Knee complaints

Complaints of the knee

Our knees carry us day in, day out. No effort is too much: climbing stairs, getting up from a chair and a sprint to the bus. Those are only a few examples of the burden our knees have to bear. But when it goes wrong, there are many possible causes for the knee complaint and the complaints can vary as well. On this page you can read all about the most common knee problems.

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Anatomy of the knee

The knee joint is a hinge which is formed by the upper leg, the tibia and the patella. The knee must ensure that the shocks that occur during walking and running, are compensated. The knee joint gets its stability from the ligaments and strong muscles that are woven around the joint. The bone end of the femur does not fit in the shin. This is why there are discs of cartilage (meniscus) between these bones, which distribute pressure and serve as a shock absorber. The knee joint also contains bursas that ease the friction.

Symptoms of knee complaints

There are many symptoms for the many complaints of the knee. For instance you can experience pain, feel that the knee is “locked”, have a sore knee after exercising or climbing stairs, or stiffness especially when getting out of bed in the morning. These symptoms are unfortunately, very recognizable for many people. There are too many causes to discuss all of them on this page so we will describe just the most common causes.

Causes of knee complaints

The main cause of a  knee is the straining of the knee joint. This can occur while or after hard training, especially when running is involved because that creates a lot of pressure on the knees. Injuries on the knee are unfortunately very common. For example, when shoe studs are anchored in the grass while making a large rotation, it will cause, at the least, heavy irritation to the ligaments and muscles. Complaints can also occur due to old age.

Typical knee complaints



If you sit for a very long period of time on your knees, you may suffer from an infected bursa. A bursa is a gland between the skin and the patella which helps the gliding of the cartilage. This form of burden on the muscles and joints we do in everyday life, such as during cleaning or gardening. The inflammation of the bursa will usually go away by itself. Only if symptoms persist, is it advisable to visit a professional therapist.


Ruptured cruciate ligament

There are two cruciate ligaments in the knee joint, namely: the anterior and posterior cruciate ligament. Both of them have the function of guiding and decelerating the movements of the knee. This will also prevent the shifting of the lower leg from the upper leg. When a cruciate ligament is ruptured it often causes bleeding. This makes the knee thick and painful. Usually you can hear a crackling sound in the knee while tearing a cruciate ligament.

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Meniscus injury (football knee)

The menisci (plural of meniscus) allocate great pressure in the knee joint. A tear in the meniscus can be caused by a quick turn of the upper body while the feet and legs do not rotate. When a particle of a torn meniscus is trapped in the knee joint, you will experience it as a “locked” knee.


Jumper’s knee

In sports that involve a lot of jumping, like with basketball and volleyball, the tendon of the kneecap can be overloaded. Yo can feel the symptoms especially during the jumping and landing.


Gonarthrosis (wear and tear of the knee)

With osteoarthritis of the knee joint, the amount of cartilage on the bone end is reduced which creates wear and tear. This often causes pain, which will occur intensely while moving after a period of rest. In addition, a cracking noise can be heard at the beginning of the motion.

Treatment of knee complaints

Knee complaints can arise out of many possible causes. It is important to submit your complaints to a professional therapist. The therapist will discuss a treatment plan with you so you know what you can expect from your recovery. Click here to read more about treatment at MoveWell.