Often called runner’s knee or jumper’s knee, Patellofemoral pain syndrome is characterised by pain experienced at the front of the knee and in the area around the knee cap. This pain originates in the soft tissues (tendons & Synovial tissue) due to the breakdown of the articular cartilage which over time leads to inflammation of the synovium and underside of the bone.
There is a common observation that female athletes are more prone to this syndrome. With the inputs from top knee replacement in Mumbai Dr Niraj Vora today we help you understand the syndrome and let you know if this observation is true. Read on:
Anatomy of the Knee & Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome:
The lower end of the femur (Thighbone) and upper end of tibia (shin bone) along with the Patella form the knee joint. Ligaments connect the femur to the tibia and tendons connect leg muscles to these bones to enable movement and function.
The ligaments connect the bones and muscles strengthen and support the joint while the femur, patella, and tibia glide over each other with the help of articular cartilage to make movement possible. Any of the problems in these elements will result in pain that intensifies over time with physical activities.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome occurs due to pain in the knee cap region. Over time the syndrome makes it difficult to kneel, climb a stair or even perform regular physical activities.
Symptoms & Causes of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome:
Patellofemoral pain syndrome can occur in either of the knees in children as well as adults. In the majority of cases the pain that is set-in increases with physical activity or even prolonged sitting. Other common symptoms of Patellofemoral pain syndrome include:
- Pain while climbing or squatting
- Pain with activities that need the knee to be bent.
- Popping or cracking sound when the knee joint is at work.
- Growing pain with changes in the intensity of the physical activity or even playing surface.
Several factors can increase the risk of Patellofemoral pain syndrome and hence its’ exact cause is not known. According to a top knee replacement surgeon in Mumbai Dr Niraj Vora, some of the key contributors/causes of Patellofemoral pain syndrome are:
- Knee joint overuse
- Weak support of leg musculature
- Kneecap alignment problems
- Incidence of injury or knee surgery
- Muscular imbalances
Are women more prone to Patellofemoral pain syndrome?
Yes, female athletes are at more risk of suffering from Patellofemoral pain syndrome. Athletic activities do increase the chance of risk of knee injuries. On top of that female anatomy differs from that of a male due to a wider pelvis making them at more risk of developing Patellofemoral pain syndrome.
While the above factors do contribute to the risk, age, gender and sports play an even more critical role when it comes to Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.
Treatment for Patellofemoral pain syndrome:
“Changes in physical activity regimen, medication and RICE methods improve the condition of Patellofemoral pain syndrome in the initial stages,” says knee replacement surgeon in Mumbai Dr Niraj Vora. However, if the condition persists, the patient is advised to consult a knee specialist in Mumbai for more thorough treatment options. Both non-surgical and surgical treatment options are available today to cure the Patellofemoral pain syndrome; fortunately the syndrome will not warrant for major procedures like knee replacement surgery.