Knee pain is a frequent issue that patients come to us with. To determine the reason for your knee pain, a detailed clinical assessment is usually performed by a health care specialist. There are various methods available to assess problematic knee pain. One approach is to use the location of your pain as a guide. This can help to narrow down the possible causes. Below is a list and diagram illustrating the locations where knee pain may occur and the most likely reasons behind it. If you require more detailed information about specific conditions, please click the provided link.
Your healthcare professional will evaluate your pain by conducting a thorough history and examination, and the location of the pain is only one factor in the assessment. To ensure a comprehensive evaluation, your doctor may need to examine your hip, lower back and ankle. It is well-recognised that hip problems can cause pain in the knee. To find out an approach to your hip pain by location, please see our hip pain chart article. Additionally, imaging tests such as an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI may be necessary to establish the correct diagnosis. X-rays are helpful in assessing the bones and joint spaces for injuries. Ultrasound and MRI are useful for assessing soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Ultrasound can also guide injection therapies to ensure accuracy and reduce adverse effects compared to procedures without imaging guidance.
Anterior knee pain (pain at the front of the knee)
Infrapatellar knee pain (pain under the knee cap)
Medial knee pain (pain at the inside of the knee)
Anteromedial knee pain
Lateral knee pain (pain at the outside of the knee)
Anterolateral knee pain