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Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner’s Knee)

Runners, jumpers, and other athletes such as skiers, cyclists, and soccer players put heavy stress on their knees. Runner’s knee is a term used to refer to a number of medical conditions that cause pain around the front of the knee (patellofemoral pain). These conditions include anterior knee pain syndrome, patellofemoral malalignment, and chondromalacia patella.

Runner’s knee can result from:

  • Overuse – Repeated bending of the knee can irritate the nerves of the kneecap. Overstretched tendons (tendons are the tissues that connect muscles to bones) may also cause the pain of runner’s knee.
  • Direct trauma to the knee, like a fall or blow.
  • Misalignment – If any of the bones are slightly out of their correct position — or misaligned — physical stress won’t be evenly distributed through your body.
  • Problems with the feet. Runner’s knee can result from flat feet, also called fallen arches or overpronation.
  • Weak thigh muscles

Some common Symptoms Include:

  • Pain behind or around the kneecap, especially where the thighbone and the kneecap meet.
  • Pain when you bend the knee — when walking, squatting, kneeling, running, or even sitting.
  • Pain that’s worse when walking downstairs or downhill.
  • Swelling.
  • Popping or grinding sensations in the knee.

Treatment Options:

After resting the knee until the pain and swelling go down, you may need reconditioning to regain full range of motion, strength, power, endurance, speed, agility, and coordination. Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy to normalize the flexibility and strength of the thigh muscles.

Other nonsurgical treatments involve taping the kneecap or using a special brace for knee support during sports participation. Special shoe inserts (orthotics) may sometimes be prescribed and may help relieve the pain.

If you are experiencing knee pain please give us a call at Orthopaedic Care Specialists and set up an appointment with one of our knee specialists. (561) 840-1090