Knee pain inside and out

Knee pain inside and out

Sometimes, knee pain only occurs on the inside or outside of the knee, and the pain can also be limited to the front or back. If the pain only occurs in one place in the knee – inside, outside, front or back – this can be a first indication of the underlying cause. Read here what this knee pain means.

Knee pain on the inside

Knee pain on the inside often indicates damage to the medial meniscus.

In addition, the pain can also be caused by an inflamed bursa. It is also conceivable that the pain is due to tendon damage in one of the knee flexors.


Knee pain on the outside

Damaged tendons can also cause external knee pain. However, the most common cause of pain outside the knee is the runner’s knee, which primarily affects long-distance runners and cyclists. Constant overload causes stabbing pain in the outer knee.

Good running shoes, warm-up exercises and regular stretching can prevent the runner’s knee. If you already suffer from knee pain, anti-inflammatory ointments and a break from training are recommended.

Knee pain in the front

Pain in the front of the knee is often associated with the kneecap. Overloading the patellar tendon – also known as patellar tendon syndrome or jumper‘s knee – can cause pain below the kneecap.

Overloading the kneecap can also lead to pain in the front of the knee. The pain is caused by a high level of sporting activity or frequent kneeling for work and usually subsides after a few days of rest.

The kneecap transfers forces from the thigh to the lower leg. Under certain circumstances, the kneecap can become dislocated from its groove – this is known as a luxating patella. Such an injury is excruciating: in most cases, the knee can no longer be straightened, and there is swelling and pain in the front of the knee. If the kneecap often jumps out of its slideway, this usually no longer causes pain but can lead to cartilage damage in the long term. Depending on the cause of the symptoms, physiotherapy can help with a dislocated kneecap. However, an operation is necessary in some cases to prevent further dislocations.

If pain occurs in the front area of ​​the knee after sporting activity, the so-called plica syndrome can also be the cause. This means a thickening of the folds of the synovial membrane. These folds can become swollen or pinched, causing inflammation in the knee. Wrinkles can also damage articular cartilage. In addition to the pain, problems stretching the joint and a creaking or cracking noise when bending indicate plica syndrome. If physiotherapy and rest do not improve the symptoms, the joint fold can be removed by arthroscopy.


Knee pain in the back

If pain occurs on the back of the knee, a Baker’s cyst can be the cause. Joint fluid accumulates as a cyst, and swelling occurs in the hollow of the knee. It is also characteristic of such a cyst that slight pain occurs when the knee is fully bent or extended, and it is often impossible to fully bend the knee.

In addition to a Baker’s cyst, there are other causes of pain in the back of the knee:

  • meniscus damage
  • vascular disorders
  • diseases of the bone
  • Injuries to the tendons of the hamstring muscles

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