Causes of knee pain


Defining the location of your knee pain can help enormously in narrowing down the potential underlying problem. This relies on a proper knowledge of the detailed ‘surface anatomy’ of the knee, i.e. knowing what actual underlying anatomical structures there are beneath the skin in each different region of the knee. Knowing the anatomy gives a good guide as to what potential pathological processes might be causing your knee pain, therefore guiding you towards a specific and clear diagnosis - and a correct diagnosis is critical before you can actually start discussing any actual potential treatments.

The different various causes of knee pain can be grouped according to the site around the knee where the symptoms are located:-

Knee pain around the front of the knee

Knee pain around the inner (medial) side of the knee

Knee pain around the outer (lateral) side of the knee

Knee pain around the back of the knee

Generalised knee pain


Referred pain from elsewhere

This is not a completely full or exhaustive list of every single thing that can cause knee pain, but instead this is intended as a guide to some of the more common disorders that tend to be seen in patients presenting with knee pain.