Bone, Joint and Muscle Conditions

Knee and Kneecap Problems Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of Knee and Kneecap Problems

Sudden swelling after an injury is a sign of trouble, as is pain.

Knee and Kneecap Problems Diagnosis

Kneecap tenderness. Courtesy of 'Fundamentals of Pediatric Orthopedics,' © 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Point of maximum tenderness.

When you and your child visit our clinic, our doctors ask detailed questions about the pain your child is feeling, and about any incidents or accidents that may have happened before the knee began to hurt. Then we examine your child's knee.

We will probably take X-rays. We may also take pictures of your child's legs as they stand still This will help us spot any tendency in your child toward knock-knees, a condition that makes pain more likely.

If we need more information, we may ask your child to have an:

  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan
  • CT (computed tomography) scan

These imaging tests make pictures that can help doctors:

  • See whether there is damage to the cartilage inside the knee.
  • Get a better look at the position of his kneecap.