Knee pain is a common symptom of many acute injuries and chronic conditions. The area found on the inside of the knee closest to the opposite knee is known as the medial compartment and it is one of the most common causes of complaint. Read on to find out about some of the most common causes of medial compartment or medial knee pain.
Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects cartilage. As it eats away at the cartilage in the medial compartment, this causes pain as the bones grind together. Symptoms of osteoarthritis typically appear when patients put pressure on their knees and increase in severity as the day progresses.
Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. It causes inflammation in the joints. Most patients with rheumatoid arthritis say that their pain is worse when they wake up in the morning and decreases over the course of the day.
Medial Collateral Ligament Injuries
When patients extend the medial collateral ligament (MCL) that runs along the inner knee it can cause an MCL injury. Injuries include sprains and partial or full tears and occur most commonly in athletes.
Symptoms include swelling, instability, locked knees, and unusual popping sounds at the time of injury. Patients can alleviate their symptoms while the injury heals with knee sleeves and braces.
Medial Meniscus Injury
The medial meniscus creates a cushion between the leg bones. Damage to the medial meniscus usually occurs during athletic activities. It can cause symptoms like stiffness, sharp pain, locked knees, and imbalance.
Pes Anserine Bursitis
Bursas are fluid-filled sacs found between the MCL and the tendons collectively known as the pes anserine. Pes anserine bursitis occurs when this sac produces extra fluid and becomes swollen. Other extant conditions like osteoarthritis, medial meniscus tears, or obesity can cause pes anserine bursitis or the condition can result from tight hamstring muscles or turning the knee.
Medial Plicae Irritation
Medial plicae are small folds that cover the inner knee. Patients who irritate their medial plicae through overuse may experience locked knees and dull inner knee pain. This pain is caused by a thickening of the folds, which then become stuck between the bones.
Direct blows to the knee can cause bruises to the knee bone known in medical terms as contusions. These contusions cause bruising, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty bending the knee.
Most athletes and consumers don’t go to the doctor for help with treating knee pain unless they have serious injuries. Home remedies will suffice for treating minor knee pain. Try the RICE method or purchase a brace that will stabilize the area. Medical treatments include steroid injection, physical therapy, surgery, and the use of prescribed assistive devices.