What is Runners Knee, and How is it Treated?

Posted on September 29th, 2016 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

runners knee orthopedic doctor fairfield | osg

Runners knee is one of the most common running ailments – accounting for roughly 20% of injuries to runners. Here is some basic information about runner’s knee, including what it is, common causes, and what to do if you suffer from it.

What is runner’s knee?

Runner’s knee (also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome) is not a specific injury, but rather a broad term used to describe pain around the front of the knee and the kneecap. The pain can be sharp and sudden, or dull and chronic, and may disappear for periods of time before returning.

Despite the name, runner’s knee is not exclusive to runners. Anyone who engages in physical activity that requires frequent bending of the knee is susceptible to the condition. This includes hikers, cyclists, basketball players, and more.

What causes runner’s knee?

Runner’s knee can occur for several reasons, but some of the most common causes include:

  • Overuse. Runner’s knee can happen as the result of several months, or years, of repeated high-stress movements.

  • Sudden, traumatic event. A fall or direct hit can cause the sudden onset of knee pain.

  • Muscular imbalances. Tight hamstrings, calves, or weak quadriceps can put excessive pressure on the knee joint.

  • Biomechanical misalignment. If just one part of your body is a little “off”, your knees could suffer the consequences. Common biomechanical issues that can lead to runner’s knee include worn cartilage, high-arched feet, or an abnormally-shaped patella tendon.

What should you do if you suffer from runner’s knee?

At the first sign of knee pain, your immediate reaction should be to reduce your physical activity. If the pain has not subsided after several days of rest and relaxation, it is time to consult a medical professional.

Residents of Fairfield County, Connecticut can trust the orthopedic experts at OSG to relieve their bone and joint pain. Our knee specialists can diagnose the cause of your knee pain, and provide a variety of treatment options to get you on the road to recovery. Visit our website to learn more, or call us to schedule an appointment at (203) 337-2600.