Medial knee pain is pain that occurs on the inside of the knee and can be caused by a number of problems. There are a number of structures on the medial side of the knee, and problems in one or more of them can cause pain.
Symptoms of medial knee pain may appear gradually over time or may develop suddenly after a knee injury. There may be generalized inner knee pain, limited movement, or a sharp pain. It is very common to experience medial knee pain as muscle weakness and/or strain, which is very common, can subtly change the way the knee moves.
Anatomy of the knee;
The superficial medial collateral ligament (sMCL), deep MCL (dMCL), and posterior oblique ligament (POL) are considered the three most important stabilizers of the medial knee, to which the bony configuration, medial meniscus, joint capsule, and surrounding muscles/tendons also contribute. to joint stability.
The sMCL arises just above (above) and behind (behind) the medial epicondyle of the femur. The proximal division of the sMCL attaches to the tibia, just below the joint line, while the distal division inserts more distally on the tibia.
The dMCL is a thickening of the medial joint capsule, connecting the medial meniscus to the femur (meniscofemoral division) and the tibia (meniscotibial division). The POL is located posterior to the sMCL, is an extension of the semimembranosus tendon, and reinforces the posteromedial joint capsule. Together, the sMCL, dMCL, POL, oblique popliteal ligament (OPL), and posterior horn of the medial meniscus are considered to be the major structures of the posteromedial horn.
Let’s have a look upon the symptoms:
- Tenderness on the inside of the knee joint.
- Bruising in the area and stiffness when trying to move the affected leg.
- Swelling of the knee after an injury that usually occurs within 48 hours.
- Inability to transfer the entire weight of the body over the affected knee or stand on one leg without causing pain and discomfort.
- Knee hurts when straightened.
- Difficulty straightening the affected leg without pain and discomfort.
- Unusual noises from the knee during movement, such as popping, clicking, or grinding.
- Increased pain when using stairs.
Why Is Medial Knee Pain So Common?
Medial knee injuries are really common because muscle weakness and/or tightness, which is very common, can subtly change the way the knee moves. This causes more force to pass through the inside of the joint rather than the weight being distributed evenly across the entire joint, resulting in damage to the inside of the knee and therefore leading to medial knee pain. For example, medial knee pain is much more common to get osteoarthritis on the inside of the knee than on the outside.
Few causes of medial knee pain;
Medial collateral ligament strain
The MCL is one of the four major ligaments of the knee. The others are the ACL (anterior), PCL (posterior), and LCL (lateral). The role of these ligaments is to maintain the stability of the knee joint and prevent forces from moving the femur and tibia apart. The MCL runs vertically along the inside of the knee; from the thigh bone (femur), through the knee joint to the tibia (tibia). Ligament injuries often occur as a result of an obvious mechanism of injury, such as a twist or force hitting the outside of the knee (such as a tackle in football). Depending on the severity of the injury, there may be swelling, bruising and pain on the inside of the knee. You may also experience difficulty walking and a feeling of instability in the knee.
Medial meniscus injury
The menisci are the crescent-shaped cartilaginous discs in the knee joint. The medial meniscus is located on the inside of the knee and the lateral on the outside. The injury can occur as a result of a specific movement, such as twisting the knee. The resulting tears in the meniscus then “catch” when bending and straightening the knee, resulting in pain. Injury can also occur due to wear and tear over time; this is called a chronic meniscus injury. An injury to the medial meniscus can cause any of the following symptoms: pain on the inside of the knee; painful clicking when bending the knee; a feeling that your knee is “locked”; swelling and stiffness.
Wear and tear
Like all joints, wear and tear occurs in the knee due to repeated use and age. Degeneration occurs at the joint surfaces, causing the tissues that normally allow the joint to move freely to become painful. This wear and tear can be accelerated in people who are extremely active, such as athletes. However, sedentary people who do little or no exercise may also experience an accelerated rate of degeneration. This underlines the importance of regular exercise to reduce injury. Wear and tear on the knee can cause pain; stiffness; edema; difficulty walking; climbing stairs; and getting out of a chair or bed.
The lungs are folds of thin tissue in the knee. It forms part of the joint membrane that allows movement without friction. Only about 50% of people have them, which means that plica syndrome is relatively rare. You may feel tenderness inside the knee, especially when you touch it, a painful clicking or popping sensation when the knee bends. There is also a positive duvet test – literally a duvet test! If your knees hurt when you lie in bed on your side, place a duvet between your knees. If there is a reduction in symptoms, it is likely to be due to a pulmonary syndrome.
Here’s how you can treat it;
The optimal management of isolated medial knee injuries is unclear. As there is little evidence to investigate conservative (non-surgical) and surgical interventions. Dislocated knees, which often involve the medial structures. It has been shown to have excellent outcomes in function, knee stability, return to work, and return to sports after surgery.
Isolated medial knee pain or injuries (grades I-III) are usually managed without surgery. There is no consensus on orthosis, but medial knee injury III. However, degrees are usually placed in a long lever brace with limited weight to protect the structures during the early stages of healing.
Surgical repair/reattachment of avulsed medial structures. Or reconstruction of the medial structures of the knee may be required for chronic instability. The procedure chosen often depends on surgeon preference and patient presentation.
What else can you do to reduce medial knee pain?
While some injuries are inevitable, such as sports-related MCL injuries. There are many things you can do to reduce the likelihood of them occurring. The best method is exercise, specifically strengthening the muscles around the knee. Exercises such as squats or leg presses in the gym are extremely effective in preventing knee pain. If you develop pain on the inside of your knee. It is important to stop aggravating activities as much as possible. You can also use an ice pack, elevate your leg while resting, and use pain relievers as needed. However, you can also apply these as knee bursitis treatment.
Prevention from medial knee pain
Following activities to help prevent the onset of medial knee pain:
- Keep your body weight within the target range for your age group. This can help reduce the stress and force placed on the knees and associated ligaments and tendons during movement.
- Stay active and agile.
- Wearing protective equipment. Such as knee pads or a brace, during activities that could lead to injury.
- Kinetic prosthetics can be helpful by optimizing the way force is transferred during movement.
- Ask your podiatrist for advice on the most suitable and best fitting footwear for your lifestyle.
- Make sure to change your sports shoes at least every 6 months.