Treatment for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome in Lafayette, LA
Patellofemoral pain syndrome affects the area in and around the kneecap (patella), a triangular bone located at the front of the knee joint. The pain and tenderness are caused by friction between the underside of the patella and the thigh bone (femur), which usually results from overuse of the knee joint. Other contributing factors may include stiffness, tightness, or weakness in the muscles that support the hip and knee, improper kneecap tracking during movement, or misalignment of the hip, knee, and foot.
Also known as runner’s knee, patellofemoral pain syndrome often develops in people who are physically active or who have abruptly increased their activity level, particularly if the activity involves repetitive knee motion, such as running, squatting, or stair climbing.
How Is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome Treated?
Treatment for patellofemoral pain syndrome can vary depending on the severity of the symptoms. Many patients achieve good results with conservative therapy, which may involve a combination of:
- PRICE therapy – Protection, rest, ice applications, compression, and elevation
- Medications – Over-the-counter pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Physical therapy – Targeted stretching and strengthening exercises
- Orthotics – Shoe inserts to stabilize and align the foot and ankle (which can alleviate stress on the knee)
Surgical treatment is usually unnecessary for patellofemoral pain syndrome. However, in severe cases, a physician may order an MRI to further evaluate the structures within the knee joint. If a structural issue is identified, such as cartilage damage or kneecap misalignment, a surgical repair may be suggested.
If your kneecap is bothering you, it’s best to seek treatment right away. When left untreated, patellofemoral pain syndrome can worsen. Request an appointment with Peter D. Vizzi, MD, at his office in Lafayette, Louisiana. As a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and active athlete, Dr. Vizzi can offer you the benefit of his experience when providing you with personalized advice regarding your knee pain treatment options.