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Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

About Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Knee pain comes in many varieties, since your knee is the largest and most complex joint in your body. Patellofemoral pain syndrome usually appears in the front of your knee, around your kneecap. It makes bending your knee painful, which limits your mobility. Call the knee experts at the Spine & Rehab Group, with offices in New York City and across northern New Jersey to get the pain relief you want and the healing you need.

What Is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?

Anatomy of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Patellofemoral pain syndrome affects the front part of your knee, including the area surrounding the kneecap. One in four cases of knee injury are diagnosed as runner’s knee or jumper’s knee, another name for patellofemoral pain syndrome. Adolescent girls and women younger than 60 are twice as likely as men to end up with this type of sports injury.

Patellofemoral pain requires a thorough examination by an experienced knee specialist like Dr. Amr Hosny at the Spine & Rehab Group. With eight locations in Bergen County, Union County and Morris County, NJ and in Manhattan, NYC, you can find a knee specialist near you. Get the right diagnosis so you can get the best treatment for patellofemoral pain syndrome.

What Causes Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?

When you bend or straighten your knees, the kneecap moves up and down in a groove that’s located in your femur or thigh bone. When the muscles in your buttocks and thighs are weak or stiff, this movement takes more effort. Over time, you may develop knee pain every time you bend or straighten your knees because the kneecaps aren’t properly tracking in the groove.

If you don’t have the condition treated in a timely manner, your knee pain increases, and you may be doing more damage to the joint. While there are many factors that influence whether you develop patellofemoral pain syndrome, some of the more common ways you can end up with damaged knees include:

  • Overuse. Running, squatting, climbing stairs and jumping are activities that put repeated stress on your knees. When you overdo exercises like increasing the sets, running longer distances or running more often in a week, you increase the repetitive stress, which in time can create ideal conditions for patellofemoral pain syndrome.
  • Patella alta. This is a condition in which your kneecap rides higher than the groove in your thigh bone, causing misalignment problems.
  • Patella baja. When your kneecap slides lower than normal, it causes misalignment within the thigh bone groove.
  • Trauma. If you’re in a car accident, have a bad fall or get a direct hit on your knees, the force of the blow may cause fractures or dislocation of your kneecap.
  • A previous surgery for an ACL tear. This type of surgery requires grafting a patellar tendon, which can increase your risk for patellofemoral pain.
  • Muscle or tendon tightness. If you have tight hamstrings or a rigid Achilles tendon, you may experience knee pain.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. This type of arthritis causes stiffness and pain in your knee joints.
  • Improper form. If you don’t use the equipment in your gym correctly, you can end up with knee pain and other physical damage.
  • Inappropriate footwear. Not wearing the type of footwear that provides adequate shock absorption can damage your knees.
  • Choosing rough terrain. Running or jogging over uneven ground presents the possibility of a knee or ankle injury.

Why Should I Consult a Knee Specialist?

When you hurt your knee, it’s not easy to guess what’s causing the knee pain. Many injuries and ailments share similar symptoms. For example, you may have:

Consulting a knee specialist like Dr. Hosny gets to the root cause of your pain. Your spine and knee specialist can then recommend the best method to treat it so you finally get some relief. During your consultation, mention all your symptoms, such as:

  • A dull aching pain in front of the knee
  • Pain when you exercise or do any activity that requires you to bend your knees, like climbing stairs
  • Pain when you sit in a chair for a long time
  • A popping or cracking sound in one of your knees when you bend it
  • A kneecap that feels tender to the touch
  • Pain when you flex your knees while wearing tight clothes

What’s the Treatment for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?

Once your doctor has determined the cause of your pain, the first level of treatment may be pain management. You can start by taking over-the-counter pain medications and resting your knees. Ice your bad knee and do exercises to strengthen your hip, back and leg muscles. Wearing a brace to limit your knee’s movement or taping your knee to reduce the pain are also good suggestions.

If these methods prove futile, you may require some minimally invasive techniques to kill your pain and foster healing. Your knee specialist may suggest treatments that include:

When you’re ready to book an appointment to address your knee pain and find out if you do have patellofemoral pain syndrome, look for the Spine & Rehab Group facility nearest you. Patellofemoral pain syndrome treatment is nearer than you think. Contact the practice today.

Page Updated on Nov 16, 2021 by Dr. Hosny (Interventional Spine Specialist) of The Spine & Rehab Group
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