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  6. Knee Pain Location Chart Helps To Find Possible Causes Of Pain And Diagnosis
Knee Pain Location Chart Helps To Find Possible Causes Of Pain And Diagnosis
December 12, 2022

As a result of knee pain, individuals may experience disability and functional limitations that may interfere with their daily activities. Knee pain affects people of all ages. An injury or exercise may result in sudden sharp stabbing pain that comes and goes in knees. Knee pain may begin as a mild discomfort, then gradually worsen. A knee pain location chart can tell us a lot about the origin of the pain.  Knee pain requires an understanding of prior injuries, underlying medical conditions, and physical examination. Healthcare providers may consider certain diagnoses based on inside knee pain or outside knee pain. Also, if you feel pain while bending your knee or walking upstairs, they may rule out certain causes.
An effective treatment plan can be formulated with the help of a knee pain location chart. Knowing the structures of the knee and the various conditions that can affect them can help you better understand why the location of knee pain is so important.

Frontal Location Above the Knee

In the knee pain location chart, when pain is felt at the top of the knee, especially when walking down stairs, it is often the result of the following causes.

⦁ Quadriceps Tendonitis

The quadriceps tendon attaches the four large muscles of the front of the thigh to the kneecap at this location. A disorder of the quadriceps tendon may result from irritation, strain, or injury.

⦁ Synovitis

A synovitis is inflammation of the synovial membrane, usually caused by overuse or trauma. The synovial membrane gets thicker with more blood vessels if not treated early. Additionally, it is associated with arthritis and gout.

⦁ Chondromalacia

Runner’s knee is a result of repetitive stress causing the patella to degenerate.

⦁ Patellofemoral Arthritis

The condition affects the underside of the kneecap (patella) and the groove on the femur in which the patella moves. Generally, when the cartilage covering the bones wears away and becomes inflamed, the bones come into contact, causing pain.

⦁ Plica Syndrome

There is a fold in the synovial membrane that lines the knee joint known as a plica. The inflammation of the plica causes pain and weakness in the knee when it is caused by repetitive knee movements, trauma, or twisting.

⦁ Lateral Patellar Facet Overload Syndrome

There is a dull aching pain underneath, around the sides, or below the kneecap. Increasing pressure on the lateral facet of the patella causes this condition. This may be due to improper tracking, poor alignment, or dislocation of the kneecap.

⦁ Bursitis

Inflammation of the bursae is a common reaction to acute knee injuries, repetitive overuse injuries, or systemic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

Outside Of the Knee (Lateral Knee)

Generally, this area is not prone to problems; however, if it does experience pain, it may be related to one of the following conditions.
Possible causes of pain are:

⦁ Knee Osteoarthritis

This condition occurs when arthritis develops in the knee’s lateral compartment.

⦁ Lateral Collateral Ligament Injuries

Trauma, sprain, or tear to the outer knee ligament.  A direct blow to the inside of the knee most commonly causes this LCL tear.

⦁ Lateral Meniscus Tear

When the cartilage on the side of the knee tears due to stress and twisting motions, like skiing or basketball, leads to pain in the lateral side of the knee.

⦁ Hamstring Tendinitis

Inflammation of the tendon that attaches one of the hamstring muscles to the knee, the biceps femoris.

⦁ Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Irritation and inflammation of the thick fibrous iliotibial band that runs from the pelvis to the tibia. Most of the time, pain is on the outside of the leg, but it can also happen on the outer side of the hip.

⦁ Cyst Forming Pressure on the Meniscus

A tear in the meniscus cartilage can cause synovial fluid to collect and put pressure on it. You can get it from over-rotating your knee or from trauma. A lump may be visible at the cyst’s location, and pain or a burning sensation may accompany it.

⦁ Posterolateral Corner Injury (PLC)

Under the knee, the PLC is the area between the top of the tibia and fibula and the bottom of the femur. Several ligaments and tendons are connected at the PLC. The purpose of these ligaments is to prevent overextension of the knee and provide stability to the joint. Sports-related injuries to this area are common as a result of trauma. PLC injuries often result in damage to the posterior cruciate ligament and the common peroneal nerve.

⦁ Tibial Plateau Fracture

It is important to note that a tibial plateau fracture is a complex injury since it occurs at the top end of the shinbone (proximal end of the tibia). This condition affects the knee because it affects the cartilage on the floor of the joint where the knee joint meets the tibia. In addition to affecting the surrounding tissue, the fracture may also affect the nerves and blood vessels. The fracture is usually caused by a high or low energy trauma.

Inner Side of the Knee (Medial Knee)

In many cases, pain on the medial side of the knee is the same as pain on the lateral side.
Possible causes of the pain area as follows:

⦁ Medial Collateral Ligament Damage

One of the four ligaments that contribute to the stability of the knee joint is the medial collateral ligament. A knee ligament injury is one of the most common types of injuries to the knee. In most cases, ligament damage occurs as a result of an outward (valgus) force acting on the joint in a lateral direction. The most common symptoms are pain, stiffness, and bruising.

⦁ Loose Cartilage

If the meniscus on the inner side of the knee is torn or a small piece of cartilage becomes detached or loose, it can cause pain, swelling, and mobility problems (see lateral meniscus tear).

⦁ Osteochondral Defect

Damage to or loss of some articular cartilage can cause osteochondral defects. Mostly, symptoms include pain, swelling, and instability when putting weight on the joint. There are a number of causes of this condition, including trauma, repetitive strain, or a loss of blood supply.

⦁ Avascular Necrosis

The term avascular necrosis refers to the death of bone tissue due to an insufficient supply of blood. As a result, the bone collapses. High alcohol consumption or long-term use of high-dose steroid medications may contribute to the condition. The pain may be progressive, perhaps at first only when weight is applied to the knee, but it may eventually become ongoing.

Pain At the Back of the Knee

Muscles, tendons, and ligaments are often responsible for pain at this location. Other possible causes of knee pain include synovial fluid or blood vessels. In most cases, pain at this location is the result of a problem with the muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Moreover, it is also possible that synovial fluid or blood vessels may be responsible for knee pain at the back. Causes of pain may be as follows.

⦁ Hamstring Tendonitis

A hamstring is one of three muscles located at the back of the leg between the hip and the knee. A hamstring tendon connects the hamstring to the knee. A sharp pain is felt at the back of the knee when the tendon becomes inflamed as a result of overuse.

⦁ Hamstring Tear or Pull

Overloading the hamstring muscle can cause it to strain, partially tear, or tear completely. Exercises that are strenuous often cause this condition. There is a sharp pain in the back of the thigh.

⦁ Popliteus Muscle injury

The popliteus muscle is a triangular muscle located at the back of the knee joint in a depression called the popliteal fossa. An injury to the popliteus muscle may result from exercise or trauma. You may experience tenderness when rotating your leg inward if the muscle is injured.

⦁ Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

One of the four major ligaments of the knee is the posterior cruciate ligament. In the knee, it is attached to the medial condyle of the femur and the posterior intercondylar area of the tibia. Usually, Injuries to this ligament occur when the knee is bent. It is possible to sustain a partial tear or a complete tear along with other ligament damage. Swelling and instability of the joint may accompany pain.


The well-known, sudden pain of cramp can occur in any of the muscles located at the rear of the leg. Muscles contract involuntarily and become tight and painful as a result. An individual may experience a cramp due to muscle fatigue, strain, or dehydration, but some causes are unknown. Although cramps are generally harmless, they may indicate an underlying issue, such as a restricted blood supply. Posterior cruciate ligament injuries: These injuries usually occur when the knee is directly struck, such as during contact sports like soccer, football, or rugby.

⦁ Meniscus Tear

A torn posterior horn of one of the menisci may cause stiffness and pain in the back of the knee (see medial and lateral meniscus tears). It is common for this type of damage to occur as a result of athletic activities, and the pain may not be apparent for some time.

⦁ Baker’s Cyst

In Baker’s cyst, synovial fluid accumulates in an inflamed bursa of the popliteal fossa. Located between skin and tendon or between tendon and bone, bursae are fluid filled structures that reduce friction between adjacent moving parts. Arthritis or trauma can result in an increase in synovial fluid, causing swelling behind the knee. This causes a feeling of tightness behind the knee.
Baker’s cyst: This is a fluid-filled sac that develops when synovial fluid leaks through the back of the knee capsule (as a result of osteoarthritis or an injury to the meniscus).


As pain in the knee is not localized, it may vary its location from person to person. In such cases, the knee pain location chart helps a lot. People should be aware of knee pain location chart, so that they can tell the doctor the exact location of pain. Knee pain that is severe or persistent should never be ignored. There are many causes of pain, including injuries, infections, and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. As a result of unbearable pain in your knees, you must seek medical attention. Immediately visit your doctor, don’t wait to get it worse.
Generally, you should seek medical attention if your knee pain in richardson was caused by a forceful impact or is accompanied by significant swelling, pain, redness, or warmth.