Overuse injuries may occur when the knee is put through unusual repetitive motions.

Page updated October 2023 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)


Overuse conditions are often related to sport or occupations, where repetitive motions and heavy loads may lead to painful tendon inflammation or even rupture. Fluid may also collect in tissue pockets called 'bursae', and cause localised painful swellings.


What triggers overuse injuries?

Overuse injuries are not like sudden sprains - they are insidious. The patient may be doing an activity that the knee normally tolerates well, but by just doing it a bit too often or not spacing the activity out well the body reacts by triggering an inflammatory process. This might be a sudden local collection of fluid in a mobile tissue envelope called a bursa. Or it might be an inflammation and fluid accumulation within a tendon sheath, or a degeneration of the substance of a tendon.

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