Knee Cap Pain – Causes & Treatments

Call us at 281-633-8600 for an appointment.  Dr. J. Michael Bennett talks about the causes of knee cap pain in this video.  He’s a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and he’s Fellowship Trained in Sports Medicine with offices in Sugar Land, near First Colony Mall and in Houston, near the Houston Galleria.  Dr. Bennett specializes in treating knee injuries.


This is a summary of the video on Knee Cap Pain.

The last thing you need to be concerned about regarding any kind of locking or catching or popping sensation in the knee is the knee cap. And this is actually very common.

The knee cap here tracks in this groove right here, this is called the trochlear groove. The knee cap moves right down the middle of this groove and it’s usually centralized within that groove. Occasionally, patients can have a history of dislocation of the knee cap or can have what’s called maltracking of the knee cap and the knee cap actually tracks laterally on the outside of that groove and rubs up against…up and down this condyle here of cartilage. That can cause pain with stairs, squatting, kneeling, any kind of bending activity.

When you’re in a movie theater and you go to stand up and you feel a click or a pop and it hurts, that might be the fact that your knee cap was sitting out here laterally and then it popped back into its…in the joint in the trochlear here. That’s easily addressable with strengthening exercises as well as conservative measures.

Now, if you have a dislocation of the kneecap where it pops completely out of joint and you physically have to pop it in, or a trainer pops it in, then that can be a little bit more serious because ligament injury can occur and there can be some cartilage defects that need to be evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon, probably with an MRI and a physical exam. And just depending on what the findings are will determine the treatment and sometimes it’s even surgery.

So once again, if you do feel a pop or a lock of the knee followed by pain infusion, I highly recommend being evaluated by an orthopedic specialist for further recommendations. I hope this sums up some of the basic answers regarding popping in the knee. If you have any further questions, feel free to visit my website at or or feel free to call my office at 281-633-8600. Thank you very much.

Don’t ignore your knee cap pain.  Get it evaluated by an orthopedic specialist.  Call our offices for an appointment at 281-633-8600 for Sugar Land and 713-234-3152 for Houston.

Dr. J. Michael Bennett

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