Adolescent Anterior Knee Pain: Orthopedic Treatment

Adolescent Anterior Knee Pain is a medical condition that affects physically active teenagers. It is characterized by pain and discomfort in the area surrounding the kneecap. The knee is the largest and one of the most complex joints comprising of three bones, femur, tibia and patella. Various ligaments and tendons support these bones as well as hold them in place. Stress or damage to any of these parts can lead to Adolescent Anterior Knee Pain. The condition is more commonly seen in girls as compared to boys.


  • Overuse of the joint
  • Sudden change in the intensity and technique of physical activity
  • Weak quadriceps or hamstring muscles
  • Inherent defects in alignment of the kneecap, leg and hip joint
  • Wearing ill-fitted shoes
  • Incorrect exercise or sports technique
  • Tight ligaments in the knee joint


  • Dull and persistent ache that may increase following a physical activity or exercise
  • Pain may also occur while resting
  • Difficulty in squatting, climbing stairs, weight lifting and running
  • Cracking or locking sensation around the knee joint while moving
  • Discomfort while getting up after prolonged sitting
  • Feeling of the joint being unstable
  • Swelling around the kneecap


  • Physical examination which may include palpation, observing the shape of the kneecap, tightness of the ligaments and other visible symptoms
  • Range of motion tests may be done by asking the patient to perform some physical movements such as jumping, walking, bending, squatting etc.
  • The patient’s medical history and lifestyle details may be taken into consideration by the knee specialist
  • X-ray imaging may be conducted to assess the anatomical changes in the kneecap and other supporting structures
  • MRI scan may help to diagnose damage to the soft tissues


Adolescent Anterior Knee Pain can be treated through conservative methods. Some of them are listed below:

  • Use of comfortable shoes that provide adequate support to the feet and prevent stress to the knee joint
  • The intensity and duration of physical activity must be reduced till the symptoms subside. Any exercise or sport that may lead to pain should be avoided
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines may be prescribed by the doctor to relieve pain
  • Hamstring and quadriceps muscle strengthening exercises may be recommended to provide better support to the knee
  • Application of ice packs at regular intervals may help to alleviate pain and swelling
  • Orthotic devices such as shoe inserts or molded arch supports can be used to combat pain and discomfort
  • Regular physical therapy sessions may help to enhance flexibility and range of motion

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