The location of the knee pain can be useful information when trying to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Pain on the front of the knee can be caused by bursitis, arthritis, or softening of the patella cartilage, as in chrondromalacia patella.
Pain on the side of the knee is usually associated with injury to the collateral ligaments, arthritis, or tears to the menisci. Pain in the back of the knee can be caused by arthritis or a Baker's cyst (an accumulation of synovial fluid behind the knee). Infection may be another possible cause of knee pain.