What is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome is also know as runners knee, chondromalacia patellae, anterior knee pain and patellofemoral joint syndrome is a generic term used to describe pain at the front of the knee and around the knee cap. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome occurs when the kneecap (patella) is poorly aligned as the leg bends or straightens. In most cases, the kneecap shifts too far toward the outside of the leg, although in a few people it shifts toward the inside.
Your knee joint is a complex hinge that joins the lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) with the thigh bone (femur). The kneecap is held in place in the front of the knee joint by tendons on the top and bottom and by ligaments on the sides. A layer of cartilage lines the underside of the kneecap, helping it glide along the groove at the end of your thigh bone. The kneecap can shift
or rotate off track if the groove is too shallow or if the cartilage is damaged. Ligaments, tendons, or muscles that are too loose or too tight may also lead to a misaligned kneecap.
What causes Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?
A patellar tracking disorder is usually caused by several problems combined. The shape of the patella; too tight or too loose muscles and tendons in the leg, foot, or hip areas; damage to cartilage; and overuse may lead to patellar tracking disorder.
What are the symptoms?
If your kneecap is out of alignment, you may have discomfort or pain, especially when you go down stairs, sit for a long time, stand up from sitting, or squat. This kind of pain, also known as patellofemoral pain, may be caused by patellar tracking disorder.
You also may feel a popping, grinding, slipping, or catching of the kneecap when you bend or straighten your leg. Or you may feel that your knee is buckling or giving way, as though the knee suddenly cannot support your body weight.
How is patellar tracking disorder diagnosed?
Some knee problems can be hard to tell apart. Your Physiotherapist will ask questions about your past health and carefully examine you to rule out other conditions. Some of the questions might be: When and how did the pain start? Did it start on its own with no direct cause? Or was the pain caused by injury, overuse, or some other problem with the knee? The Physiotherapist will also feel and move your knee as part of the physical exam. I pain persist for an extended priod may also have imaging tests such as X-ray and MRI
How is it treated?
Knee pain can be a slow and frustrating condition to heal. But most people with pain from patellar tracking disorder gain relief with a few months of treatment and without surgery. As a rule, the longer you have had this problem, the longer it will take to get better.
Most people can gradually return to their previous activity level if they:
• Avoid movements that make symptoms worse.
• Do specific stretches and muscle-conditioning exercises (physiotherapy).
• Lose excess weight.
• Tape or brace the knee, in some cases.
• Learn the best way to perform a sport, and wear the right shoes or equipment.
If you have any question about your knee pain call Hoys Physiotherapy on 66527355 (Coffs) or 66586111 (Sawtell)