The Runner’s Knee: Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

When you have been an active runner or athlete over the years, you might have surely felt all sorts of pain within your hamstrings, quads, calves and feet. Numerous times it truly is only the soreness or tightness that comes with running several miles on a daily basis, a mild discomfort which you can still perform through.

Even so, in the event you start to really feel consistent discomfort around your kneecap, you could be experiencing some thing a little much more serious than just the typical soreness that may come from running. You could be feeling symptoms of Patellofemoral discomfort syndrome, or PFPS, a common knee disorder which typically affects senior athletes or people who regularly take part in running and jumping sports.

Patellofemoral discomfort also known as retropatellar discomfort, peripatellar discomfort and anterior knee discomfort. Far more generally, it’s called runner’s knee.

What exactly is PFPS?

When your knee bends and straightens, as it does whenever you run, your kneecap – the patella – slides along a slot on your femur. This slot is known as the trochlear groove. If your knee is performing correctly, the patella will move in a lot of directions inside the trochlear groove, providing you with the capability to jump, move sideways, rotate and perform a full range of motions without having friction.

Nevertheless, PFPS occurs when the surfaces of your patella and femur repeatedly rub and stress the tissues along the patellofemoral joint. This leads to pain, weakening of the joint, and sometimes a bone bruise. In some instances, PFPS might also be caused by the weakening of the articular cartilage or swelling within the joint.

What Triggers PFPS?

There’s no universal trigger for PFPS. It may possibly depend on genetic aspects or the amount of anxiety on your knee over time. Below are several of the main factors that could lead to PFPS.

Excessive use. Repetitive bending and straightening gradually will cause PFPS, specifically amongst runners or older athletes who still stay active. When the knee is constantly bent, it increases the pressure points between your kneecap and also the femur, irritating the patella.

Alignment. The angle between your hip and your knee, the Q angle, might be a factor in PFPS. Research has shown that those having a larger than normal Q angle are more vulnerable to PFPS due to the fact that your patella then tracks a lot more to the outside. As female athletes mature and their pelvis widens, so does the Q angle, increasing the danger of developing PFPS.

Muscular Weakness or Tightness. An imbalance within the strength of your quadriceps will affect the tracking of the patella, as will tight muscles and tendons. Flexibility is important in the movement of the knee and hip.

Flat feet. If your feet have little to no arch, you might be a lot more prone to have PFPS. Your tibia compensates for your feet if you run, placing atypical pressure on the patellofemoral joint.

You can find operative and non-operative treatments for PFPS, although both could call for a long-term adjustment of your physical activity. Your orthopedist will guide you through treatment and recovery so you’ll be able to still enjoy the things you enjoy.

In the event you are searching for a complete service orthopedic office, then Atlanta Orthopedic Surgeons is perfect for your wants. They specialize in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. With years of expertise, education, and research, you can ensure that all of your Atlanta orthopedic wants are covered, from sports medicine to cartilage restoration and spine care.


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