Author: Niki L. Carayannopoulos, DO
Runner’s knee, also known as “patellofemoral pain syndrome” (PFPS) is an all-too-common injury among runners and athletes who participate in sports that require running and jumping. Runner’s knee typically produces knee pain that increases with activity; pain tends to be localized in the front of the knee around the kneecap.
What are the symptoms of runner’s knee?
Symptoms of runner’s knee may include…
- Dull/aching pain in the front of the knee
- Pain that worsens when you go up or down stairs, kneel, squat or sit with your knee bent for a prolonged period.
What causes runner’s knee?
While the exact causes of patellofemoral pain syndrome are not fully understood, the condition is known to be associated with the following…
- Overuse of the knee joint. Repetitive stress, such as running and jumping may put a person at risk for runner’s knee.
- Kneecap trauma. Patients who have suffered a dislocated knee or fracture may be at a higher risk for PFPS.
- Muscle weakness. People who lack strong supportive muscles around the knee may be at a greater risk for developing runner’s knee.
- Having had a past knee surgery can put a person at a greater risk for PFPS.
Is there anything I can do to prevent runner’s knee?
Consider changing your exercise routine to reduce stress on the knee. Running and jumping sports (in adolescents and adults of all ages) stress the knees and can lead to patellofemoral pain syndrome. Also, whether you run consistently or are just now starting: exercise caution as you increase your distance. Increase your mileage slowly and gradually to lessen your risk for developing runner’s knee.
Additional preventive measures include…
- Wearing the appropriate footwear for the sport.
- Taking time to warm up. Learn some good stretches that can help minimize your risk.
- Maintaining a healthy body weight to reduce strain on your knees.
Treatment for Runner’s Knee In Houston, TX
Runner’s knee is typically treated non-surgically with RICE, physical therapy and the use of orthotics. In some cases, knee surgery may be necessary. During a minimally invasive knee arthroscopy, an orthopedic surgeon may remove damaged cartilage, release tight areas of the knee, realign the kneecap or perform other modifications to ease pain caused by PFPS.
Schedule With a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor
For more information about how a Houston sports medicine doctor may be able to help with your runner’s knee, contact us. You can schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546, or by using our online scheduling tool.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.