Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Patellofemoral syndrome, also known as Chondromalacia patella or Runner’s Knee, is a pain condition involving a degeneration of the cartilage in the kneecap, which may be caused by overuse, injury, obesity or malalignment of the kneecap. While this condition can affect anyone, it is most common in athletes and those who engage in frequent manual labor.
Patients with patellofemoral syndrome experience knee pain that is worse when the knee is bent, such as while sitting, using stairs or jumping. A buckling or popping sensation within the knee, as well as feelings of tightness or fullness, is also possible.
In order to diagnose patellofemoral syndrome, your doctor will perform a medical exam and imaging tests such as an x-ray or MRI to visualize the tissue within the knee and rule out structural damage as the cause of pain.
Patellofemoral Pain Treatment
While patellofemoral syndrome is a chronic condition with no real cure, there are several basic treatment options available to relieve symptoms. The majority of which focus on avoiding triggering activities. Treatment for Runner’s Knee may involve rest, simple life changes, avoiding certain movements and anti-inflammatory medications.
Customized physical therapy exercises, including stretching to improve flexibility and relieve tightness, may also be utilized. More severe cases may require surgery, but this is considered rare. Your doctor will determine the most appropriate treatment option for your individual condition.