Knee pain

Human knee

Pain in or around the knee.

- Knee pain

16 related topics


Meniscus tear

Rupturing of one or more of the fibrocartilage strips in the knee called menisci.

Head of right tibia seen from above, showing menisci and attachments of ligaments
Bucket-handle tear of the lateral meniscus (red). Medial meniscus intact (green). MRI, coronal T2 *-weighted GRE sequence.
Types of meniscus tears
Proper parallel squat form to improve knee stability
Tear of medial meniscus
Typical locations of arthroscopic surgery incisions in a knee joint following surgery for a tear in the meniscus
Day one through ten of arthroscopy surgical recovery.
Balance exercises on a foam surface in phase 2. The patient tries to maintain balance first with both legs, then with only the affected leg.
The graph shows the percentage of meniscus injuries in various age groups. The majority of injuries came in the 45–84 age range.

The common signs and symptoms of a torn meniscus are knee pain, particularly along the joint line, and swelling.


In humans and other primates, the knee joins the thigh with the leg and consists of two joints: one between the femur and tibia (tibiofemoral joint), and one between the femur and patella (patellofemoral joint).

Right male knee
Articular surfaces of femur
Articular surfaces of tibia
Anterolateral aspect of right knee
Anteromedial aspect of right knee
Arteries of the knee
Lateral trauma to the knee can cause torn medial collateral ligaments, cruciate ligament injury as well as meniscus injury.
Model demonstrating parts of an artificial knee
Radiography to examine eventual fractures after a knee injury
Hip-knee-ankle angle.
Hip-knee-ankle angle by age, with 95% prediction interval.
thumb|Knee MRI (PD TSE FS sagittal)
thumb|Knee MRI (T1 TSE sagittal)
Knee MR
thumb|Knee X-ray
thumb|Knee X-ray (weight bearing)
thumb|Knee X-ray (weight bearing, flexion)
Cruciate ligaments
Left knee-joint from behind, showing interior ligaments.
Capsule of right knee-joint (distended). Lateral aspect.
Anterior and lateral view of knee.
Anterior view of knee.

Knee pain is caused by trauma, misalignment, and degeneration as well as by conditions like arthritis.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome

Diagram of the bones of the lower extremity. Rough distribution of areas affected by PFPS highlighted in red: patella and distal femur.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS; not to be confused with jumper's knee) is knee pain as a result of problems between the kneecap and the femur.

Iliotibial band syndrome

Second most common knee injury, and is caused by inflammation located on the lateral aspect of the knee due to friction between the iliotibial band and the lateral epicondyle of the femur.

Iliotibial band syndrome is one of the leading causes of lateral knee pain in runners.

Knee effusion

Knee effusion, informally known as water on the knee, occurs when excess synovial fluid accumulates in or around the knee joint.

Traumatic effusion of the right knee, with swelling lateral to the kneecap marked by an arrow
Skyline view of the patella demonstrating a large joint effusion as marked by the arrow
X-ray of the knee of a 12 year old male, showing knee effusion of medium severity, marked by black arrows. It displaces the patella anteriorly and extends into the suprapatellar bursa.

Osteoarthritis knee pain usually occurs while the joint is bearing weight, so the pain typically subsides with rest; some patients suffer severe pain, while others report no discomfort.

Prepatellar bursitis

Inflammation of the prepatellar bursa at the front of the knee.

Aseptic prepatellar bursitis
Lateral section of the knee

Along with the pes anserine bursa, the prepatellar bursa is one of the most common bursae to cause knee pain when inflamed.

Genu recurvatum

Deformity in the knee joint, so that the knee bends backwards.

Ella Harper, a sideshow performer, had genu recurvatum and was billed as The Camel Girl.
A girl with genu recurvatum of her right leg due to polio
Mild Genu recurvatum caused by familial joint hypermobility

The development of genu recurvatum may lead to knee pain and knee osteoarthritis.

Infrapatellar bursitis

Inflammation of the superficial or deep infrapatellar bursa.

Cross section of the human knee

Symptoms may include knee pain, swelling, and redness just below the kneecap.

Knee dislocation

Injury in which there is disruption of the knee joint between the tibia and the femur.

Plain lateral X-ray of the left knee showing a posterior knee dislocation
CT angiogram 3D reconstruction, posterior view showing a normal artery on the left, and occlusion to right popliteal artery as a result of a knee dislocation
A Segond fracture seen on X-ray
A lateral dislocation of the knee

Symptoms include pain and instability of the knee.

Trekking pole

Trekking poles (also known as hiking poles, hiking sticks or walking poles) are a common hiking accessory that function to assist walkers with their rhythm, to provide stability, and reduce strain on joints on rough terrain.

A pair of trekking poles
Mountain guide Alice Manfield with a long wooden walking pole in the early 1900s
A man bearing a hiking staff in an etching from William Blake's Europe a Prophecy first printed in 1794. This copy of the etching is currently held by the Fitzwilliam Museum
An impact of trekking poles, scratches left by poles on a rock in a wilderness area

But on less certain terrain, or steep slopes, they provide useful lateral stability, and many turn to them for help with knee pain.