Sometimes referred to as runner’s knee, patellofemoral syndrome is pain in the front of the knee. This condition is caused by damage to the cartilage under the kneecap – the petalla. What results is the wearing down, roughening, or softening of cartilage under the kneecap. Patellofemoral Syndrome is frequently experienced by teenagers, manual laborers, and athletes.
- Overuse of the knees
- Excess body weight
- Improperly aligned kneecap – patellar tracking disorder
Cartilage irritation is caused by irregular movement of the kneecap in the groove of the thigh bone – the femur – due to mechanical issues or an injury causing misalignment. The sports participants most at risk of developing Patellofemoral Syndrome are runners, cyclists, and basketball players. The onset of this condition is typically a gradual one, although it can also be caused by a single traumatic incident.
- Drastic change in training regimen
- Dramatic increase in training time
- Increases in training distance and/or intensity
- Inappropriate and/or ill fitted footwear
Classic Symptoms of Patellofemoral Syndrome
- Vague pain around the kneecap
- Localized pain behind the kneecap
- Joint noises – catching, popping, grinding sensation
- Knees giving way – buckling unexpectedly
The onset of pain occurs when a load is put on the knee’s extensor mechanism:
- Ascending stairs or slope
- Descending stairs or slope
- Squatting – deep knee bends
- Prolonged sitting in a position in which the knees are bent
Diagnosing Patellofemoral Syndrome
The Multidisciplinary Team at Spine and Sports Medicine work in concert with every patient to correctly diagnose Patellofemoral Syndrome and tailor a physical therapy plan. Every physical therapy plan is designed to rehabilitate the knee, reduce pain, and prevent recurrent injury.
- Medical history
- Body mass index (BMI)
- Sporting activity history
- Physical exercise history
- Work activity history
- Physical examination
- X-rays in some cases to view the tissues surrounding the knee joint
- MRI in some cases to rule out knee joint structure damage
Treating Patellofemoral Syndrome Through Physical Therapy
Specialized physical therapy exercises increase strength and flexibility of the knees by decreasing tightness around the kneecap and reducing pain.
- Taping or using a brace to stabilize the kneecap
- Specialized guided exercises, such as resistance straight-leg raises, to strengthen the quadriceps muscle
- High-tech/high-touch hands-on manipulation
- Ice or heat application
- Home maintenance exercise program, including guidance in the use of anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medications and rest
The Multidisciplinary Therapeutic Treatment Team at Spine and Sports Medicine are educated, trained, and practiced in the rehabilitation of Patellofemoral Syndrome. Our Doctors of Physical Therapy will return the strength and stability of your knee, relieving your pain without the need for invasive surgery. At Spine and Sports Medicine, every patient’s physical therapy program is tailored to their individual condition and needs.
Most importantly, the every patient is personally guided through education and training on how to prevent the condition from worsening and reduce the risk of recurrent injury.
Medical Insurance Coverage for Patellofemoral Syndrome Diagnosis and Treatment
At Spine and Sports Medicine, there is no requirement for you to obtain an outside primary physician referral for insurance coverage. Most insurance plans cover the cost of diagnosing and treating Patellofemoral Syndrome. Our insurance experts will help you to determine your coverage and assist in processing your claims.
Discover Multidisciplinary Therapeutic Patellofemoral Syndrome Treatment in One Convenient Location
If you suspect that you are suffering from Patellofemoral Syndrome – and have been delaying seeking treatment for your pain and discomfort – reach out to the Multidisciplinary Team of Physical Therapy Experts at Spine and Sports Medicine by clicking below or calling 212.986.3888. Remember – delaying treatment will only worsen your condition and increase your pain. Discover pain relief for your knees through the benefits of a multidisciplinary therapeutic practice in one convenient Midtown Manhattan location – at Madison Avenue and 40th Street.