Anterior knee pain is pain experienced around the front of the knee, or on the underside of the kneecap. It is one of the most common complaints amongst young active individuals presenting to physiotherapy, sports injury and orthopaedic clinics. Distinguishing the cause often poses difficulties, and the clinician will often ask you questions about various aspects of the pain, particularly how it started, what aggravates it and exactly where in the knee the pain is located. The clinician will then examine your knee at length to help differentiate the cause.
Many causes of anterior knee pain will not require surgical intervention (e.g. patellofemoral pain syndrome or chondromalacia patellae) and can be managed conservatively following a physiotherapy rehabilitation programme that is designed for the individual. In this section we concentrate on common causes of anterior related to the patella (knee cap) that may require surgical intervention.