Health Library

Patellofemoral Stress Syndrome (Runner's Knee)

To search through our library of topics, please make a selection below. Remember, the information in this library does not substitute for the advice provided by your healthcare team. Always consult your physician for more information.

Patellofemoral Stress Syndrome (Runner's Knee)

What is runner's knee?

Anatomy of the knee joint
Click Image to Enlarge

Runner's knee, also known as patellofemoral stress syndrome, is a condition characterized by the kneecap rubbing against the thighbone (femur) when moving.

What causes runner's knee?

Runner's knee may be caused by a structural defect, or a certain way of walking or running. Other causes may include the following:

  • a kneecap that is located too high in the knee joint
  • weak thigh muscles
  • tight hamstrings
  • tight Achilles tendons
  • walking or running with the feet rolling in, while the thigh muscles pull the kneecap outward

What are the symptoms of runner's knee?

The following are the most common symptoms of runner's knee. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • pain in and around the kneecap that may be felt with activity, or even after prolonged sitting with the knees bent, occasionally resulting in weakness or feelings of instability
  • rubbing, grinding, or clicking sound of the kneecap that can be heard at times when the knee is bent and straightened
  • kneecap is tender to the touch

The symptoms of runner's knee may resemble other conditions and medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

How is runner's knee diagnosed?

Diagnosis of a runner's usually is confirmed with a complete medical history and a physical examination.

Treatment for runner's knee:

Specific treatment for runner's knee will be determined by your physician based on:

  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the injury
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the injury
  • your opinion or preference

The best course of treatment for runner's knee is to stop running until running can resume without pain. Other treatment may include:

  • stretch exercises
  • strengthening exercises
  • arch support in shoes

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Orthopaedic Surgery

Connect with MLH

New Appointments
1.866.CALL.MLH

 Well Ahead Newsletter


STAY CONNECTED

Copyright 2014 Main Line Health

Printed from: www.mainlinehealth.org/diw/content.asp?PageID=P00937

The information provided in this Web site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice. All medical information presented should be discussed with your healthcare professional. See additional Terms of Use at www.mainlinehealth.org/terms. For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.