Left kneecap pain is a common complaint among adults and is mostly associated with general wear and tear from daily activities such as walking, bending, standing and lifting. People who play sports or jog that involve jumping or spinning fast are also more likely to experience kneecap pain and problems. But whether your kneecap pain is caused by aging or injury, it can be annoying and even debilitating in some cases.

What causes left kneecap pain?

Some kneecap-related problems are a result of the aging process and the constant wear and stress on the knee joint. Other kneecap problems are the result of an injury or sudden movement that strains your knee.

Common causes of left kneecap pain include:

  1. Sprain or strain:
    Sudden bending of the knee or a blow to the knee can cause a sprain or strain on the kneecap and cause kneecap pain. Symptoms usually include difficulty walking, pain and swelling .
  2. Cartilage tear:
    Any blow or trauma to the knee can tear the cartilage in the kneecap area. Cartilage tears usually occur with sprains. Treatment may include wearing a brace during an activity to protect the knee from further injury. Sometimes surgery may be required to repair the tear.
  3. Tendonitis:
    Inflammation of the tendons (tendinitis) can result from overuse of a tendon during certain activities, such as running, jumping, or cycling. This is often seen in sports such as basketball, where the force of hitting the ground after a jump stretches the tendon.
  4. Osteoarthritis (calcification):
    Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis (calcification) affecting the knee. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative process in which the cartilage in the joint gradually wears away. It usually affects middle-aged and older people. Osteoarthritis can be caused by excessive stress on the joint, such as repetitive injury or being overweight.
  5. Rheumatoid arthritis:
    Rheumatoid arthritis can affect the left kneecap by causing inflammation of the joint and destroying the knee cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis can often affect people at an earlier age than osteoarthritis, causing kneecap pain.
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How to determine the cause of left knee cap pain?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, other tests for knee problems may include:

  1. X- ray:
    X- ray uses invisible beams of electromagnetic energy to film images of internal tissues, bones, and organs.
  2. Emar:
    Emar uses large magnets, radio frequencies, and a computer to make detailed images of organs and structures in the body; it can usually identify damage or disease in a surrounding ligament or muscle.
  3. Computed tomography:
    Computed tomography scanning uses X-rays and computer technology to make horizontal or axial images of the body (often called slices). This scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including bones, muscles, fat, and organs.
  4. Arthroscopy:
    Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic and treatment procedure used for joint problems. This procedure uses a small, lighted, optical tube (arthroscope) that is inserted into the joint through a small incision in the joint. Images of the inside of the joint are projected onto a screen; It is used to evaluate any degenerative or arthritic changes in the joint. It is also used to detect bone diseases and tumors and to determine the cause of bone pain and inflammation.
  5. Radionuclide bone scan:
    A radionuclide bone scan is a nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material injected into a patient’s bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.

How is left knee cap pain treated?

If your pain does not go away, your doctor may recommend treatments to deal with the underlying cause of your left kneecap pain. These treatments will include trying to strengthen your hip muscles or helping with foot problems, any of which can affect kneecap pain. Your doctor will recommend treatment according to the condition causing your pain.

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If your pain is severe, you may be given stronger pain relievers such as codeine . Because this has more side effects than standard pain relievers , it may only be prescribed for a short time, and your doctor will likely recommend other treatments to address the causes of your pain. These may include physical therapy , speech therapies and pain management programs, surgery or injections .

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