Patellar (kneecap) pain is one of the most common reasons patients seek medical treatment at orthopaedic and sports medicine clinics. There may or may not be an injury that causes this problem. Even without a distinct injury, patellar pain may occur suddenly with warning. Or, discomfort may come on gradually over time and slowly become worse and worse. Pain and patellar instability, or tracking problems, are especially concerning in younger individuals who are physically active. There are many different potential causes of patellar pain and a variety of terms have been tossed around the Internet that describe this problem. These include patellofemoral pain syndrome, anterior knee pain, runner’s knee, jumper’s knee, and patellofemoral chondromalacia. Patellar pain can be very frustrating and reduce the quality of life if it becomes a chronic, long-standing problem. Home remedies such as rest, ice, elevation, and over-the-counter pain medicines may not resolve patellar pain, or keep it from returning time and time again. Unfortunately, the longer you try to treat this problem yourself, the worse it may become and improper treatment may result in damage eventually occurring to the joint lining of the knee. The good news is that approximately 80% of patients with patellar pain can be greatly helped with the right orthopaedic medical treatment and physical therapy program supervised by a physician-physical therapist team.
Although there is a considerable amount of information available on the Internet about kneecap pain, not all comes from medical professionals with the clinical and research knowledge that “knee specialists” have. After treating patients for nearly 4 decades with knee problems, two medical professionals – Dr. Frank Noyes and Sue Barber-Westin – decided to write this eBook to try to help individuals understand this problem, the treatment options currently available, and what to expect as a result of these options. Noyes, an internationally renowned orthopaedic surgeon and researcher, and Barber-Westin, Director of Clinical and Applied Research at the Cincinnati SportsMedicine Research and Education Foundation, team up to provide information that is easy to read and understand regarding kneecap pain and tracking issues. Together, Noyes and Barber-Westin have conducted more than 60 clinical research projects and published 140 articles in the medical literature. They have edited 2 orthopaedic textbooks, which have been purchased by thousands of medical professionals involved with caring for patients with knee problems. They have also written 3 eBooks on knee ligament and meniscus injuries.
This eBook provides information on basic knee anatomy, how the knee and lower limb work to keep the patella stable, the factors that might place you at increased risk for suffering patellar pain, treatment options for patellar pain, when surgery is necessary, different types of operations that are commonly done, and exercises to help improve muscle strength and flexibility. Fortunately, the majority of patients with patellar pain can be successfully treated without surgery if the source of the pain is correctly diagnosed and the patient follows the physical therapy program carefully.