Runner’s Knee

Runner’s Knee

What is Runner’s Knee?

Runner’s knee, medically termed Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome or Chondromalacia Patella, is a common condition that causes knee pain around or deep to the kneecap. It is an overuse injury due to repetitive stress that occurs in the joint between the kneecap and the thigh bone. This condition can occur at any age but frequently affects the younger population, especially females or active individuals who run, jump or perform squats frequently. If left untreated, this condition can potentially result in knee osteoarthritis.

Causes of Runner's Knee

Runner’s knee occurs when there is increased pressure on the kneecap (patella) against the thighbone (femur). The increased pressure causes the kneecap to grind against the thighbone and creates damage to the articular cartilage.  This leads to pain and inflammation within the patellofemoral joint. The increase in pressure is due to several risk factors.

Risk Factors of Runner’s Knee

Risk factors of Runner’s Knee include:

  • Malalignment of the patella (kneecap)
  • Weakness of the hip and thigh muscles
  • Tight iliotibial band or imbalances of thigh muscles
  • Joint hypermobility
  • Knock knees or high Q angle
  • Flatfeet or excessive pronation of the foot
  • Hard training surfaces
  • Poor footwear

Signs & Symptoms of Runner's Knee

Signs and symptoms of Runner’s Knee include:

  • Dull, aching pain at the front of the knee, around the kneecap or deep to the kneecap
  • Patients are often unable to pinpoint the exact location or pain
  • Pain during physical activities (run, jump or squat) or climbing stairs
  • Cracking or popping sound from the knee joint
  • Pain after prolonged periods of sitting with the knee bent

Runner’s Knee Treatment

Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the condition. It is important to provide direct treatment to the injured area and address the underlying cause to achieve the best treatment outcome.

Treatment options for Runner’s knee include:

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