Lateral meniscus injury
Injury to the meniscus normally involves a rotation upon landing, think landing from a jump and changing direction. Pain will be felt more with weight bearing and deeper than ITB syndrome.
Lateral collateral ligament injury usually accompanies lateral meniscus injuries. Pain from this structure will be more superficial and elicited with pressure that tensions the ligament.
Bursa are found throughout the body as a little pouch of fluid that decrease friction. Inflammation or increased fluid will be seen as swelling on the outside of the knee and may feel warm to the touch.
Vastus lateralis tear
The vastus lateralis is part of the quadriceps muscle. Injury to this part of the muscle usually accompanies a powerful contraction against resistance, like lifting weight in the gym (knee extension machine) or blunt force trauma (rugby tackle).
Peroneal nerve impingement
The peroneal nerve can become impinged where it curls behind the superior tibiofibular joint and will give “nervy” symptoms, like numbness or pins and needles.
Different angles of the patella or muscle imbalances, may cause the knee cap to follow a less than optimal path along the femur as the knee bends which can cause strain to the structures involved.
Superior tibiofemoral joint sprain
Injury to the joint just below the knee, where the tibia and fibula articulate can be caused by repetitive ankle sprains.
Referred pain from the lower back
Structures from the lower back may refer pain down the glutes into the outside of the thigh. This may have “nervy” qualities (numbness, pins & needles) and be unusually painful without a history of knee injury or overuse.