Patellofemoral Syndrome

Over the next handful of blog posts, I would like to dive into various syndromes that affect the knee.

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Knee injuries account for one of the more common reasons people see their physicians. The knee joint is easily injured leading to instability & an increased risk for osteoarthritis. 

If you are a skier, knee injuries account for one third of all skier’s injuries. I am all too familiar with this risk where I have had an ACL reconstruction due to a fall on the hill where my bindings did not release & caused a hyper twisting of my leg. This is a great reminder to have your skis tuned and bindings checked annually.

 

An all too common cause of knee pain, especially in runners, is due to patellofemoral pain syndrome. The high frequency of this syndrome in runner's is signified by it's coined name "Runner's Knee". This is caused by patella tracking problems during flexion and extension. The patella is also known as the knee cap. Over time damage can occur to the undersurface of the patella and lead to chondromalacia patella if left untreated. 

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Often it is considered that patellar tracking gets imbalanced due to muscle dysfunction of the femoral muscles. Overlooked here is the role that the medial patellofemoral ligament plays. This ligament’s job is to provide restraint against lateral patella translocation. Like many ligaments, if there is a micro tear in the medial patellofemoral ligament then the patella can go off it’s track during movement. 

Common treatments for patellofemoral pain syndrome include NSAIDS, limiting exercise, physiotherapy and steroid injections. 

Prolotherapy and Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is another type of treatment for patellofemoral syndrome. Injections cause a local inflammatory reaction. The result is an increased level of blood supply into the area injected - depositing down growth factors for collagen and ligament cells. Strengthening the area. Many people suffering from this tracking problem speak about how common it is for their patella to “pop out of joint”. Prolotherapy targets this problem. The injections to the patella will keep the patella in its groove during movement.  

If you are suffering from Runner's Knee, get a jump on your training by seeing if Prolotherapy or Platelet Rich Plasma is a right treatment for you. 

References:

Arroll B, Edwards A. Runner’s knee: what is it and what helps? The British Journal of General Practice. 1999;49(439):92-93.

Rabago D, Patterson JJ, Mundt M, et al. Dextrose Prolotherapy for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Annals of Family Medicine. 2013;11(3):229-237. doi:10.1370/afm.1504.