Unlike most medical terms, “Runner’s Knee” refers to a blanket term that actually includes a number of disorders that differ in cause. Although each of these conditions may result in seeking treatment from an orthopedic doctor, they also vary in severity. It may result from any of the following:
• Overuse, more specifically from repeatedly bending the knee, resulting in irritated nerves beneath the kneecap.
• Direct trauma, including a fall or blow to the area
• Misalignment resulting from any of the bones becoming even slightly outside their correct position. This misalignment has the potential to cause an uneven distribution of weight on certain areas of the body which can lead to runner’s knee.
• In addition to the bones throughout the body, the kneecap can also become misaligned.
• Flat feet, also known as overpronation or fallen arches, has the potential to cause the arches to collapse which can lead to stretching of the muscles and tendons leading to the knee.
People who are experiencing runner’s knee often complain to the orthopedic doctor with symptoms of pain around or behind the kneecap or an increase in pain from bending the knee when in any position. Pain may become pronounced from walking downstairs or in any declined position. It may also be accompanied by a popping sound or grinding sensation when bending the knee.
Diagnosing Runner’s Knee
Treatment of Runner’s Knee
The first line of defense against runner’s knee is to provide rest and avoid putting any weight on it. Other conservative methods may be used to relieve pain and swelling including application of ice throughout the day, compressing the knee with an elastic bandage for added support and keeping the knee elevated while sitting or lying down.
NSAIDs can also be used to reduce inflammation and pain. It is important to use these drugs cautiously as they can irritate your stomach and lead to other side effects. Finally, practice strengthening and stretching exercise if the orthopedic doctor recommends them. You may also benefit from wearing arch supports in your shoes, particularly if you are flat-footed.
Surgery for Runner’s Knee
When the condition is severe, surgery may be required. The orthopedic doctor may remove damaged cartilage or the kneecap may be repositions to balance out the stress. After the treatment has begun or surgery has been performed, your body will have to heal in order for you to feel better. This takes different amounts of time for different people. You may find that doing other activities while you recover will help you relax and enjoy activities like swimming until you are able to return to running.
Phoenix Shoulder and Knee offers treatment for the elbows, knees and shoulders. Patients receive individualized care from a top orthopedic doctor with an in-depth understanding of sports injuries and degenerative conditions that affect these joints. Dr. Faber of Phoenix Shoulder and Knee has built a reputation for providing the one-on-one patient care that patients rely on for optimal results.