Inflammation of the kneecap


The Kneecap, so-called patella, is a triangular, disc-shaped flat bone viewed from the front, the Part of our knee joint and plays an important role in the mobility and strength of our knee. The kneecap is connected to the large thigh muscle, the Quadriceps femoris muscle, in whose tendon it is firmly anchored and as Sesame bone serves. The function of a sesame bone is to gain additional distance from the bone (in this case to the thigh), thereby creating a larger lever for the tendon of the muscle so that the muscle has to use less force to move the bone.

That's why you can use the knee joint so much power build up with the thigh muscle. The posterior surface of the kneecap is covered with cartilage to form a perfect sliding movement of the knee joint.

Like almost any other organ, the kneecap can become inflamed. This can lead to considerable pain and restricted mobility in the knee joint.

Illustration of the kneecap

Illustration of the kneecap: Right knee joint from the front (A), from the outside (C) and muscles around the knee joint (B)
  1. Kneecap -
  2. Femur -
  3. Shin -
  4. Fibula -
  5. Inner meniscus -
    Meniscus medialis
  6. Outer meniscus -
    Lateral meniscus
  7. Kneecap ligament -
    Ligamentum patellae
  8. Hamstring muscle -
    Rectus femoris muscle
  9. Iliac-tibial tendon -
    Iliotibial band
  10. Tibia anterior muscle -
    Tibialis anterior muscle

You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at: medical illustrations


The main symptom of inflammation of the knee joint is knee pain, especially in the front area of ​​the knee joint and directly above / below the kneecap.

Read more on the topic: Pain behind the kneecap

In addition, there may be typical signs of inflammation, such as overheating of the knee joint, more or less reddening of the skin around the kneecap, and swelling of the entire knee joint. After long periods of sitting in a position with knees bent, people find it difficult to stand up and the pain increases for a short time.

Continuous exercise will help relieve the pain.

Read more on the topic: Acute knee pain - that may be behind it

root cause

The most common cause of inflammation of the kneecap is overload. Often the Cartilage substance affected. By running, running or jumping a lot, strong mechanical shock and pressure forces act on our knees, which can lead to irritation or inflammation of the kneecaps. This can be both acute occur due to excessive stress, or creeping into one chronic Take course.

If the kneecap is hit badly by a hard impact so that it cannot be cushioned by the sliding movement in the knee, it can lead to a Damage to the cartilage come, the kneecap is literally squeezed.

Also one Cartilage degeneration or one Knee osteoarthritis can be associated with inflammation of the kneecap. The disturbed sliding friction on the underside of the kneecap from the cartilage damage creates a Nerve irritationwhich is felt as pain. In addition, there are inflammatory processes in or on the kneecap, which produce metabolic products that have to be cleared away by the body's own immune cells, causing fluid to collect in the knee.

The so-called Patellar tip syndrome is a very common pathological and inflammatory disease of the kneecap, which is also caused by unfavorable stress.

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The knee joint is one of the joints with the greatest stress.

Therefore, the treatment of the knee joint (e.g. meniscus tear, cartilage damage, cruciate ligament damage, runner's knee, etc.) requires a lot of experience.
I treat a wide variety of knee diseases in a conservative way.
The aim of any treatment is treatment without surgery.

Which therapy achieves the best results in the long term can only be determined after looking at all of the information (Examination, X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, etc.) be assessed.

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Patellar tip syndrome

Inflammation initially manifests itself in pain and visible redness.

In patellar tip syndrome, it occurs severe knee pain by chronic overload the extensor apparatus of the kneecap. The reason for this is a frequently repeating one for the knee unfamiliar, Tensile stressas it arises especially in jumping sports. Therefore the designation "Jumper's knee“- also a synonym for the patellar tendon syndrome. Beginners in particular are at risk of developing the symptoms described if they quickly put weight on the knee without preparation.

Patellar tip syndrome is usually treated conservatively. The most important thing is to stop the triggering load for at least 6 weeks. After that, a load can slowly be built up again. In addition, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can be taken.


The diagnosis Kneecap inflammation is put mainly through the clinical examination of the knee. To do this, the knee is raised Redness and Misalignments inspected and then on Restrictions on movement, tenderness and overheating examined.

Imaging procedures such as roentgen or one M.agnet-R.resonanceTomography (MRI) of the knee can be helpful in making a diagnosis.


The treatment of an inflammation of the kneecap can be conservative. The most important measure is that Relief of the knee and Avoidance of strong impact and compressive forces on the knee. Additionally, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Ibuprofen or Diclofenacto fight the pain and inflammation.

Another therapy option would be the use of Cortisone syringes into the affected joint to locally counteract the inflammation. Also can physiotherapy be useful, just like one Heat or cold therapy, depending on the stage of inflammation.

If there is a Knee osteoarthritis or one Cartilage degeneration it requires more complex therapy and possibly an operation.


The prognosis is depending on the cause kneecap inflammation. If the knee is simply overloaded, the symptoms are usually the same with adequate therapy within a few weeks subsided and you can slowly start to load the knee normally again.

However, if the inflammation is based on chronic wear and tear of the cartilage, symptoms are often persistent, since cartilage does not grow back and pain can repeatedly arise under stress in the areas that are exposed due to the cartilage damage.