- Patient Care
- Pediatric and Adolescent Orthopedic Surgery
- Knee Education Overview
- Runner's Knee
Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)
What is patellofemoral pain syndrome?
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a broad term to describe pain in the front of the knee and around the patella or kneecap.
- More likely to occur in females and athletes.
- Affects both children and adults.
- Painful knee in the knee joint particularly at the front of the knee, around and under the patella.
- Tenderness along the inside border of the kneecap.
- Swelling often after activities.
- Pain is more notable when walking up and down hills or sitting for long periods of time.
- Possible catching, popping, clicking, grinding, or cracking sound when moving the knee
Patellofemoral pain syndrome may be caused by overuse, injury, excess weight, a kneecap that is not properly aligned, or changes under the kneecap.
• Physical exam
• X-rays and possible further imaging such as MRI
Treatment (with the goal of decreasing pain):
- Exercises (possible physical therapy) to improve the glide of the kneecap:
- Strengthen muscles in front of the thigh
- Stretch muscles in the back of the thigh
- Correct the imbalance between the muscles in the front of the thighs compared to the muscles in the back of the thigh if needed
- Ice and elevation after activities.
- Over-the-counter medication.
- Knee braces are sometimes needed.
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Wearing appropriate shoes for your activities.
- Stretching and warming up before activity.
- Increasing athletic training intensity gradually.
- Avoiding activities that hurt your knee in the past.