Inside Knee Pain – Causes, Diagnosing & Treatment

Are you undergoing pain on the inside of the knee? As with any type of pain, inside knee pain may be debilitating particularly since the knee joint is such a critical part of daily movement. Patients may experience pain inside of the left knee, pain inside of the right knee, or on the insides of both knees. 

The good news is that if you are able to isolate the pain to a specific location, such as inside of the left knee, then your doctor will have an easier time diagnosing the problem.

What Causes Pain On The Inside Of The Knee?

MCL Injury

The most common reason for inside knee pain is an injury to the medial collateral ligament (MCL). The MCL is the ligament that runs up the inside of the knee joint and it helps stabilize the inside of the knee. MCL damages typically occur when impact happens on the outside of the knee, which overstretches or tears the inside ligament.

Meniscus Injury 

The meniscus is the piece of cartilage that cushions the knee joint as we step. Depending on where on the meniscus an injury has happened, a patient may experience inner knee pain.

Other Causes of Inside Knee Pain

Weakness of the muscles around the knee or arthritis may also induce pain on the inside of the knee. There may also be different causes for inside knee pain, but the ones listed here are the most common.

Diagnosing Inside Knee Pain

In order to treat pain on the inside of the knee, it is very helpful to get an accurate diagnosis from your physician. If you had trauma or another injury to the knee, it is important to let your doctor know. Your age and activities may also play an element in helping determine the cause of inside knee pain. Therefore, be sure to let your doctor know about your occupation or hobbies that may be affecting your knee.

Your medic will likely have an imaging test such as an MRI or X-ray to be able to see the structures in the knee and determine if there has been an injury to the cartilage or ligaments which may be causing pain inside the knee. He or she can then determine if the MCL or meniscus has been stretched or torn.

What Can You Do To Reduce Knee Pain?

Although some injuries are unavoidable, such as sports-inflicted MCL injuries, there are many things you can do in order to reduce the chance of them occurring. The best manner is exercise, specifically strengthening the muscles around the knee.

Exercises such as squats or leg presses in the gym are extremely effective in preventing knee pain. If you start to suffer from pain on the inside of your knee it is important to stop the aggravating activities as much as possible. You can also utilize an ice compress, elevate your leg when resting, and use painkillers as necessary.

Treatment For Inside Knee Pain

Once your doctor determines the cause of the pain inside the knee, he or she will be able to suggest forms of treatment.

Treatment differs depending on the severity of the injury. Immediate treatment after traumatic injuries includes RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin.

If a more severe injury such as an MCL tear is present, then arthroscopic surgery to repair the torn ligament may be necessary. In all cases, physical therapy may be beneficial, because strengthening the muscles around the knee will help reduce pain inside the knee both before and after surgery (or even if no surgery is required). Speak with your doctor about all of your options with respect to your inside knee pain.

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