Accessibility Tools

What is Runner’s Knee? Learn from Trusted Orthopedic Experts in Houston

Runner’s knee is the casual name for patellofemoral pain syndrome, or PFPS. This condition is especially common among long-distance runners, whose knees sustain a great deal of stress from repetitive, high-impact workouts. However, patellofemoral pain can develop in individuals of all ages and activity levels – even those who are primarily sedentary.

Runner’s knee can develop in one or both knees, and the pain it causes can come and go. It’s typically most prominent at the back of the knee, although it can cause tenderness on the front and sides of the kneecap as well. Some people also experience a feeling of instability in the knee when placing weight on it.

What causes runner’s knee?

Most cases of runner’s knee can be traced to one or several of the following issues:

  • Inadequate strength in the quadriceps
  • Tight hamstrings
  • Poor biomechanics during activity

Running over uneven terrain or high inclines can make patellofemoral pain worse. It can come and go, but it also tends to be more prominent during activity.

Treating patellofemoral pain

Usually, treatment involves a combination of therapies. A cut-back in the duration and intensity of exercise is often recommend, and targeted stretching and strengthening exercises may be prescribed as well. Over-the-counter medications can help relieve pain and inflammation, and custom orthotic inserts can provide additional support for the knees and feet.

Surgery is very rarely required to treat runner’s knee, although it may be used to remove damaged cartilage and reposition the kneecap.

If you’re dealing with a painful case of runner’s knee, you can discuss all of your potential treatment options with the experienced physicians at Advanced Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine of Houston, Texas. We can help you find relief from your symptoms and rehabilitate your injury so that you’re able to get back to the activities you love. And, our board-certified orthopedic subspecialists, physical therapists and sports medicine specialists practice at three locations throughout the area, making our services incredibly accessible, no matter where you live or work. To request an appointment, contact us today.