Anterior (Front) Knee Pain
Knee pain occurring at the front and center of the knee is termed anterior knee pain. There are many causes of this type of pain, depending on which structure is being stressed.
The knee is a large and complex joint connecting the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). The kneecap (patella) sits in between them. The areas of bone that are in contact with each other are covered with cartilage, a slippery connective tissue that allows the bones to glide over each other during movement.
There are four ligaments holding these bones together. The muscles that allow the knee to move are connected to the bone by tendons. The quadriceps tendon connects the thigh to the kneecap, and the patellar tendon connects the kneecap to the shin bone.
The knee is susceptible to activity, overuse during training, and malalignment issues. A weak quadriceps tendon will result in the patella moving around, irritating the cartilage or placing stress on the tendons.
Other factors that may cause anterior knee pain include incorrect form or technique during training, improper use of sports equipment, or change in footwear or training surface.
Signs and Symptoms
- Pain in the front or center of the knee
- Popping or cracking sensation of the knee when walking or climbing stairs
- Instability of the knee