Patellofemoral Joint Syndrome

Patellofemoral Joint Syndrome

Summary of Patellofemoral Joint Syndrome

There is a groove at the end of the thigh bone, along which the knee cap moves smoothly. If the knee cap does not glide smoothly, due usually to weakened muscles pulling on the knee cap unevenly, it rubs on the underside of the knee cap and can cause pain when bending the knee.

Patellofemoral Joint Syndrome FAQ's

Over the front of the knee joint is the knee cap, and when you bend or straighten the knee the patella slides along the groove at the end of the thigh bone. If this movement does not happen smoothly, due to an uneven pull on the knee cap, the smooth cartilage on the underside of the knee becomes painful.
A grating pain in the knee is the most common symptom, with stiffness felt particularly in the morning, after sitting for too long, or when engaged in activities such as climbing stairs, kneeling or even walking. There may be obvious swelling around the knee area and tenderness on the underside of the knee.
While full recovery is entirely possible, recovery can take up to 4 to 6 months, partnered with a reduction in aggravating activities
The knee cap attaches to the quadriceps muscles at the front of the thigh, and when these muscles contract they pull the knee cap along the groove at the end of the thigh bone. If the movement is excessive, such as overuse in sports, it can result in irritation and bruising at the back of the knee cap causing pain. There may also be a problem in the alignment of the knee cap as it tracks along its groove, resulting in uneven rubbing of the knee cap and joint pain. The reasons for this uneven tracking can be due to muscle imbalance, with weakness in one part of the quadriceps muscle causing the imbalance. Other reasons that may cause or contribute to the problem are imbalance of the soles on one or both feet. This alters the position of the knee, affecting the movement of the knee cap. A direct impact trauma can cause a sudden occurrence of patellofemoral pain, and degenerative wear and tear in the knee joint might begin to affect and cause issue behind the knee cap. What is the treatment for a patellofemoral joint syndrome? With the weakness and imbalance in the muscles, exercise will be a vital part of the treatment to strengthen these. Mobility exercises may also be tailored to help with a stiff knee cap, and a knee support will likely be recommended to keep the knee in place. Rest and avoidance of aggravating activities will be key to ensuring an efficient recovery. Ice, heat and anti-inflammatory medication may also be prescribed to manage the pain and swelling.
With the weakness and imbalance in the muscles, exercise will be a vital part of the treatment to strengthen these. Mobility exercises may also be tailored to help with a stiff knee cap, and a knee support will likely be recommended to keep the knee in place. Rest and avoidance of aggravating activities will be key to ensuring an efficient recovery. Ice, heat and anti-inflammatory medication may also be prescribed to manage the pain and swelling.
To treat the condition, you need to treat the problems around the tracking and muscle imbalance between the knee cap and the thigh bone. The prescribed activities will strengthen the relevant muscles and will be effective in ensuring the problem does not become a reoccurring issue.

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