Injuries and conditions: lower leg, ankle and foot pain
There are many causes of knee pain, from osteoarthritis, meniscal injury, bakers cyst to ligament injuries, bursitis or patella-femoral joint problems. It is important to have a thorough assessment to diagnose which structures in the knee are problematic. Please see the appropriate knee injury below for more information.
A swelling at the back of your knee caused by wear and tear (osteoarthritis). A bakers cyst suggests there is injury to other structures in the knee which may need treatment. Please see osteoarthritis.
There are two main types of cartilage when thinking about tears. There is hard shiny cartilage which forms a smooth surface for joints to move such as the knee, hip and shoulder.
The other is called meniscal cartilage which does the job of a washer in your knee. Please see meniscal injuries. Aggravation of either of these can happen during wear and tear or in an acute injury (commonly a twisting injury).
CRUCIATE LIGAMENT INJURY
You have two cruciate ligaments that stabilise your knee. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) which cross over each other deep in the knee joint. Most commonly a sports injury. Can respond well to physiotherapy but may also need orthopaedic assessment.
ILLIOTIBIAL BAND SYNDROME (ITB)
ITB shortened for a good reason. Pain in the outside of your thigh very commonly gives hip or knee pain. Often aggravated by lots of running, squatting, lunges, stairs or getting up from a chair. Responds well to hands on physiotherapy and specific exercises.
As it suggests in the title, a common injury for long jumpers, high jumpers and triple jumpers. Please see patella tendonopathy as it is essentially the same. The bit under your knee cap gets overworked and the tendon is aggravated. Responds well to treatment including ultrasound, taping, stretches and massage.
KNEE LIGAMENT STRAIN
There are lots of ligaments around the knee which can be injured; the two most common are the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). If injured, the stability of the knee can be affected which can in turn injure other structures. It is important to assist these to heal with the correct exercises and treatment. Physiotherapy can help to improve the healing and get people back to sport quicker.
The meniscus is a structure found in your knee that acts as a washer. This is commonly acutely injured in a twisting injury (commonly in sports) or as part of the wear and tear process. They can respond well to physiotherapy but sometimes need orthopaedic assessment.
Pain on the bony bit just under the front of your knee. Most common in sporty teenagers related to growth spurts. Important to have a good stretching and strengthening programme. May also respond to acupuncture.
This is a fancy name for wear and tear that can happen in many of your joints, most common being knees, hips, back, neck, shoulders and fingers. The joint becomes worn like a rusty chain on a bike and causes pain. Commonly aggravated by the cold and wet weather. Can have acute episodes of aggravation and painful swelling. Physiotherapy can be very helpful with OA using treatments such as mobilisation, exercises, acupuncture etc.
One of the most common problems and causes of pain in the front of the knee affecting structures like cartilage, bursa, tendons and biomechanics. Very common for runners as well as more sedentary people. Pain is normally reproduced by going up and down stairs, running or getting up from a chair. Responds very well to a combination of treatments. (please see our ‘treatments we use’ page)
Aggravation of your patella tendon (which is the semi-firm structure just below your knee cap) commonly caused by muscle imbalance or biomechanical alignment. A full assessment is needed to identify all possible causes of the pain and then treatment will involve a variety of techniques. (Please see out ‘treatments we use’ page.)
Otherwise known as housemaid's knee. Aggravation of the bursa over lying the knee cap caused by too much kneeling. Bursa can be found in many joints in the body. They are fluid filled sacks that reduce the amount of friction between two structures. If this gets inflamed then it is called bursitis.
As the title suggests runners (normally long distance) suffer with this. It presents with pain over the front of your knee due to a problem with the patello-femoral joint. Please see patella-femoral joint problems. It responds well to physiotherapy and a good stretching programme. It does not always mean you have to stop running!
WEAR AND TEAR