Anterior Knee Pain

Anterior Knee PainAnterior knee pain is a form of pain that can be found at the front and center of the knee. It is also called runner’s knee, jumper’s knee and Patellar tendinitis. It can happen at any age from youth, through adulthood and during the latter years of life.

If you are athletic you are more prone to anterior knee pain because of knee overuse. For the most part, it is not a serious injury and does not last for long if you tend to it right away.

However, since the knee is a crucial part of the body, by supporting leg movement, it is important to understand the aspects of anterior knee pain which can lead to a long term chronic condition if not treated immediately.


Anterior knee pain starts from a strained tendon which is also called tendinitis. This causes an irritation or softening of the cartilage under the kneecap. The initial pain begins when the kneecap is moving in various ways that cause continual rubbing along the thigh bone or femur.

Other anterior knee pain causes may include:

  • Flat feet – Flat feet cause you to carry your weight through the wrong part of the foot
  • Muscle weakness – Weakness or imbalance of the knee muscles at a joint will become misaligned at the joint surface.
  • Excess activity – Extra stress or activity on the knee can be a major cause of anterior knee pain
  • Arthritis – Arthritis affects all age groups but the elderly are more at risk
  • Overweight – Extra weight on the knees will cause stress on the various parts on and around the knee which leads to pain
  • Other injuries – Various injuries in and around the leg can lead to unexpected knee pain
  • Patella Dislocation – A dislocated kneecap can cause the kneecap to misalign with the kneecap groove
  • Fracture in kneeFractures are breaks that can cause various levels of pain


Sometimes it’s challenging to determine what is happening to your body when pain is felt. That is why it is important to know the symptoms which can help you recognize anterior knee pain so that you can treat it at the onset. The symptoms associated with Anterior Knee Pain are:


If you feel anterior knee pain for an extended amount of time then it’s best you see a doctor. After making an appointment the physician may ask you to go through a physical exam which will help diagnose the exact problem in the knee.

In addition, the doctor will be able to deduce from the exams and symptoms if you are suffering from anterior knee pain or another knee condition altogether.

The anterior knee pain diagnostic tests are:

  • X-rays
  • MRI scans
  • Physical exam

See our 10-step knee pain diagnosis page for easy self-diagnosis.


One of the most effective ways to treat anterior knee pain is RICE (Rest, Ice, Compress & Elevate). To learn more about how to implement RICE treatment please click here.

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Preventing Anterior Knee Pain isn’t always possible, but there are certain measures you can take to reduce the likelihood of developing it.

Have You Had Anterior Knee Pain? Please Comment Below.

Article last updated on January 8th, 2019, first published on September 4, 2013.

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