Also known as patellofemoral pain, this develops when the movement of the patella over the bottom of the femur causes pain in the front of the knee. Runner’s knee can occur if muscles are weak or unbalanced, tendon are tight, or following abnormal movement of the kneecap.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
You will feel a general ache at the front of your knee, or behind or around your kneecap. The pain may be triggered by pressing on your knee, walking up or down stairs, or running (especially downhill). Strenuous exercise, squats, and weight bearing movements that involve bending may worsen the pain. There may be swelling around the kneecap and you may hear a grating sound (crepitus) in the joint.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?
Stop your training and follow the RICE procedure. If your symptoms have not improved after two weeks of self help treatment, seek medical advice. A variety of tests may be needed to confirm a diagnosis. You will be advised to rest until the pain subsides, continue treating your knee with ice for four weeks, and take pain relief medication. Physical therapy will be needed to prevent permanent damage. Rarely, the injury does not respond to treatment and surgery may be required.
WHEN CAN I RETURN TO RUNNING?
You should see a substantial improvement in three to four weeks, and will have made a full recovery within four to six months. If you have had surgery,your recovery period is likely to be three months from the time of the operation.