If you’re suffering from pain around the front of the knee, patellofemoral syndrome may be the cause. Also commonly known as Runner’s Knee, this pain gradually increases over time and exertion. Teenagers and athletes are prone to patellofemoral pain syndrome in the anterior knee. This arthritic condition results from the wear and tear of fibrous cartilage tissue between kneecap bones being worn away, deteriorated, and inflamed.
Causes of Runner’s Knee
This condition results from repeated abrasion on the surfaces of the patella leading to cartilage damage. Pain and inflammation result from damage to the underside of the patella.
The major causes of this condition:
- Overuse is repetitive bending and straightening of the knee
- Misalignment occurs when the patella doesn’t track correctly as the knee is bent and straightened
Symptoms of Runner’s Knee
There are many symptoms of patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Primary symptoms include knee pain when:
- Sitting with bent knees
- Walking up and downstairs
Accurate Diagnosis of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Before surgery can be successful to correct Runner’s Knee, an accurate diagnosis must be made.
Three important elements make up a correct diagnosis:
- History of pain plus recent activity, duration, and intensity
- Physical examination including reproducing knee pain and evaluating patella motion, tenderness, alignment, and muscle strength
- Imaging through X-ray, MRI, or CT scan to examine damage to tissues surrounding the knee and its overall stability
Surgery Options for Runner’s Knee
After conservative, non-surgical treatment has failed to remedy Runner’s Knee pain, surgery with the goal of relieving chronic pain can be performed arthroscopically. This procedure uses instruments inserted through tiny incisions in the kneecap. These instruments remove damaged kneecap cartilage fragments by trimming and smoothing joint surfaces that have become rough and degraded. The kneecap – patella – is then realigned and secured.
Other Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome surgery options:
- Kneecap alignment. This minor surgical procedure tightens or releases soft tissue around the knee. The position of the kneecap is adjusted to reduce pressure and relieve pain.
- Knee replacement. Either the damaged cartilage under the kneecap is replaced – or – the entire kneecap is replaced due to severe joint deterioration.
Don’t Delay Treatment for Runner’s Knee
For best surgical results, reach out to Dr. John R. Moore at Pinehurst Surgical in North Carolina by calling 910-295-0224.