Rheumatology clinic

An approach to the painful knee

Christopher Needs



A history of knee trauma will lead to consideration of fractures and ligamentous and meniscal pathology, but in middle aged and elderly patients inflammatory and traumatic causes may coexist.

Article Extract

A painful knee is one of the most common musculoskeletal complaints. Given that the pathology causing the pain may not always reside within the knee, it is vital to have knowledge of the anatomy of the joint as well as its surrounding structures. Sources of pain include:

  • the prepatellar and infrapatellar bursae, anterior to the knee
  • the anserine bursa, medial to the knee
  • the semimembranosus bursa, posteromedial to the knee.