Runner's Knee: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 14. July 2015 13:19

Runner’s Knee, also known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) or Anterior Knee Pain, is one of the most common ailment experienced by athletes who do regular activities like jumping, running, squatting, skipping etc. It causes pain around the kneecap and may also lead to discomfort in the joint. Overweight and obese people are more susceptible to Runner’s Knee because of the additional pressure exerted on the joint.

Causes

  • Overuse: Overstretched tendons and muscles resulting from repeated exercises may stress the knee joint and lead to the development of Runner’s Knee.
  • Defective Alignment: The correct alignment of all the bones in the knee plays a vital role in the even distribution of the weight on the knee. Defective alignment of any bone can cause Runner’s Knee.
  • Muscle Imbalance: Weak thigh muscles can lead to excessive load on the isolated sections of the kneecap, causing stress. This can weaken the tendons around the kneecap, causing Runner’s Knee.
  • Other Medical Conditions: People suffering from conditions like Arthritis, can also develop Runner’s Knee. Certain conditions such as fracture of the kneecap or kneecap dislocation can also lead to the development of Runner’s Knee.

Symptoms

  • Pain around the kneecap
  • Swelling
  • Grinding or popping sensation
  • Discomfort while bending the knee
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness

Diagnosis

The orthopedic doctor may conduct a physical examination by moving and bending the knee in certain positions and enquiring about the severity of the pain. He may ask questions about the patient’s medical history and nature of any injury. The patient may be prescribed certain imaging tests such as X-ray, MRI and CT scan in order to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment

  • Rest: The doctor may ask the patient to take rest and avoid putting weight on the knee. This can assist in speeding up the healing process.
  • Heat or Ice: The patient may be advised to apply heat or ice packs on the affected joint to help in reducing swelling and pain.
  • Support:  The patient may be suggested to use elastic bandages to help in providing extra support to the knee. Arch supports or orthotics for the shoes can also be recommended by the doctor.
  • Medication: The doctor may prescribe the patient with anti-inflammatory medications which can assist in minimizing pain and inflammation.
  • Exercises: Regular low strength mild exercises of the knee can help in building muscle strength and minimizing stiffness from the knee. They can also help in regaining motion of the affected knee.

In severe cases, where the kneecap may need realignment, the doctor may suggest the patient to undergo a surgical procedure.

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