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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Pain in the knee when climbing stairs

    I am 63 years old and over the last 2 years, I have experienced pain in the right knee when climbing the stairs. Now my right leg aches when I walk and I have lost muscle tone in the right leg and have some back pain as my other muscles compensate for the right knee. What should I do?
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  • 1

    Thanks

    Dr Jill Gamberg

    GP (General Practitioner)

    Dr Jill Gamberg graduated with Honours from the University of New South Wales with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery in 2007, after which she ... View Profile

    If you experience pain in your knee and back and have lost muscle tone, it is possible that you may have a condition that needs further evaluation. It is important to see your GP for clinical review, any appropriate imaging or treatment.

  • Helen Potter

    Physiotherapist

    As a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, with extensive experience and highly advanced qualifications, as well as excellent communication skills, I can help you to: Become informed ... View Profile

    If there are no other reasons for your problem then patellofemoral dysfunction may be the most likely diagnosis. 

    Pain in front of the knee when using stairs can be due to the kneecap (patella) not tracking in its groove. Often this starts after too much of a new activity too soon or if there is underlying osteoarthritis in the knee joint.

    Both pain and swelling inhibit the muscle from working so the problem does not tend to self-heal. Having said that, if a thorough examination of your hips, knees and feet reveals your pain is knee-cap related there is very efficient effective physiotherapy treatment available. Regards Helen Potter FACP

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