Pain in the knee can come in an array of symptoms from: localized joint pain, pain with squatting, clicking and cracking (known as crepitus), locking, and even instability (the feeling of the joint being loose).
A thorough history is important when evaluating the knee. Is there recent trauma? Was the knee bent or straight upon injury? Was there rotation with the injury? These clues can give the clinician information on what structures may be damaged and a plan of attack to address the issue. X-rays and a MRI may be required to further evaluate the symptoms, especially if conservative treatment fails in decreasing the symptoms.
Common conditions of the knee include, tendonitis (inflammation of the tendons), bursitis (inflammation of the bursa-a fluid filled sac to help lubricate the joint), partial/full tears of tendons and or ligaments, meniscus pathology, chondromalacia, patellar tracking syndrome, IT band syndrome, and muscular imbalances. Prevention of knee pain can be taken by strengthening the surrounding musculature that helps to protect the joint such as the hamstrings, quadriceps, and gastrocnemius (calf muscles).