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"Why does the top of my knee hurt?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy does the top of my knee hurt?


On my left knee there is pain on the top. I guess you would say it is on the knee cap. I don't really play sports or exercise a lot, so I don't think I hurt it. What could make my knee be causing me pain?


I recommend that you go see your primary care doctor. There are numerous potential causes of your knee pain, and the only way to figure out what is going on is to have a thorough examination of the knee by your doctor. First of all, it is important to rule out a serious acute problem with the knee, especially an infection of the knee joint or an inflammation from gout. If the knee pain came on relatively suddenly, or if there is swelling or warmth or redness of the joint, then you need to get in to see your doctor somewhat urgently, as these could be signs of a more serious problem requiring immediate treatment. Once your doctor has ruled out these serious problems, they will be able to consider more standard knee complaints, which include patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner's knee) - which, oddly enough, occurs in non-runners and even in people who are not very active - knee arthritis, ligament injuries, and the like. These problems are generally responsive to rest, strengthening exercises for the muscles of the legs, physical therapy, and pain medications. However, your doctor will be able to give you more specific recommendations once they give you a formal diagnosis.

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