Knee Pain

*Content listed here is merely information and guidelines and not meant for diagnostic purposes. Please make an appointment if you are injured.*

Pain at or around the knee can be caused from many different mechanism, such as a fall or faulty movement patterns during daily activities.  If you experience an acute injury or are inhibited in your daily life from knee, please make an appointment to be seen by a sports medicine provider.

Acute knee injuries include:

  • Sprains or strains of the connective tissue surrounding the knee
  • A tear of the meniscus (the rubbery cushions of the knee joint)
  • Ligament tears, most common in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL)
  • Fracture of the kneecap (patella), tibia, fibula, or femur, usually from a significant force or blow to the knee
  • Kneecap (patella) dislocation or subluxation

Overuse injuries include:

  • Inflammation of the small sacs of fluid that cushion and lubricate the knee (bursitis)
  • Inflammation of the tendons surrounding the knee (tendinitis)
  • Pain in the front of the knee from weakness, excess weight, or poor kneecap tracking (patellofemoral pain syndrome)
  • Irritation and inflammation of the band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the thigh (iliotibial band syndrome)

Care and Management

Acute knee injuries should be assessed for excessive bleeding or open fractures.  Any emergent injuries should be seen immediately by a physician.

For non-emergent injuries:

  • Rest: Avoid placing more stress on your knee. Minimize walking and physical activity until assessed by a physician.
  • Compression: Use an elastic bandage around your knee to help minimize swelling.
  • Elevation: Keep your ankle above the level of you heart as much as possible to reduce swelling.
  • Ice: Use ice for pain relief.  You can apply ice for 10-20 minutes every hour.

Overuse injuries usually require rest from aggravating activity and rehabilitation exercises to correct muscle weaknesses and incorrect movement patterns.