Knee joint pain around patella in Left Knee

Patient

Q: What is wrong with my left knee if i can feel a difference in i guess you could say muscle but I'm not sure if it is a ligament or even cartilage on the inside of my left knee, it feels like it is missing something and the other knee feels fine. also, my left knee causes pain when either bent or straight also i feel pain above my knee cap and sometimes on the outside of my knee, what are my symptoms

Symptoms:  joint pain above patella, pain on inside of left knee, gradual pain, hurts when bent for long periods
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. There could be a number of causes of your pain. We will attempt to outline some of the most common causes of your knee pain, based on your specific symptomatology.

Pain above the patella could be caused by a condition known as prepatellar or suprapatellar bursitis. A bursa is a fluid filled space that provides cushioning between muscles and joints. Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa, due to excessive pressure, like from kneeling, or trauma. This would commonly result in pain, decreased range of motion, and increased tenderness when the joint is bent.

Pain on the inside of your knee could be due to issues with your knee joint specifically the meniscus or medical collateral ligament. These are structures that help stabilize the knee joint preventing hyperextension. The severity of these injuries can range from strains to complete rupture or tearing of these anatomical structures.

Lastly, gradual pain and pain after your knee has been bent for a long time could also be due to the aforementioned phenomena or due to osteoarthritis, wherein the cartilage in your knee is thinning resulting in the characteristic pain you are experiencing.

We recommend that you try to decrease the amount of physical activity you engage in until you have your knee thoroughly examined by a physician, and have diagnostic imaging conducted of your knee joint to illumine the possible sources of your problem. In the mean time we recommend that you apply ice to the area as well elevate your knee joint with some pillows when you are resting. You can also take some oral analgesic medication such as ibuprofen to assist in reducing your pain and inflammation.

Thank you for choosing askthedoctor.com

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