Knee injuries are common amongst the general population, ranging from the elite to the everyday athlete and from the young to the elderly. Pain may be caused by local structures within or around the knee, or, may be referred from other sources (such as the lower back or hip joint).
Acute knee injuries often occur in athletes involved in sports involving rapid change of direction, twisting and kicking such as football, soccer, basketball, netball and skiing. Such injuries often involve tearing of the meniscus (cartilage) or ligaments of the knee.
Gradual onset knee pain often occurs in those patients involved in activities that involve high volumes of running, repetitive squatting, lunging, jumping, twisting, kneeling or repetitive kicking. One of the most common causes of gradual onset pain located at the front of the knee is patellofemoral pain syndrome. This is typically caused by biomechanical issues or muscle imbalance, resulting in maltracking of the kneecap. Over time this causes irritation to the surrounding soft tissue. If left untreated symptoms often gradually become worse over time and may limit your ability to participate in sport or activity. In older patients with gradual onset knee pain, the most likely cause of symptoms is degenerative changes in the knee or patellofemoral joint, such as osteoarthritis.
Your physiotherapist will perform a full assessment to diagnose the cause of your knee pain, and from there will determine the appropriate course of treatment for your injury.
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