Knee Pain may present in variety of forms. The knee joint is made up of the main thigh bone (femur), shin bone (tibia) and a smaller bone that runs alongside the Tibia known as the Fibula. The knee joint also consists of the knee cap also known as the Patella.
It is made up of 4 ligaments and 2 C-shaped pieces of cartilage (meniscus)
Common injuries that occur at the knee joint include:
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear (ACL)
The ACL is one of the major ligaments which helps in stabilisation of the knee. It prevents the Tibia sliding forward on the Femur (or the Femur sliding backwards on the Tibia)
The ACL may be injured in several ways including:
- Rapid direction change when running/walking
- Stopping suddenly
- Pivoting with your foot planted on the ground
- Landing incorrectly from a jump
- Direct contact/collision such as a football tackle
Most ACL injuries will occur during sporting activities. A torn ACL is most commonly associated during high impact sports or when the knee is forced to make sharp sudden direction changes during an abrupt stop from high speed. If there is no early treatment intervention to the injured ACL it may have devastating consequences. The ACL injury may lead to cartilage damage which in turn leads to an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life.
- Hearing a popping sound when changing direction
- Instability / feeling of knee ‘giving way’
- Pain at the back of the knee
- Loss of Range of Motion
Patello-femoral joint issues
Patellofemoral knee pain is a broad term that is used to describe pain around the front of the knee and kneecap (patella). This pain can also be known as ‘runners knee’ or ‘jumper’s knee’ as its commonly seen in people who play sports. It is also seen in non-athletes. This pain is caused due to maltracking of the kneecap.
There are a variety of factors that contribute to this knee pain. They include:
- Poor alignment between the hips and ankles
- Muscular imbalances around the knee and hip
- Pain going up/down stairs
- Pain after prolonged sitting
- Pain on kneeling and squatting