If you experience front knee pain, you understand the frustration as you search for relief. Professional athletes, weekend warriors, and those who just love outdoor sports can all attest to how this directly affects daily activities.
To help grow your knowledge and seek comfort, here are 6 common causes of front knee pain, also known as anterior knee pain.
1. Jumper’s Knee
Patellar Tendonitis is a common overuse injury seen in jumpers and sprinters. It results from chronic repetitive stress to the knee or over training. One spot will be especially tender to the touch, and pain will flare up when sprinting, jumping, running upstairs or uphill.
Without proper training, the tendons and ligaments break down and the result is inflammation and pain.
2. Patella Dislocation
Athletes who feel a “pop” or “snap” may have dislocated their patella (kneecap). A dislocation occurs when the patella slips out of the groove on the femur that normally keeps the kneecap in its proper place. A patella dislocation can lead to recurrent dislocations and injury to the cartilage.
3. Runner’s Knee
Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) is sometimes called Runner’s knee. It’s hard to determine the exact reason for this syndrome, but signs point to weak muscles in the hip.
If you are a young runner, there are a few preventative measures you can take to avoid runner’s knee, and save yourself from unnecessary pain.
- Wear the right sized running shoe.
- Avoid static stretching.
- Warming up is essential.
- Don’t rush to come back from an injury.
This anterior knee pain, also known as degenerative joint disease, usually starts in middle age. The cartilage behind the knee becomes worn out from “wear and tear,” and the friction on the joint causes pain and stiffness.
Women are 2 times more likely to have osteoarthritis. Being overweight and over the age of 65 are also common risk factors.
OTC medications and wearing knee compression sleeves give some patients relief while physical therapy and injections help others. Knee replacement surgery is often the last resort.
5. Chondromalacia Of The Patella
Chondromalacia is found in many young athletes and believed to be an early sign of arthritis. This is when the tissue or cartilage under the kneecap softens and breaks down leading to irritation.
Compression sleeves and physical therapy will help manage the pain.
25% of normal knees contain Plica which is tissue that can thicken and become irritated. These patients can seek relief from OTC medications and reducing their amount of activity.
Talk to Dr. Fuchs to find out what you can do to minimize and manage your knee pain.