Having joint stiffness and pain in your kneecaps isn’t exactly something that anybody wants to have, but if you do have any of these symptoms, it may be caused by a condition called patellofemoral arthritis.
What Is Patellofemoral Arthritis?
Behind the kneecap and just along the femoral groove is articular cartilage that is a slippery texture. When patients have patellofemoral arthritis, however, this slippery cartilage becomes inflamed and starts to deteriorate which can result in pain and a lack of cushion between the bones.
How Is It Caused?
The good news about patellofemoral arthritis is that you aren’t likely to just wake up with it one day; it is something that gradually happens overtime. On average, common risk factors of arthritis include:
- Age. Most patients dianosed are over the age of 40
- A knee injury such as a fractured kneecap can increase the risk of post-traumatic kneecap arthritis.
- Certain repetitive movements sustained for long periods can wear down the knee joint, leading to osteoarthritis of the kneecap.
- Statistics indicate that women are affected more commonly than men.
- Health conditions like dysplasia, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and Paget’s disease are risk factors for kneecap arthritis.
- Obesity may cause joint degeneration, which could lead to arthritis of the knee and kneecap.
How Can We Treat It?
Depending on the severity of your patellofemoral arhtritis, we may reocmmend eithe rnon surgical or surgical treatmetns.
Non-surgical treatments include:
- Weight loss and managemnt
- Strength training exercises like swimming and walking
- Cortisone injecions
- Over-the-counter non steroidal anti inflammatory medications like ibuprofen
- Kneecap alignment – A minor surgical procedure to tighten or release soft tissues around the knee modify the actual position of the kneecap to reduce pressure and improve comfort.
- Arthroscopy – This minimally invasive procedure is performed through a small incision. Its purpose is to trim and smooth joint surfaces that have become rough due to excessive degradation.
- Knee replacement – In some cases, only the patellofemoral aspect of the knee joint needs to be replaced. However, patients who experience chronic knee pain due to severe joint deterioration may benefit the most from complete replacement.
If you experience chronic joint pain in your knees, schedule an appointment with Dr. John Moore at Pinehurst Srugical to get examined. Contact us at our office today and call us at 910.295.0224