Patella femoral syndrome is a syndrome characterized by pain or discomfort seemingly originating from around the kneecap (patella). The pain may be achy, dull or sharp and radiates to the back of the knee. Other names for this syndrome are: runner’s knee, patellofemoral disorder, retropatellar pain, anterior knee pain & patellar malalignment. Patellofemoral pain syndrome is sometimes mistaken for chondromalacia, a condition which damage (softening) the articular cartilage on the underside of the kneecap.
Patella Femoral Syndrome – How does it occur?
Patients with patella femoral pain syndrome describe pain primarily in the front of knees. The pain occurs from overusing your knees in sports & activities such as jumping, running, squatting, stair climbing, walking or cycling. The kneecap is attached to the quadriceps (large group of muscles in the thigh) and to the shin bone (tibia) of the patellar tendon. The kneecap fits into a groove at the end of the thigh bone called the femoral condyle.
Repeated straightening & knee bending can cause irritation and pain to the inside surface of the kneecap. Patella femoral syndrome also result from the way your legs, hips, knees, feet are aligned. This alignment error may be caused by having wider hips, under-developed thigh muscles, genu valgum or having feet arches that collapse when walking or running (overpronation). Several anatomic & congenital factors may lead to a predisposition towards patellofemoral pain and/or instability.
Patella Femoral Syndrome – What are the Symptoms?
The common symptom is a dull, aching pain under or around the front of the kneecap where it connects the lower end of the thigh bone. Pain usually occurs when walking up or down the stairs, kneeling, squatting & sitting on a bent knee for a long period of time. Patients describe pain to get worse when walking downstairs. Your knee swells at times and you may hear or feel snapping or grinding of your knee. You often experience pain with prolonged sitting (watching a movie, riding on a plane) and have to occasionally straighten your legs out to decrease discomfort. It is generally an aching pain that can become sharp in nature and even be associated with a burning sensation. On occasion, patients describe a sense that their knee may give out on them. This occurs especially while going down the stairs. The onset of symptoms is usually associated with the start of a new activity or increase in level of intensity of an existing activity to learn more Click Here!
Patella Femoral Syndrome – How is it treated?
Patellofemoral pain syndrome can be a chronic disorder, but rarely results in severe, permanent damage to the knee. Learning to care your knees with appropriate treatment over the long run is the key.
* Ice your knees 20-30 mins every 2-3 hours for the first 3-4 days until the pain goes away.
* Raise your knee placing a pillow under your leg when knee hurts.
* Taking anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen prescribed by your doctor helps reduce pain, swelling and inflammation.
* Exercises advised by your doctor are essential for the rehabilitation of the knee (bike riding & swimming).
Your doctor may recommend you to:
* Use custom-made arch supports (orthotics) for overpronation. Bracing your knee with a patella stabilizing brace may be helpful.
* Use an infra-patellar strap, placing beneath your kneecap over the tendon.
* Use a neoprene knee sleeve to support the knee and patella.
While recovering from injury, you need to switch your sports or activities to one that does not make your condition worse. For instance, you may need to swim or cycle instead of run. Surgery may be recommended in cases of severe patella femoral pain syndrome. Your doctor will show exercises to help decrease pain around your kneecap. There are other natural alternatives to surgery to learn more click here now.
Patella Femoral Syndrome – When can I return to my sports or activities?
The goal of rehabilitation is to safely return you to your sport or activity as soon as possible. Returning too soon may worsen your injury leading to permanent damage. Everyone recovers from injury at a different rate. Returning back to your activities depends on how soon your knee recovers. In general, the longer you’ve symptoms before you start treatment, the longer it takes to heal.
You can return to your sports or activities when:
* Your injured knee can be fully bent & straightened without any pain.
* Your knee & leg have regained normal strength compared to the uninjured knee & leg.
* You are able to jog without limping.
* You are able to sprint without limping.
* You are able to do 45-degree & 90-degree cuts.
* You are able to do 20-yard, 10-yard figure-of-eight runs.
* You are able to jump on both legs without any pain.
Patella Femoral Syndrome – How to prevent patella femoral pain syndrome (PFPS)?
Rest and ice are the first treatment steps to reduce the pain and severity of patellofemoral pain & runner’s knee, but will not address the underlying problem. Reduce your mileage or turn to non-impact exercises such as swimming to keep your fitness level while allowing your knees to heal.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome can best be prevented by stretching and strengthening your thigh muscles (quadriceps). Also important is to wear shoes that fits well and that have good arch supports. A comprehensive strengthening program for your hips, core & quads is the key to treating this condition effectively.