Pain experienced in the inner side of the knee (medial knee pain) is very common and is caused by a number of issues impacting the structures of the knee. These structures include the medial meniscus, which acts as a shock absorber in the knee, and the medial collateral ligament that supports the inside of the knee joint during movement.
Causes of Inner Knee Pain
- Muscular weakness or tightness in the leg that changes the way the knee moves and puts more stress and force on the inner side of the joint.
- Osteoarthritis results in wear and tear to the cartilage. Pain increases during periods of inactivity, exercise and cold weather.
- Abnormalities in the medial meniscus cause a tear or gradual weakening of the structure.
- A tear to the medial meniscus or medial collateral ligament caused by direct trauma to the knee. This could be due to a fall, tackle, or a sudden twisting movement through the knee.
- Tenderness on the inner side of the knee joint. This may increase over time or can be sudden if the injury is due to a traumatic injury to the knee.
- Bruising to the area and stiffness when trying to move the affected leg.
- Swelling of the knee following an injury, usually occurring within 48 hours.
- An inability to put your entire body weight over the affected knee or stand on one leg without causing pain and discomfort.
- Difficulty straightening the affected leg without pain and discomfort.
- Unusual sounds from the knee during movement such as popping, clicking or grinding.
- Increased pain when using stairs.
Your podiatrist will assess your health and exercise history and conduct a physical examination to diagnose a case of medial knee pain. A physical examination may involve pressing and applying pressure to the area to assess discomfort. A range of movements and manoeuvres may be used to check the integrity of the knee joint. An X-ray might be used depending on the severity, and MRI scans are particularly useful in assessing damage to tendon and ligament injuries.
Medial Knee Pain Treatment
When treating a case of medial knee pain it is important to treat not only the symptoms but also the underlying cause.
A good podiatrist may suggest one or more of the following treatment methods:
- A period of rest from exercise or activity that causes pain in the area.
- Anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling.
- Applying ice to the area after exercise or movement that causes pain.
- Strengthening of the leg muscles. Muscle weakness is a major cause of instability in the knee. Leg strength exercises will help improve knee function and are beneficial to all cases of medial knee pain.
- A knee brace can be useful for tears or arthritis in the knee to help protect the area, reduce pain and swelling and keep heat in the area.
- Kinetic Orthotics can be prescribed to correct abnormalities or imbalances in the feet and legs.
Dan Everson Podiatry recommends the following activities to help prevent an onset of medial knee pain:
- Keep your body weight within a target range for your age group. This can help reduce the stress and force applied to the knees and associated ligaments and tendons during movement.
- Stay active and agile. Many knee problems are caused due to imbalance, weakness or stiffness in the leg muscles.
- Wearing a protective device such as knee pads or brace when undertaking activities that could lead to knee trauma or damage.
- Kinetic Orthotics may be helpful by optimising the way force is transferred as you move.
- Seek advice from your podiatrist on the most appropriate and best fitting footwear for your lifestyle.
- Making sure athletic shoes are replaced at least every 6 months.
If you would like to see a podiatrist for medial knee pain, then book an appointment on the Sunshine Coast or in Brisbane today.