Health Conditions

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Anterior knee pain


Anterior knee pain is pain that occurs at the front of the knee.


Common causes of runner's knee include rotation (pronation) and lateral (away from the middle) pulling of the kneecap. This causes the kneecap to become misaligned with the connective tissues and muscles involved with knee movement.

Anterior knee pain may also be caused by:

  • Arthritis
  • Cartilage injury
  • Pinching of the inner lining of the knee with knee motion (synovial impingement, or plica syndrome)
  • Poor alignment of the patellofemoral joint (where the kneecap rubs against the lower portion of the thigh bone)
  • Softening of the cartilage under the kneecap (chondromalacia patellae)
  • Tendinitis of the quadriceps tendon (where the thigh muscles attach to the top of the kneecap) or patellar tendon (where the kneecap attaches to the shin bone)


Symptoms include knee pain below the kneecap and on the sides of the kneecap, particularly with deep knee bends or prolonged sitting.

In cases of runner's knee, pain occurs first when running downhill then gets worse and occurs with all running. Finally, pain is present even when you do not run.


To help prevent sports injuries:

  • Warm up properly before exercise.
  • Stretch after warm-up or exercise.
  • Cool down after exercise.