The knee is a rather complex joint made of many structures. There are bones, tendons and ligaments and if any of these structures is damaged the person will experience pain. The goal is to determine which structure is affected and responsible for the pain.
The knee pain is common and it affects over 45% of the total human population. It predominantly occurs in older people. This can be easily explained by the fact that the process of aging is accompanied by many structural changes including changes in the knee joint. This way the knee becomes more susceptible to injuries and can be also affected by many illnesses.
Outside knee pain, therefore, can be caused by a variety or illnesses and injuries. Apart from the pain patients commonly report additional symptoms and signs such as popping within the knee, swelling of the nearby tissues and restriction of movement. In severe cases the knee can get locked.
Common Causes of Outside Knee Pain
Outside knee pain can be associated with several injuries. For example, it occurs in ligament injury and meniscus injury. Any of the knee ligaments including medial collateral ligament, lateral collateral ligament, posterior cruciate ligament or anterior cruciate ligament can get injured and cause outside knee pain. The injury is in this case most caused by trauma or excessive stress. The meniscus is a rather delicate structure of the knee joint. It can be easily injured and the injury of the meniscus is most commonly in a form of its tear. Torn meniscus is always accompanied by severe knee pain.
Furthermore, outside knee pain can occur due to inflammation of certain knee structures. Tendinitis, inflammation of the tendons, and bursitis, inflammation of the bursae, are two rather painful conditions. Tendinitis is a common injury that occurs amongst runners while bursitis results from physical trauma.
Dislocated knee cap is another cause of outside knee pain. In this injury the kneecap slips from its original place and leads to inflammation of the nearby structures which is normally accompanied by pain. And finally, outside knee pain is a consequence of arthritis of the knee. There are several types of knee arthritis and all of them are associated with knee pain.
Other Causes of Outside Knee Pain
Apart from the previously mentioned there are several more causes of outside knee pain which are not so common. They include iliotibial band syndrome, hyperextended knee, chondromalacia, Osgood-Schlatter disease etc. Even benign and malign tumors located in the knee area are responsible for outside knee pain. Fortunately, tumors are not so common for this body area and this is why they account for only a few cases of outside knee pain.