Anterior Knee Pain


The joint where the kneecap (Patella) meets the upper leg bone (Femur) is called the patellofemoral joint, the kneecap sits in a groove here. Pain is often caused by an imbalance of the muscles that surround and support the knee; this can alter the load and positioning of the patellofemoral joint. Also known as: anterior knee pain, runner’s knee.


  • Pain at the front of the knee, often vague and intermittent
  • Pain with kneeling/direct pressure
  • Often gradual onset related to increased load or activity
  • May be creaking noise of the knee on movement
  • Often aggravated by walking, running, stairs and deep squatting
  • Swelling on acute episodes


  • Activity modification
  • Ice or heat
  • Pain relief
  • Suitable footwear which provide support
  • Physiotherapy including range of movement exercises and a graded strengthening programme
  • Orthopaedic options - 3-6 months conservative measures unless dislocated on more than 3 occasions


  • Generally not indicated

Helpful Documents

Straight Leg Raise


Straight Leg Raise

With your leg out straight in front of you

Lift your leg, keeping the knee straight

Slowly return to the starting position


Static Quadriceps


Static Quadriceps Contraction

With your leg out straight

Contract your thigh muscle

Hold for 5 seconds then relax and repeat

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