If you're experiencing pain towards the inside of your knee, it's important to figure out what's causing it. Some causes of inner knee pain are rather minor and require no treatment beyond some rest and ice, while others may require surgical repair. Here's a look at three possible causes of medial knee pain.
Medial Collateral Ligament Injuries
The medial collateral ligament runs along the shin bone and attaches to the knee on its inside surface. It can become partially or fully torn if excess pressure or stress is placed on the outside of the knee. Often, this injury occurs during football when a block to the outside of the knee is made, but it can occur during other physical activities as well. Symptoms of MCL injuries include:
- Pain, tenderness, and swelling along the inside of the knee
- Felling like the knee is going to buckle when you walk
- "Locking" of the knee with certain movements
If you think you may have an MCL injury, visit an orthopedic specialist. Most cases can be treated with ice, NSAIDs, and immobilization of the knee joint, but severe tears may require surgery.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner's Knee)
If you are a runner who recently increased mileage or began training more vigorously, the pain you're experiencing may be caused by an overuse injury called runner's knee. This is an inflammation of the tissues that attach the patella to the major bones of the knee. The pain is often localized to the medial side of the knee, but it can come across the front of the knee too. Other symptoms of runner's knee include pain when the knee cap is pressed on and aching after the leg is held in one position for a long time.
Most cases of runner's knee resolve with some time off from running and ice treatments. Strengthening the core muscles and quadriceps may help prevent runner's knee from resurfacing. If you have ongoing trouble with runner's knee, seeing a physical therapist for treatment is advised.
The menisci are C-shaped disks that cushion your knee joint. There is one on the outside of your knee and another one on the inside of your knee. You can tear your meniscus if your foot is planted firmly on the ground and you rotate too quickly while the knee is bent. Older patients with torn menisci often don't know how they injured themselves, as the meniscus can be torn quite easily in older individuals.
Mild tears cause only localized pain and swelling that goes away on its own within a few weeks. More severe tears cause the knee to feel still; walking is possible, but if you twist your knee at all, there is intense pain. The most severe tears cause the knee to feel wobbly and make walking nearly impossible. For severe tears, surgery and physical therapy are often required.
If you are experiencing pain towards the inside of your knee, do not ignore it. Seek diagnosis and treatment from an orthopedic specialist, such as those at Town Center Orthopaedic Associates, to ensure you recover properly.