Knee pain is one of the most common presenting complaints seen in physiotherapy clinics. It is very important to determine exact location of knee pain and also establish the activities that trigger the clients knee pain as this will provide a clue as to the structures involved. For example, retropatellar (behind kneecap), peripatellar pain (around kneecap) suggests that the patellofemoral joint is the problem. Pain on the outside of the knee can be localised to the iliotibial band area. Inferior (below) knee pain can indicate patella tendon and patella fat pad irritation. Pain in both knees can indicate patellofemoral pain (describes pain in and around the knee) or tendinopathy rather than something internal to the joint itself.
Acute knee injuries are more common due to trauma to the knee, and in particular in our sporting twisting pivot sports with suspected ACL tears. Meniscal injuries are common either in isolation or in conjunction with the ACL tear or MCL (medical knee ligament). The articular cartilage of the knee joint is often injured along with these ligaments or meniscus, depending on where these are located and how big they are. They can develop into arthritis.