Lateral knee pain refers to the pain that occurs on the outside of the knee. It develops gradually, unlike an acute knee joint or ligament injury. Iliotibial band friction syndrome and lateral cartilage injuries are two of the most common causes of outside knee pain.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome
Iliotibial band syndrome refers to inflammation of the Iliotibial band on the outside of the knee when it rubs against the outside of the knee joint. Symptoms include pain occurring on the outside of the knee, which can get progressively worse. The athlete will be required to rest for a period of time until the symptoms dissipate.
Lateral Meniscus Tear
Lateral meniscus tear refers to an injury to the semi circular cartilage on the outside of the knee joint. Pain and tenderness around the outside surface of the knee will occur in this case. The knee joint is cushioned and supported by two crescent shaped cartilage menisci. These can be injured due to a traumatic injury or twisting as well as gradual degeneration.
Peroneal Nerve Contusion
The peroneal nerve is a branch of the sciatic nerve which runs down the outside of the lower leg, serving the peroneal muscles which help pull the foot upwards and inwards. Tingling and numbness in the lower leg is a common symptom, and it is often caused by a blow to the outside of the knee.
Proximal Tibiofibular Joint Dislocation
In many cases, dislocation of the proximal tibiofibular joint occurs when the athlete sustains an impact or falls with their knee in a fully bent position. It is an injury to the joint at the top of the shin where the two shin bones meet at the knee.
Less Common Causes of the Lateral Knee Pain
Osteoarthritis of the knee refers to the wear and tear on the knee joint. In a case where this condition occurs in the lateral compartment or outside of the knee, the patient may experience a deep aching pain in the inner knee that worsens after exercise.
In the morning, the patient may often suffer from stiffness in the knee joint. But this can reduce with movement as the joint produces lubricating synovial fluid. The patient may experience knee swelling or a cracking or clicking sound when moving the knee.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome typically causes pain at the front of the knee. However, it may also cause pain on the outside of the knee as the outside of the patella rubs on the bone underneath. The knee will often have swelling, and pain will emerge gradually over time.
Biceps Femoris Tendonitis
Biceps femoris tendonitis refers to inflammation of one of the hamstring muscles at its point of attachment at the back and outside of the knee. It is marked by swelling and tenderness at the point where the bone and tendon attach. The patient may experience pain when bending the knee against resistance with stiffness after exercise and in the mornings.
Astute, marvelous, and board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven Thomas and Dr. Gregory Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada and other neighborhoods and suburbs in The Sagebrush State for outside knee injuries.
If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. call (702) 933-9393; Physical Therapy (702) 933-9393.