Anterior Knee Pains

The knee is a complicated joint. The main weight-bearing part of the knee between the upper bone (femur) and lower bone (tibia) contains the menisci and is held in position by ligaments. The knee cap(patella) is the third bone making up the knee joint. This bone forms part of the muscular mechanism which helps to straighten the knee. The patella is mobile and has an articular surface which slides along the front surface of the femur. Anterior knee pain is pain which is generated in the patellofemoral joint. Sometimes pain is due to damage to the joint surfaces which can represent arthritis in the joint. Sometimes pain is associated with abnormal tracking of the patella as the knee moves. Investigation requires a skyline x-ray and can also require dynamic scans to assess the movement of the joint. Joint surface damage can be identified with an MRI scan.

In general terms treatment of anterior knee pain is usually non-operative in the first instance with physiotherapy to try to improve patella tracking by strengthening the muscles attached to the patella. Often this can also help when there is damage to the articular surface.

If there is patella instability which does not respond to physiotherapy treatment surgery may also prove necessary. Sometimes this will require arthroscopy of the joint alone but sometimes this requires more involved surgery to improve patella tracking.

Simon will assess your knee and carry out appropriate investigations to allow the cause of your anterior knee pain to be diagnosed. This is often complex and deciding on the best treatment can be hard. Simon has special expertise dealing with patients with anterior knee pain; however resolving symptoms on a permanent basis can be challenging.