Patella, Tendinitis, Knee Pain

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What causes knee pain?

The knee or knee joint is the largest joint in the human body. The knee is a pivotal hinge joint. It permits flexion and extension of the leg, as well as slight internal and external rotation when flexed.

Due to the complex anatomy of the knee, knee pain can have many causes. These are typically divided between knee pain resulting from injuries and knee pain resulting from degenerative changes.

While a knee injury often causes pain in young people (for example, during sports), degenerative changes of the knee are usually experienced by the elderly. Acute knee injuries are caused by external forces (i.e., contusions, kicks, or impacts like in accidents or during sports.) Degenerative changes occur when the cartilage layer begins to breakdown over time.

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What are the most common types of knee pain?

Patellar tendinitis

Patellar Tendinitis​

Patellar tendinitis is characterized by an overload of the patellar tendon. The pain manifests itself in the tip of the patella. It can occur in runners and particularly affects people participating in jump-intensive sports, such as basketball and volleyball. This disease is therefore popularly known as ‘jumper’s’ or ‘runner’s knee’. In the beginning, the pain usually occurs only after exercise. Because of this, many athletes keep training and competing and tend to ignore the injury or attempt to treat it themselves. Over time, those afflicted then begin to feel pain during sports or in simple everyday activities. A sensation of pain in the lower part of the kneecap is felt especially when climbing stairs or after prolonged sitting. 

Chondromalacia (Anterior Knee Pain)​

In the knee, chondromalacia is usually related to injury, overuse of the knee and poorly aligned muscles and bones around the knee joint. Chondromalacia of the knee typically affects young adults more than any other age group. It is especially common in runners, joggers, skiers, soccer players, cyclists and other athletes who repeatedly stress their knees. Also, workers who spend a lot of time kneeling – particularly carpet layers, tile setters, and floor layers – are more likely to develop this condition.
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Osgood Schlatter disease

Osgood-Schlatter Disease​

This is an overuse condition or injury of the knee that causes pain and swelling below the knee area over the shin bone. It is caused by the constant pulling of the patellar tendon on the area below the knee where the tendon attaches. It is most often seen in preteen and teenage boys from 10 to 15-years-old, but girls are also affected. It is common in young athletes who play games or sports that involve running, jumping, or going up and down stairs. Adolescent athletes who are most often affected are usually involved in football, soccer, basketball, gymnastics or ballet.
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How can I treat knee pain?

The treatment of knee pain depends on the cause. The following conservative therapeutic options are often applied:

  • Anti-inflammatory painkillers and ointments
  • Heat or cold treatment
  • Orthopedic medical devices
  • Physiotherapy
  • Muscle training (strengthening and stretching)
  • Electrotherapy and ultrasound treatment
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