Injuries are often related to repetitive use of the knee. Dr. Patel, what can you tell us about these repetitive use injuries?
Well, Major Spencer, an example of a repetitive injury to the knee is a condition called patellofemoral syndrome, or “runner’s knee.” Patellofemoral syndrome is due to an irritation of the undersurface of the patella or the portions of the lower femur that make contact with the patella. Both surfaces are covered with a layer of cartilage. This cartilage normally glides smoothly across the knee when the joint is bent. However, in some cases, the patella tends to rub against one side of the knee joint, and the cartilage surface becomes irritated, resulting in knee pain. The connective tissues surrounding the patella can also become irritated and result in patellofemoral syndrome. It’s important to keep in mind that patellofemoral syndrome is a generic term. Your healthcare provider can provide a more specific diagnosis as to the cause of your symptoms.
Tendons attach the muscles to the bone. Overusing a tendon, which happens frequently in some sports, can result in stretching and inflammation of the tendon. One example of this type of tendinitis is called “jumper’s knee.” In sports that require jumping, such as basketball, the tendon can become inflamed. More severe injuries to the tendon can result in a rupture or tear.