This is a generic term used to describe pain over the front of the knee cap. Muscular imbalances in the thigh cause the patella (knee cap) to move out of its normal position in a groove on the femur (thigh bone) and rub against structures such as cartilage, which can cause damage to them and pain to the patient.
Aching around the borders of the knee cap
Pain sitting for prolonged periods
Clicking of the knee when it is flexed (bent)
Tight muscles in the legs; quadriceps, hamstrings, calf.
The hamstring muscles (group of 3) run from the back of the knee up to the bottom of your pelvis. The muscles assist in many movements but their main action is to bend the knee, pulling the heel towards the bottom. They are commonly shortened through a lack of stretching both before and/or after exercise. They can be damaged through over-stretching or over use whilst playing sport or in the gym.
Change to gait
Tenderness and pain – especially whilst stretching
Feeling that ‘it’s going to go’ where the muscle strain has occurred
The medial meniscus is a crescent shaped structure which sits between the tibia (shin bone) and femur (thigh bone). Its role is as a shock absorber and also to make the bones more congruent (fit together). As more weight goes through the inside of the knee, the medial meniscus is more bound down and has attachments to the medial collateral ligament. It is commonly injured through impact to the knee, from a twisting motion or through wear and tear as one ages.
Instability and reduced weight bearing on that side
Pain and swelling within 48 hours
Locking of the knee
Positive orthopaedic test – McMurrays and Apleys (done by your osteopath)
The anterior cruciate ligament runs from the back of the femur (thigh bone) diagonally down to the front of the tibia (shin bone). Its role is to stop the tibia sliding forward away from the femur when a force is placed from below it. It is commonly caused by a twisting movement being placed through the knee whilst the foot is planted. It can also occur from a tackle.
Instability and swelling
Restricted range of movement especially in straightening the knee
Pain felt can be very high – especially straight after the injury
Your medial collateral ligament (MCL) runs along the inside of your knee and joins your femur (thigh bone) to your tibia (shin bone). It is usually damaged when a force is placed on the outside of the knee going across the knee. This causes a gapping of the knee and, if the force is great enough, a partial or complete tear of the MCL. The grade of injury (as with all ligament damage) can vary from grade 1 to 3. Grade 1 is classed as 10% of fibres are torn and Grade 3 is a complete tear. Grade 2 falls inbetween meaning the symptoms can sometimes vary.
Tenderness over inside of the knee
Some swelling around the area
When gapping the knee there is joint laxity – gives the feeling of instability