What is Runner’s Knee?

  • Refers to a number of conditions that cause pain around the front of the knee
  • Usually a dull, aching pain in the area around the kneecap
  • Treatment varies depending on specific cause of the pain

A variety of conditions can cause knee pain, known as runner’s knee. Heavy stress on the knee from sports or repeated motion can contribute to the conditions creating frontal knee pain. Factors that contribute to runner’s knee include:

  • Misalignment of the kneecap
  • Partial or total dislocation of the knee
  • Injury to the knee
  • Flat feet
  • Tightness, imbalance or weakness of thigh muscles

Knee pain can occur during activities of daily living such as walking up and down stairs, kneeling, squatting and sitting with a bend knee for an extended period of time.

  • Some people who experience Runner’s Knee have a misaligned kneecap.
  • If these individuals conduct vigorous activities the cartilage in the kneecap can suffer wear and tear.
  • This can lead to damaged cartilage and result in irritation and pain of the joint lining.

Our Treatment Approach

Lumin OrthoCARE specialists will conduct a thorough examination of your knee to determine the exact cause of pain.

  • The examination may include standing, walking, jumping, squatting, sitting and lying down to assess your knee’s strength, mobility and alignment.
  • It is important for your physician to know about any activities that aggravate your knee pain.
  • The physician will also evaluate your knee’s flexibility, range of motion, strength and signs of tenderness.
  • A series of diagnostic imaging studies may be ordered to help the physician determine the exact cause of the pain and the extent of any damage to the knee joint and surrounding tissues.

Lumin OrthoCARE specialists will create an individually-tailored treatment that may include:

  • Resting the knee by stopping any activity that causes pain
  • Applying ice packs to the knee several times a day
  • Compressing the knee and kneecap with an elastic bandage
  • Elevating the knee higher than your heart
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications may provide additional pain relief
  • An exercise program to increase flexibility and strength

In rare occasions, your physician may recommend surgery. Minimally-invasive arthroscopic surgery removes pieces of damaged kneecap cartilage. Realignment surgery repositions the kneecap.

Causes

Runner’s knee (patellofemoral pain) is caused by a variety of conditions including:

  • Irritation of the soft tissues around the front of the knee
  • Strained tendons
  • Wear and tear, muscle imbalance or inadequate stretching
  • Misaligned kneecap

Symptoms

  • Dull, aching pain around the front of the knee and kneecap

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