Patellofemoral pain syndrome or runner’s knee is one of the prevalent issues a knee surgeon deals with every day. It is a dull pain around the knee and results from many causes, ranging from a direct blow to the knee to degenerative conditions.
Runner’s Knee Definition from a Knee Surgeon
Knee surgeons describe runner’s knee as a mild to severe pain felt around the patella region or front of the knee, where the knee joint connects with the bottom end of the thigh bone. It is a widespread condition among athletes but isn’t limited to runners.
Anyone can suffer from runner’s knee, which manifests in various symptoms, usually starting as dull pain. Fortunately, the condition is reversible, and an orthopedic surgeon will determine the ideal treatment based on a patient’s unique situation.
Primary Symptoms of Runner’s Knee
Runner’s knee has many symptoms, some of which underline other health issues. Pain, primarily around the kneecap, is the most reported symptom. As such, it is vital to involve an experienced orthopedic doctor to perform the diagnosis.
Most times, the affected person will experience pain when walking, jogging, running, or exercising. Additionally, the pain may increase after extended periods of sitting with bent knees. Other signs include tender kneecaps and rubbing or clicking sounds whenever victims squat, walk downhill or bend/straighten their knees.
Primary Causes of a Runner’s Knee
There are many causes of runner’s knee, ranging from structural defects through accidents, to musculoskeletal health issues. Common reasons include direct injury to the knee, stress from overuse, impact training, or a specific walking style.
Additionally, other causes of runner’s knee include a knee cap resting too high up the joint, weak thigh muscles, tight hamstring and Achilles tendons, and inadequate foot support. Bone misalignment and conditions like hypermobile feet and chondromalacia patella are also prevalent causes.
How Knee Surgeons Diagnose Runner’s Knee
Before any diagnosis, the orthopedic doctor will go through a victim’s medical history to determine any underlying issues. Consequently, the practitioner will ask various questions, including the possibility of a past accident or other knee condition.
Accordingly, the orthopedic surgeon will perform a physical examination to assess the pain’s range of motion and severity. Also, they will use an x-ray to get a close-up of the knee area for further evaluation or even recommend a blood test if they suspect an infection or inflammation.
Treatment Options for Runner’s Knee
Before treatment, the orthopedic doctor will review the victim’s age, overall health, medical history, pain severity, response to medication, therapies and other procedures, and preferences. For some patients, patellofemoral pain syndrome can resolve without intervention.
However, one might require medication to relieve the symptoms. In worse cases, knee surgery may be required. Also, the doctor may recommend cold packs, compression warps, physical exercise, arch support footwear, pain relievers like ibuprofen, and lifestyle changes, for pain management.
Reliable Knee Surgery and Treatment in Ohio
Pain in the knee is problematic. However, with proper treatment, patients can relieve the symptoms and root out the underlying cause. It is vital to involve experienced orthopedic doctors for appropriate diagnosis and therapy.
Choosing a reputable knee doctor, like Frank R. Noyes, M.D. of the Noyes Knee Institute is recommended. Dr. Frank is an experienced board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in knee surgery and sports medicine.