Medial Knee Pain – What are the Causes, Symptoms and Possible Treatments

What is medial Knee Pain?

Medial knee pain is pain that occurs on the interior side of the knee and can be caused by a number of reasons. It may occur gradually over a certain period of time or may develop suddenly after a knee injury.Inside knee pain can be a general knee inner pain, sharp pain or pain that restricts movement. Injuries experienced on medial collateral ligament (MCL), medial meniscus, fibrocartilage band across the knee joint or the ligament on the inner knee may lead to arthritis. This pain may also be caused by muscle weakness or tightness that can subtly change knee movements.

Medial Knee Pain



  • Causes

This knee pain occurs mainly when one experiences direct injury to the MCL, medial collateral ligament due to stress or overuse or trauma to the knee. The ligament can be torn partially or completely or even sprained and causes the pain. It can also be caused by other injuries that occur in the cartilage or knee muscle joints.

The fibrocartilage band known as the medial meniscus present in the knee, and lies between the thigh and shine bone, acts as the shock absorber. It is crucial in unifying the distribution of the body weight on the knee. If the cartilage is damaged, too much pressure builds up in some parts of the knee joints affecting the medial ligament. The pain can also result from degeneration of the knee joint. Osteoarthritis and other underlying diseases are the main causes of knee joint degeneration.


  • Symptoms

If you experience popping sound from your knees along with pain regularly, then it is possible that some ligament is torn or stretched. Inflammation may result in and around the knee area as well resulting to painful experiences while bending or straitening the knee. Some people experience sharp pains at times that forces them to limp because they find it difficult to walk. The pain intensity in the knee due to medial meniscus tear varies from mild to severe. This can be identified with stiffness and tenderness of the knee joint, crunching and grinding sensation in the knee together with swelling. Medial knee pain symptoms caused by arthritis are usually tender joints and mostly felt in the morning.


  • Treatment

Just like any knee injury, medial knee pain can be treated acutely with immobilization or ice. Ice application and a few hours rest will help you relieve yourself from the discomfort temporarily. Swelling and pain is also reduced in the knee joint. It is important not to apply the ice for more than 15 minutes. Keep the knee in a raised position above the heart level to lower the swelling.

Even though these practices and other knee exercises such as squats and stretches can help reduce the pain, it is important to visit a physician who can identify the cause of the pain and severity of the injury. The doctor will require injury history, he/she will do some examination, X-rays and MRI for diagnosis. You can be given painkillers to reduce the pain, especially if the injury is mild. For a complicated case, surgery may be required, particularly when the cartilage is torn or arthritis joint replacement is required.

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