The knee is one of the largest joints in the body, formed by the lower end of the femur, upper end of the tibia and the patella or knee cap. Several ligaments and muscles attach to the bones of the knee joint to guide and maintain normal motion of the joint.
Anterior knee pain
Anterior knee pain is a characterized by a chronic pain over the front and centre of the knee joint. It is common in athletes, active adolescents (especially girls) and overweight individuals. Anterior knee pain can be caused by a variety of conditions which include patella/quadriceps tendinitis, patella maltracking, runner’s/jumper’s knee or chondromalacia of the patella. There may be an individual variation in the duration and presentation of pain.
Runner’s knee, also called patellofemoral pain syndrome refers to pain under and around your kneecap.
Osgood-Schlatter disease refers to a condition of an overuse injury that occurs in the knee region of growing children and adolescents. This is caused by inflammation of the tendon located below the knee cap (patellar tendon). Children and adolescents who participate in sports such as football, gymnastics, basketball and distance running are at greater risk of this disease.
The patella, also called the kneecap is a small bone present on the front of your knee joint. The underside of the patella is covered by cartilage that allows smooth gliding of the knee with movement. Overuse or malalignment of the patella associated with softening of the cartilage may lead to pain and dysfunction. This is sometimes referred to as ‘chondromalacia’.
Jumper’s knee, also known as “patellar tendinitis” is an inflammation of the patellar tendon that connects your kneecap (patella) to your shinbone. This tendon helps in extension (lifting) of the lower leg.
A bursa is a small fluid-filled sac that is found between skin, muscles, tendons and bones. It lubricates and acts as a cushion in decreasing the friction, rubbing and irritation between these parts with movement. Bursitis refers to inflammation or swelling of the bursa. It is sometimes experienced in the knee. Bursitis is most commonly seen in adults of over 40 years and may be more common in those who kneel repeatedly.
The knee produces a fluid called synovial fluid, which reduces friction between the bones of the knee joint while you move your leg. Sometimes this fluid is produced in excess, resulting in its accumulation in the back of your knee. This fluid collects in an ‘out pouching’ of the joint capsule which can connect with a bursa at the back of the knee.
Osteochondritis dissecans is a joint condition in which a piece of cartilage, along with a thin layer of the bone separates from the end of the bone because of inadequate blood supply. The separated fragments are sometimes called “joint mice” and can get ‘locked’ within the joint. These fragments may be localized, or may detach and move around in the joint space causing pain and joint instability.
“Shin splints” is used to describe the pain and inflammation of the tendons, muscles and bone tissue around the tibia or shine bone (a large bone in the lower leg). It occurs as a result of vigorous physical activity such as exercise or sports. The condition is also referred to as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS).
Knee sprain is a common injury that occurs from overstretching of the ligaments that support the knee joint. A knee sprain occurs when the knee ligaments are twisted or turned beyond its normal range causing the ligaments to tear.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears
The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is one of the major ligaments of the knee that is located in the middle of the knee and runs from the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone). It prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur. Together with the other ligaments of the knee, it contributes to rotational stability to the knee.
Medial Collateral Ligament Tear
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the ligament that is located on the inner aspect of the knee joint. It runs from the femur (thighbone) to the top of the tibia (shinbone) and helps in stabilizing the knee. Medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury can result in a stretch, partial tear, or complete tear of the ligament. Injuries to the MCL commonly occur as a result of a pressure or stress on the outside part of the knee. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) may be torn along with a MCL injury.
Meniscal tears are one of the most frequently reported injuries to the knee joint. The meniscus is a C-shaped fibrocartilaginous structure in the knee incompletely covering the surface of the tibia where it articulates with the femur. There are two meniscal cartilages: the medial meniscus, on the inner part of the knee, and the lateral meniscus on the outer aspect of the knee.
The knee is a complex joint which consists of bone, cartilage, ligaments and tendons that make joint movements easy and at the same time more susceptible to various kinds of injuries. Knee problems may arise if any of these structures get injured by overuse or during sports activities.
Ligaments are the fibrous tissue bands connecting the bones and stabilizing the joint. The knee joint has 2 sets of principle ligaments: collateral ligaments (medial and lateral ligaments) that connect the bones on the inner and outer side of the knee and cruciate ligaments (anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligament) which attach in the centre of the joint.
Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), one of four major ligaments of the knee, is situated at the back of the knee. It connects the thighbone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia). The PCL limits the backward motion of the tibia (shinbone).
Arthritis is a general term covering numerous conditions where the joint surface or cartilage wears out. The joint surface is covered by a smooth articular surface that allows pain free movement in the joint.
Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs most often in older people. This disease affects the tissue covering the ends of bones in a joint (cartilage).
Chondral (Articular Cartilage) Defects
Articular or hyaline cartilage is the tissue lining the surface of the two bones in the knee joint. Cartilage helps the bones move smoothly against each other and can withstand the weight of the body during activities such as running and jumping.