knee pain may be due to injury such as ligament injury or cartilage tears.

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