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Knee Pain

There are several factors that can cause knee pain. Knee pain can be either referred pain or related to the knee joint itself.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: Wikipedia)

About Knee Problems

Knee problems can be the result of disease or injury.

Disease

A number of diseases can affect the knee. The most common is arthritis. Although arthritis technically means "joint inflammation," the term is used loosely to describe many different diseases that can affect the joints. Some of the most common forms of arthritis and their effects on the knees are described a bit later in this publication.

Injury

Knee injuries can occur as the result of a direct blow or sudden movements that strain the knee beyond its normal range of motion.

Sometimes knees are injured slowly over time. Problems with the hips or feet, for example, can cause you to walk awkwardly, which throw off the alignment of the knees and leads to damage.

Knee problems can also be the result of a lifetime of normal wear and tear. Much like the treads on a tire, the joint simply wears out over time...Read more about knee problems NIH - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Implants in knee replacement surgery for patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

We reviewed the evidence on benefits and harms of mobile bearing compared with fixed bearing implants for cruciate retaining total knee replacement in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We found 19 relevant studies.

Taping across the knee cap for adults with persistent pain at the front of the knee (patellofemoral pain)

Pain at the front of the knee (also known as anterior knee pain or patellofemoral pain) is a common problem which particularly affects those who do some form of sport or exercise. Typically, it gets worse when going up and down stairs, squatting, kneeling and sitting with the knee bent. It is a distinct and separate condition from knee arthritis.

Moulded foot insoles for adults with pain around the knee cap

Pain around the knee cap is a common problem. The pain may be brought on or made worse by day to day or sporting/exercise activities. Pain around the knee cap can have many different causes, such as the way the knee cap glides over the bones or because of knee overuse. Several different treatment options are available. Foot orthoses are specially moulded devices fitted into footwear. They are believed to be helpful because they might help improve the alignment of the leg bones.

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Summaries for consumers

Implants in knee replacement surgery for patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

We reviewed the evidence on benefits and harms of mobile bearing compared with fixed bearing implants for cruciate retaining total knee replacement in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We found 19 relevant studies.

Taping across the knee cap for adults with persistent pain at the front of the knee (patellofemoral pain)

Pain at the front of the knee (also known as anterior knee pain or patellofemoral pain) is a common problem which particularly affects those who do some form of sport or exercise. Typically, it gets worse when going up and down stairs, squatting, kneeling and sitting with the knee bent. It is a distinct and separate condition from knee arthritis.

Moulded foot insoles for adults with pain around the knee cap

Pain around the knee cap is a common problem. The pain may be brought on or made worse by day to day or sporting/exercise activities. Pain around the knee cap can have many different causes, such as the way the knee cap glides over the bones or because of knee overuse. Several different treatment options are available. Foot orthoses are specially moulded devices fitted into footwear. They are believed to be helpful because they might help improve the alignment of the leg bones.

See all (105)

Terms to know

Joints
In medicine, the place where two or more bones are connected. Examples include the shoulder, elbow, knee, and jaw.
Ligaments
Band of fibrous tissue connecting bone to bone or cartilage to bone thereby supporting or strengthening a joint.
Muscles
Muscles function to produce force and motion. They are primarily responsible for maintaining and changing posture, locomotion, as well as movement of internal organs, such as the contraction of the heart and the movement of food through the digestive system.
Referred Pain
A type of pain that is perceived in an area away from the site where the pain arises, such as a throat problem generating referred pain in the ear.
Tendons
Tough, fibrous, cord-like tissue that connects muscle to bone or another structure, such as an eyeball. Tendons help the bone or structure to move.

More about Knee Pain

Photo of an adult

See Also: Osteoarthritis, Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Other terms to know: See all 5
Joints, Ligaments, Muscles

Related articles:
How Joints Work

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