Knee pain affects patients of all ages and has a large variety of causes.
At your outpatient appointment our consultants will assess your pain and examine your knee in detail. They will also want to understand exactly how your knee pain affects you, as this will have implications on what sorts of treatment would be most effective. Often investigations such as x-rays or MRI scans are arranged to confirm a clinical diagnosis.
The most common causes of knee pain we see are due to:
A tendon is a structure that attaches a muscle to a bone. Tendonitis is a general term that describes inflammation (“angriness”) of a tendon often in the region of its attachment to the bone. The most common ‘knee’ tendon to be affected by tendonitis is the patella tendon which joins the knee cap (patella) to the top of the shin bone (tibia). This is commonly known as ‘jumpers knee’ as it typically affects sporty people who participate in ‘explosive’ activities. Other tendons around the knee can also become inflamed.
Tendonopathy (“diseased tendon”) is a separate term which can describe some degeneration within the tendon or more chronic damage to the tendon that can occur after repeated bouts of acute tendonitis.
Tendonitis is usually diagnosed by the history (symptoms) – pain, stiffness and localised swelling around the front of the knee – and a detailed clinical examination. Sometimes this diagnosis is confirmed by an investigation such as an MRI scan or an Ultra sound scan. There are a variety of treatments that can be used to treat tendonitis – from physiotherapy and injections to surgery – and choosing the correct one depends on a variety of patient factors. Surgical options are usually only used after exhausting non operative treatments.