Get answers to your Foot and Ankle questions.
Runner's knee; Patellofemoral pain; Patellar tendinitis; Tendinitis - patellar; Jumper's knee
Anterior knee pain is pain that occurs at the front and center of the knee.
Your kneecap (patella) sits over the front of your knee joint. As you bend or straighten your knee, the underside of the patella glides over the bones that make up the knee.
Strong tendons help attach the patella to the bones and muscles that surround the knee. These tendons are called:
Anterior knee pain refers to a number of different conditions. These include runner's knee (sometimes called patellar tendinitis) and chondromalacia of the patella.
Anterior knee pain is more common in:
The pain often comes from strained tendons (tendinitis) and irritation or softening of the cartilage that lines the underside of the kneecap (chondromalacia patellae).
These problems begin when the kneecap does not move properly and rubs against the lower part of the thigh bone. This may happen because:
Other possible cause of anterior knee pain include:
De Carlo M, Armstrong B. Rehabilitation of the knee following sports injury. Clin Sports Med. 2010;29:81-106.
Dixit S, DiFiori JP, Burton M, Mines B. Management of patellofemoral pain syndrome. Am Fam Physician. 2007;75:194-202.
May TJ. Persistent anterior knee pain. Am Fam Physician. 2007;76:277-278.
Steiner T, Parker RD. Patella: subluxation and dislocation: 2. Patellofemoral instability: recurrent dislocation of the patella. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr., Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2009:chap 22:sect C.
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885