What is pes anserinus syndrome?
Pes anserinus syndrome is irritation of the tendon attachment, which is expressed as pain on the inside of the lower leg. Pes anserinus concerns the tendon attachment of three muscles (the semitendinosus muscle, gracilis muscle and sartorius muscle). These are located just under the knee joint on the shin bone. As the three-legged tendon attachment resembles a goose foot, it was given the name “Pes anserinus” (Latin for goose foot).
Pes anserinus syndrome: Causes and risk factors for pain on the inside of the lower leg
Pes anserinus syndrome is more prevalent in women. This is owing to the female anatomy, often due to leg misalignments (knock knees). It is particularly common among elderly women who are slightly overweight and those with accompanying diseases (such as osteoarthritis). Besides these cases, Pes anserinus syndrome occurs, above all, in:
- Patients with a knee endoprosthesis (postoperative)
- Active individuals and sportsmen/women (in particular long-distance runners)
Knee pain at the side and inside below the knee when running/walking and bending: Typical symptoms of pes anserinus syndrome
Pes anserinus syndrome is the name given to pain occurring on the inside of the lower leg just below the knee joint. There is irritation in the tendon, and the synovial bursa may also be inflamed. Pain worsens under stress, such as when climbing stairs, when crouching, or after walking/running and jumping. Pain subsides at rest, but returns with renewed strain. The symptoms may last for anywhere between a few days up to several years.
Can pes anserinus syndrome be prevented?
Pes anserinus syndrome is a condition caused by an overload. Targeted, balanced training is a sensible option to prepare the affected region for future strain.
Treatment: What helps with pes anserinus syndrome?
In the acute phase of pes anserinus syndrome, it may be necessary to completely relieve pressure on the knee. This means temporarily avoiding exercise.
However, physiotherapy to strengthen and stretch the muscles and tendons involved is an important part of treatment for pes anserinus syndrome: The leg muscles are strengthened with targeted exercises. Stretching exercises, such as for a shortened hamstring (ischiocrural muscles, back of the thigh), are also very important for pes anserinus syndrome.
Therapy-supporting exercises that aid recovery with pes anserinus syndrome
If you are suffering from pes anserinus syndrome, there is a lot you can do yourself to improve your knee pain on the inside of the lower leg. Familiarise yourself with our exercises to complement therapy, which you can carry out at home in consultation with your treating doctor, such as to warm up and strengthen the thigh muscles, as well as stretching exercises:
- Lying with your lower back on the floor, propped up on your forearms
- Bend the right leg and bring it upwards
- Circular movements with the right leg (pedalling in the air)
- Repeat the exercise with the left leg
Note: Keep the lower back on the floor.
- 3 sets, 20 seconds each
- 60 seconds rest
Aim: Strengthening of the pes anserinus tendon muscles group
- Tie the band around the leg of a table
- Slip your heel into the band
- Stand up straight, offset from your standing leg, in front of the table with your legs hip-width apart, supporting yourself on the table, if necessary
- Slightly bend the knee of the leg in the loop
- Extend the leg out behind you with the heel pointing upwards and inwards (towards the opposing shoulder)
Note: Perform the exercise in a slow and controlled manner. Keep your torso straight, produce the movement using only your hips and knees.
- 10-15 reps
Aim: Strengthening the posterior thigh muscles (ischial muscle)
- Tie the Physioband into a loop and wrap it around the thigh, just above the knee
- Lie on your back
- Bend your legs – keeping your legs hip-width apart. Important: keep the band under slight tension
- Lift the pelvis into a bridge position, keeping your knees hip-width apart
- Slowly lower your pelvis to the floor again while keeping the band under tension
Note: Perform the exercise in a slow and controlled manner.
- 10-15 reps
Aim: Strengthening the anterior thigh muscles (quadriceps)
- Tie the Physioband into a loop and wrap it around the thighs, just above the knee
- Stand with legs hip-width apart
- Push your buttocks out behind you and go into a low squat position
- While doing so, push your knees outwards against the resistance of the Physioband
- Keep your weight on your heels and centred through your torso
- Return to the starting position
Note: Perform the exercise in a slow and controlled manner. Make sure to maintain the tension in your torso throughout.
- 3 sets, 15 reps each
Aim: Stretching the inner thighs (adductors)
- Standing with legs wide apart
- Shift your weight onto one side while bending the knee of the same side, keeping the other leg extended
Important: Keep your torso straight. Perform the exercise one leg at a time.
- 3 sets, 45 second hold each
- 60 seconds rest
Aim: Stretching the posterior thigh muscles (ischial muscle)
- Sit on the floor
- Extend one leg out in front of you, keeping the other leg bent at the knee so that its sole touches the inner thigh of the extended leg
- Now move your upper body in the direction of the extended leg
- Perform the exercise with one leg and then the other
- 3 sets, 45 seconds hold each
- 60 seconds rest
Which doctors treat pes anserinus syndrome?
Genumedi® PA knee orthosis and other medi products for pes anserinus syndrome
The Genumedi PA orthosis was specially developed to support the therapy of pes anserinus syndrome. It stimulates and relieves the affected tendon attachment. Thanks to a special tendon dilator, it can alleviate the pain and allow for a stable range of motion in the kneecap.
A: Re-establishment of muscular equilibrium
A dilator (see image left) reduces the tension in the outer section of the thigh musculature. The second dilator (see right) activates the weakened inner section.
B: Simulation of the Pes anserinus through a special tendon dilator
A belt can be used to adjust the pressure applied to the tendon to your liking.
C: Stable range of motion in the kneecap
In addition, the M.4s OA orthosis can also be used when treating knock knees. In the event of a foot misalignments, the doctor treating you can recommend an insole fitting, such as the igli Active Light for skew foot and fallen arches.
Everything you need to know about knee pain and what you can do about it
Orthoses for stabilisation after knee injuries
Soft supports for relief and stabilisation of the knee joint
Health personnel will make the diagnosis and can prescribe medical aids, e.g. from medi if necessary.
Your medical retailer will fit them individually for you.