Sore Knee Cap
A sore knee cap is a very common complaint in all age groups. One in three people experience knee cap pain at some stage. Typically this pain is experienced at the front of the knee. The knee cap, also known as the patella, with doctors referring to the type of pain as “patellofemoral pain”.
Dr. David Colvin, orthopaedic surgeon in Perth. David's specialty is knee and shoulder surgery and sports injuries.
What does the knee cap do?
The patellofemoral joint is the part of your knee joint where the knee cap runs in a groove at the front of the knee. The groove is called the ‘trochlea’. The quadriceps muscles on the front of your thigh connect to the patella. The knee cap is then connected to the tibia (or shin bone) by the patella tendon.
When the quadriceps muscles contract they pull on the patella, and it causes the knee to straighten. The patella acts as a pulley, moving up and down in the groove on the front of the knee. The knee cap does not normally move from side to side.
When the patella does not run centrally in the trochlea groove, it is called maltracking. A maltracking patella tilts to the outer side of the knee.
What causes a sore knee cap?
Knee cap pain occurs when the patellofemoral joint is not functioning properly.
There are three common causes of patellofemoral pain:
- Patella maltracking causes a sore knee cap as the patella runs to the outer side of the groove, causing pressure overload.
- Patella dislocation occurs when the patella is knocked completely out of its groove. This can damage the joint surface of the patella and tears the ligaments holding the patella in place.
- Patella osteoarthritis is a result of long-term maltracking, but is also caused by injury, or obesity.
Tibial Tubercle Transfer (TTT)
Treatment of Patellofemoral Pain
Get in touch with us!
Dr David Colvin consults at:
Western Orthopaedic Clinic
Suite 213, 25 McCourt Street,
Subiaco WA 6008 (Perth)
- These rooms are part of St John of God Subiaco Hospital.
- Parking is available on site.
Dr David Colvin operates at: