Patellofemoral syndrome is a pain at the front of the knee, behind or around the kneecap. It is also known as ‘runner’s knee’ as it often affects runners.
It’s one of the most common causes of knee pain – 1 in 4 visits to sports clinics are due to ‘runner’s knee.’ Unfortunately, women are more prone to suffer from it than men and it also frequently occurs in young adults as well.
Our renowned medical team provides a range of treatments, from the traditional to the innovative:
This is an effective and well-researched procedure that’s a potential alternative to surgery. It takes advantage of the blood’s natural healing properties to reduce pain and improve joint function. It uses a specially concentrated dosage of platelets prepared from your own blood to repair damaged cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscle and bone. Patients usually see their symptoms improve in one to two weeks of having the injections. Read more clinical evidence supporting PRP here.
A pioneering new treatment using your body’s own stem cells from a combination of Lipogems® and Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy to treat pain and inflammation. It harnesses natural repair cells removed from your body fat to target problems affecting discs, joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles.
The procedure takes around an hour and early results suggest an improvement for 75% of suitable patients. The minimally invasive procedure is a possible alternative to having an operation or can be used after surgery to help healing. Further information on AMPP® and its benefits can be found here.
It’s not fully known what causes patellofemoral syndrome but it’s an overuse injury, which is caused by repeated stress placed on the knee during exercise or by a change in how you exercise.
Runners knee can also be caused by a structural problem affecting the joint between the knee and the thigh bone, such as the alignment of the knee joint or a weakness in the thigh or hip muscles. Both of which can affect the way the knee moves, causing pain.
Patellofemoral pain or runners knee causes a dull pain at the front of the knee, around or behind the kneecap. It can occur in one or both knees. You may find that the pain starts gradually and intensifies as you:
• Climb or come down steps
• Carry out exercises, particularly squats
• Sit with your knees bent for a prolonged period of time
You may also hear cracking noises when you bend or straighten your knee.
If you are suffering from knee pain, your doctor will examine your knee, pressing on areas and studying how your leg moves to determine what is causing the pain. You may also be referred for a:
• X-ray – to see if there any other bone problems which could be causing the pain
• MRI – using a magnetic field and radio waves a detailed image of the knee is created which can reveal subtle changes in the knee
• CT scan – combining X-ray images which have taken at different angles a cross-sectional image is produced which shows the bone and soft tissues
Treatment for patellofemoral syndrome aims to relieve symptoms and improve the function of the knee.
Initial treatment may include medications such as analgesics which help reduce the pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDS – which reduce the pain and inflammation and steroid injections which reduce inflammation and provide short-term relief.
Lifestyle modifications may help relieve the pain. These include:
• Losing weight to reduce the stress placed on the knee
• Wearing suitable shoes which offer a good level of support and shock absorption
• Wearing shoe insoles if you have flat feet
• Stretching properly before and after exercise
• Changing how you sit so that the knee is kept straight
Restricting the amount of exercise you do and getting plenty of rest can help in the treatment of patellofemoral syndrome. You may still be able to exercise but your doctor may suggest some alternative exercises such as swimming or water running which puts less strain on the knee.
Applying ice to the knee can help relieve the pain, particularly after exercise. If you do this, it’s important to place a cloth between the ice and your skin to prevent you from getting an ice-burn.
A range of physiotherapy techniques can help with runner’s knee. These include:
• Strengthening exercises –which strengthen the muscles that support your knees and which control limb alignment, in particular, the quadriceps, hamstrings and the muscles around your hips
• Wearing knee braces or foot arch supports
• Taping the knee to reduce the pain and to make it easier for you to exercise
Our expert team specialises in treating patellar tendinopathy using advanced non-surgical techniques including stem cell therapy, AMPP® Activated Mesenchymal Pericyte Plasma (using Lipogems® technology) and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy.
Surgery is rarely recommended as a treatment for patellofemoral syndrome, but it may be an option if your symptoms don’t improve with other non-surgical treatments. The two surgical treatments which are usually performed include:
• Arthroscopy – a tiny incision is made in the knee and a thin device which is equipped with a camera and light (arthroscope) is inserted. Surgical instruments are passed through the arthroscope to remove fragments or damaged cartilage
• Realignment – in severe cases, surgery may be required to realign the angle of the kneecap or to relieve pressure on the cartilage
Surgery should only be considered after less invasive non-surgical treatments have been explored. While both surgeries are routine surgical procedures there are still risks attached to them.
Post-surgery there may be an extensive rehabilitation period involved which involves regular physical exercises.
Our innovative range of treatments goes beyond what’s available on the NHS. As well as providing a full opinion on your condition that includes all the traditional non-surgical and surgical options, our experienced consultants will also assess your suitability for our alternative biological therapies, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Activated Mesenchymal Pericyte Plasma (AMPP).
Your consultation will be with one of our knee specialists, Professor Wilson, Mr. Sam Heaton, Mr. Jamie Arbuthnot, Mr. Arj Imbuldeniya, Mr. Rohit Jain, Mr. Ed Britton or Mr. Amit Kumar and will last approximately 30 minutes. You may be asked to attend for an MRI scan, prior to your appointment.
As well as undertaking an examination, our specialists will take details of your medical history and discuss your symptoms. They will also detail all your treatment options and cover their potential benefits and risks.
Our expert team comprises of highly experienced surgeons, sports medicine doctors and physiotherapists who are committed to delivering a high level of care and the correct treatment option so you can quickly get back to moving around.
Autologous means ‘from the same person’ rather than from a donor. Essentially, your own cells are used to encourage healing. With this type of treatment, there’s a dramatic reduction in the risks of the rejection, infection or contamination that come with using material from someone else. The innovative therapies we offer are based on this idea. If you’ve found traditional treatments aren’t helping your pain, of if you’re looking for a possible alternative to surgery, then this approach is one to consider.
Biological treatments are pioneering procedures and we’re continuously monitoring and recording its effectiveness. Patients undertaking these treatments are asked to complete pre-operative and post-operative questionnaires.
The information obtained from these questionnaires allows us to monitor your progress and it also contributes to our evidence-based database and other global studies on biological treatments. All information gathered is anonymised.