Runner's Knee, as the name implies, is a condition that
most often occurs in runners and athletes. In some cases
runner's knee, also known as Chondromalacia, can occur as
a result of an injury.
Runner's Knee Causes
Runner's knee involves damage to the cartilage under the knee cap or patella. Since the knee's cartilage serves as a shock absorber, it is common for runner's knee to occur from injury or overuse. Runner's knee issues most often strike athletes who participate sports that involve jumping and running. The condition most frequently occurs in younger adults and women. Other issues that can lead to the development of runner's knee include muscle weakness or imbalance, injury or trauma to the knee, or certain congenital problems.
Runner's Knee Symptoms
Runner's Knee commonly presents as a dull, aching pain beneath the kneecap, in the area where it connects with the lower end of the thighbone. Movements such us climbing stairs, kneeling, or sitting with a bent knee for extended periods are most likely to cause a pain flare up. In some cases, runner's knee can be felt as a grinding or cracking feeling in the knee.
Runner's Knee Treatment
The treatment of runner's knee usually begins with rest and avoidance of pain-inducing activities. For managing symptoms, over-the-counter pain relievers may be recommended, as well as icing the knee. Physical therapy may be part of the treatment plan including:
- Exercises to strengthen the muscles and promote proper limb alignment
- Special taping can be used on the knee to reduce pain and increase mobility
- Knee braces may be used to preserve the joint and correct alignment of the knee cap
When runner's knee does not respond to first-line treatment strategies, your doctor may discuss surgical treatment options such as arthroscopy or realignment.
If you suspect that you may have runner's knee, contact us today to schedule an appointment. We will provide a thorough and comprehensive evaluation and prescribe the best course of treatment for you.
image courtesy of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons