Knee pain and injuries

Ligament injuries and tears – ACL and MCL

These are common injuries which often lead to pain, swelling and instability of the knee. Possible causes include blunt force hit to the knee and sports such as football which combine running, jumping and stopping.

Cartilage tears

A tear of cartilage between the two bones of the knee joint. Often caused by a sudden twisting motion of the knee while the foot remains in position (i.e. a tennis player twisting suddenly to hit a ball). Symptoms range from a slight ache to a painful, locking knee.

Patella tendonitis (jumper’s knee)

Also known as jumper’s knee, patella tendonitis is tissue damage that occurs when the tendon connecting the kneecap to the shinbone becomes inflamed. It presents as pain at the front of the knee and can be caused by overuse and is often seen in volleyball or basketball players.

Dislocated patella or kneecap

This is when the kneecap completely moves out of its normal position by a direct blow or twisting action of the knee. Results in intense pain at the front of the knee, possible swelling and usually associated with a feeling of the knee ‘giving way’ or of something ‘popping out’.

Runner’s knee or patellofemoral syndrome

Affects the outer part of the knee and is a condition common in runners and cyclists. Friction of the iliotibial band against the femur leads to pain, particularly when the knee is flexed, extended or when running downhill.