What is Runner’s Knee?
A runner’s knee injury is a collective term to identify a set of similar injuries that affect the knee. As the name suggests, these injuries are most often seen in athletes, especially those that are required to bend the knee more often is their sports activities.
What are the causes of Runner’s Knee?
Runner’s knee injuries are usually caused by:
Repetitive movement – Repetitive movement of the knee which requires the person to bend and straighten the knee (exercises) can cause irritation in the joint of the knee cap. In case the tendons connecting the knee joint bones to the muscles get over-stretched, it may result in pain in the knee.
Trauma – A direct blow or injury to the knee as well as falling on the knee may cause knee injury and result in intense pain.
Misalignment – In case the knee joint bones are misaligned and are not in normal position the stress will be unevenly distributed in it. This causes injury and pain in the joint. The knee cap itself might also be out of position.
Feet problems – Hyper-mobile feet (where the foot joint is abnormally movable) may also cause runner’s knee injury in a person. Fallen arches or flat feet are also normal causes of such an injury to the knee joint as they result in excessive stress to the joints and the connective tissue of the knee joint.
Weakened muscles – Thigh muscles may get weakened and cause abnormal distribution of the body’s weight while standing or walking. This leads to wear and tear in the joint.
What are the signs and symptoms of Runner’s Knee?
These are the commonly seen signs and symptoms of runner’s knee injury:
- Pain around the knee cap (at the meeting point of the knee cap and the thigh bone especially)
- Painful to bend knee (while walking, squatting, running or kneeling)
- Worsening pain in the knee while descending stairs or walking downhill
- Inflammation/swelling in the knee area
- Grinding/friction felt in the knee joint
How is Runner’s Knee diagnosed?
The initial diagnosis of runner’s knee injuries is a thorough physical examination by an experienced doctor who will look for the visible symptoms such as swelling and tenderness in the knee area. The doctor will also check your medical history in order to determine whether the signs are seen as a result of another complication or disorder.
Along with a physical examination, the doctor may also perform diagnostic imaging tests such as x-ray tests, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and CT (computerized tomography) scans to further confirm the diagnosis of runner’s knee injury.
How is Runner’s Knee treated?
There are various forms of treatment for runner’s knee injuries and the exact type of treatment mainly depends on the cause of the injury or painful symptoms.
Mild runner’s knee injuries can be treated at home using non-surgical methods, such as:
- Rest – Resting the injured knee joint completely by avoiding putting weight on it can help speed up the recovery of mild to moderate forms of runner’s knee injuries.
- Ice packs – Applying ice packs to the injured knee can help decrease the swelling and inflammation seen after many knee injuries. Applying ice packs to the injured knee for around 20-30 minutes every 4 hours for at least 3 days or till the knee joint becomes painless is an effective treatment for mild runner’s knee injuries.
- Compress – Using an elastic bandage, sleeves or patellar straps (knee guards) may also give extra support to the injured knee joint and help it to heal faster.
- Medications – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are usually prescribed by doctors to help alleviate pain and decrease the swelling as well.
- Movement exercises – Light stretching and strengthening exercises are also advised by doctors/physiotherapists for building the quadriceps.
- Aids – Orthotics (specialized shoes with customized soles for extra support to the arch of the foot) are also available on order or in shops.
Severe forms of runner’s knee injuries may require surgical treatment. In this the orthopedic surgeon will correct cartilage disorders as well as reposition a dislocated knee cap (patella) in some cases.
What is recovery like after a treatment for Runner’s Knee Injury?
The rate of recovery defers from person to person and also according to the cause of the knee injury.
The doctor will usually advise you to avoid activities that are excessively stressful on the knee joint. However, you may be required to perform certain light physical exercises that will help to strengthen your knee joints.
Why choose Travcure for Runner’s Knee Injury treatment in India?
Travcure is the leader in providing efficient and advanced medical tourism services for a large variety of medical disorders and conditions. It is connected to the world’s largest network of comprehensive healthcare facilities in India. Travcure offers every individual patient with the best and most advanced runner’s knee injury treatment in India at the hands of the most experienced orthopedic specialists and surgeons.