The Common Causes of Chronic Knee Pain

Knee pain is very common and is often caused by a natural aging of the knee and wearing of cartilage (osteoarthritis). In young patients, injury to the knee can also cause pain which may not resolve. The professional knee surgeons at Victorian Bone and Joint Specialists can explore the causes of your knee pain and help with the treatment to get you back to enjoying life with minimal pain. 

What are the causes of chronic knee pain?

The top five causes of knee pain include:

1. Arthritis 

Osteoarthritis or ‘wear and tear’ of the knee is the most common cause of knee arthritis. Our specialist knee surgeons in Melbourne will investigate this natural wearing of the knee and assess whether surgery will be of benefit. 

2. Torn Cartilage or Meniscus

If the knee is injured through sport or a twisting injury, cartilage or the meniscus can be torn. This will sometimes get better with pain relief medications, physiotherapy and knee braces. However, if the knee joint clicks, catches or gives way, then the knee surgeons at Victorian Bone and Joint Specialists can assess your knee with X-rays. Often an MRI will help understand the injury and sometimes guide treatment, which may involve knee surgery.

A torn meniscus can sometimes be repaired with surgery. Our knee surgeons at Victorian Bone and Joint Specialists have undertaken training in England to help patients keep the meniscus in the knee and repair tears where possible.

Torn Cartilage or Meniscus

Original drawings of meniscal tears which are cut out or repaired. 

3. Sprains and Strains of the Ligaments

If you have had a twisting injury then you may have injured the ligaments of the knee. These injuries can be assessed by our specialist knee surgeons and often respond well to braces and physiotherapy. Other injuries in the knee can be assessed with an MRI scan and this can be organised through Victorian Bone and Joint Specialists. 

4. Tears of ligaments in the knee

Full tears of tendons or ligaments around the knee often need surgery. These include tears of the ACL, the quadricep tendon or the patella tendon.

After surgery, our knee specialists will often work with physiotherapists to begin strengthening and moving the knee. Victorian Bone and Joint Specialists works with physiotherapists across Melbourne to help patients get back on their feet after knee surgery.

Tears of ligaments in the knee

Original drawings torn patella tendon with repair (top) and Torn Quadricep tendon (bottom) with repair bottom


5. Knee cap tracking problems

If the knee cap does not track well in the groove of the knee, this can lead to pain and even instability of the knee cap. Patients can sometimes even dislocate the knee cap if the alignment is significant. Our surgeons at Victorian Bone and Joint Specialists assess patients with this condition and perform surgeries to correct the position of the knee cap if this is required. Knee surgeons in Melbourne and England have come together to publish papers on how to correct this condition and the outcome of surgery.