What Are the Causes of Patellofemoral Arthritis?

Patellofemoral arthritis is an inflammatory condition that impacts the joint where the kneecap (patella) meets the thighbone (femur). You may experience regional pain, stiffness, and trouble walking. For some, these symptoms are so severe that they impact the ability to stay mobile and, therefore, quality of life. Unfortunately, there are several causes of patellofemoral arthritis.

Common Causes of Patellofemoral Arthritis

1. Overuse

Overuse injuries occur when you damage tissues again and again in a short time without allowing them to heal correctly.

You may be unaware of the damage because it is so minor. Each time we damage tissues, the body starts the repair process. This is interrupted and restarted repeatedly, which can lead to incomplete or inadequate healing along with inflammation.

2. Injury

You may have experienced a more significant knee injury during sports, a car accident, or other events. The knee may have not healed completely or fully, leading to patellofemoral arthritis.

3. Dysplasia

Dysplasia happens when the kneecap does not fit quite right. This leads to stress on the knee cartilage and extra wear and tear from everyday activities.

Other Risk Factors Amplify Causes of Patellofemoral Arthritis

There are certain risk factors that can increase the chance that one of the above occurs. These include but are not limited to:

  • Being over 40, although much younger people can have this too
  • Being overweight
  • History of other joint arthritis
  • Having an autoimmune disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis

There is no cure for patellofemoral arthritis. However, lifestyle adaptations, precautions, and treatment can address many of the risk factors and causes of patellofemoral arthritis, reducing its impact on your life. These could include:

  • Respecting recovery days after a hard workout/game
  • Weight loss
  • Exercise
  • Physical therapy
  • Taking NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Cortisone injections

In some cases, surgeries may be required when more conservative treatments do not provide the desired level of relief. It is best to contact our doctor to discuss your treatment options to determine what can be done to help you.

Reclaim Your Active Lifestyle From Patellofemoral Arthritis

If symptoms of this condition impact your ability to function and enjoy daily life in Sanford or Pinehurst, NC, call to schedule an appointment with board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. John R. Moore, IV, at 910-295-0224. Dr. Moore has more than two decades of experience helping individuals with their orthopedic needs. You can trust that he will do everything possible to ensure you achieve the best possible results.

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