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Anterior Knee Pain

Pain over the front of the knee is often related to function of the knee cap (patella). There may be a particular problem with the strength in the thigh muscles, a biomechanical issue with the knee generally or a specific underlying disease process such as Chondromalacia Patella or Osgood Schlatters Syndrome.

This sort of problem is very common in young teenagers, and especially if they participate in regular sporting activities or have just had a growth spurt.

When functioning normally the patella glides smoothly along a groove in the end of the thigh bone (femur) as we bend and straighten our knee.

If there is a problem then it can cause the patella to be pulled up against the femur causing the joint surfaces to rub together and so causing an irritation.

This will usually lead to an inflammatory response, part of which is swelling. This further compromises the knee as even a very small amount of fluid in the knee can cause muscle inhibition and limitation of movement.

The first part of treatment is to reduce the inflammation and swelling. This can be done by activity modification or cessation, using a Rest Ice Compression Elevation (RICE) regime and electrotherapy.

It is then appropriate to look further at the underlying cause. If there is a muscle imbalance in the Quadriceps muscles then a programme of Vastus Medialis strengthening and Ilio-tibial band stretches would be appropriate, or a biomechanical issue may require foot orthotics to be used.

For many youngsters suffering with this problem symptoms will often reduce or cease altogether as their bodies mature into their late teens or early 20’s.




Saltergate Physiotherapy
Saltergate Physiotherapy