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Learn about your pain in the front of the knee, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your pain in the front of the knee from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Pain in the Front of the Knee Checker

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Your Pain in the Front of the Knee May Also be Known as:
Aches and pains in my front of knee
Front of knee ache
Front of knee discomfort
Front of knee hurts
Front of knee pain
Front of knee soreness
Knee cap pain
Painful front of knee
Sore front of knee

Top 5 Pain in the Front of the Knee Causes

  1. 1.Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

    The kneecap (patella) is located directly in front of the thigh bone (femur), and should normally glide freely up and down. In this condition, called patellofemoral pain syndrome, the kneecap may rub against the thigh bone instead of gliding smoothly, causing damage and pain.

    You should visit your primary care physician. While you can safely take steps to treat this condition at home (avoiding strenuous use of the knee and taking over-the-counter pain medication), your doctor may coordinate care with a physical therapist to help manage your pain and function of the knee.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    knee pain, pain in one knee, knee pain that gets worse when going up stairs, dull, achy knee pain, knee pain that gets worse when squatting
    Symptoms that always occur with patellofemoral pain syndrome:
    knee pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Jumper's Knee (Patellar Tendonitis)

    Patellar tendonitis (Jumper's knee) is the inflammation of the patellar tendon, which attaches the knee cap to the shin bone (tibia). This condition is caused by frequently from sports and jumping.

    You should visit your primary care doctor, who will perform a physical exam to assess for other causes of knee pain. Lab studies and imaging are typically not necessary. Treatment involves reducing activity to allow for healing, stretching, and strengthening the muscles supporting the knee.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one knee, spontaneous knee pain, knee pain that gets worse when going up stairs, knee pain that gets worse when squatting, knee stiffness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Pain in the Front of the Knee Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having pain in the front of the knee.

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  3. 3.Repeated Kneecap Dislocation (Patellar Subluxation)

    Recurrent patellar subluxation is the continued instability of the kneecap, which causes anterior knee pain and usually occurs laterally. It occurs unpredictably with varying durations.

    Your doctor will be able to make a diagnosis regarding the severity of your recurrent patellar subluxation using X-ray and/or MRI. Basic rehabilitation is the preferred conservative treatment, but in certain cases surgery may be necessary to stabilize the recurring dislocations.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one knee, dull, achy knee pain, pain in the front of the knee, pain in the inside of the knee, swollen knee
    Symptoms that always occur with repeated kneecap dislocation (patellar subluxation):
    kneecap dislocation
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Severe Kneecap Dislocation

    The kneecap connects the muscles in the front of the thigh to the shinbone (tibia). When the kneecap slips out of the groove, problems and pain often result.

    You should seek immediate medical care at an urgent care clinic or ER, because this is a concerning type of knee dislocation that cannot be easily pushed back in place (reduced). A consult from an orthopedic surgeon may be needed to evaluate possible damage.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    constant knee pain, pain in one knee, knee injury, knee pain from an injury, swollen knee
    Symptoms that always occur with severe kneecap dislocation:
    knee pain from an injury, kneecap dislocation, constant knee pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  5. 5.Osgood - Schlatter Disease

    This condition is a common cause of knee pain amount children and adolescents who play sports, and usually affects children 16 and younger. Osgood-Schlatter Disease usually develops due to overuse of the large quadriceps (quad) muscle which makes up the front of the thigh. The muscle pulls on the kneecap and the kneecap (patellar) ligament, which attaches to the upper part of the shin bone (tibia). With overuse, redness and soreness may develop in the knee.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own. The problem will go away on its own without any specific treatment. Over-the-counter pain medication may help with the occasional flare-up.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    knee pain, knee pain that gets worse when squatting, knee pain that gets worse during a run, knee pain that gets worse when going up stairs, knee pain that gets worse when kneeling
    Symptoms that always occur with osgood-schlatter disease:
    knee pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pain in the Front of the Knee

  • Q.Is your knee pain getting better or worse?
  • Q.How long has your knee pain been going on?
  • Q.How severe is your knee pain?
  • Q.Is the knee pain affecting one or both knees?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our pain in the front of the knee symptom checker.

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Pain in the Front of the Knee Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced pain in the front of the knee have also experienced:

    • 6% Knee That Clicks During Movement
    • 3% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
    • 3% Fever
  • People who have experienced pain in the front of the knee had symptoms persist for:

    • 35% Over a Month
    • 30% Less Than a Day
    • 17% Less Than a Week
  • People who have experienced pain in the front of the knee were most often matched with:

    • 52% Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
    • 5% Jumper's Knee (Patellar Tendonitis)
    • 2% Repeated Kneecap Dislocation (Patellar Subluxation)

Pain in the Front of the Knee Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having pain in the front of the knee.

Take a quiz