Kneecap Injuries & Conditions

  • Introduction

  • Conservative Treatment

  • Surgical Treatment

Pain around the kneecap, also known as the patella, occurs mostly commonly in adolescents. Patients with this condition often experience pain in the front or underneath the kneecap, though it can also be felt on the sides of the kneecap or the back of the leg. The pain can be aggravated by sitting for extended periods of time or kneeling, squatting or using stairs. Adolescents can also experience this type of pain as a result of “growing pains,” which is changes in the relationship between the length of the muscles and bones in children. Athletes may feel intense discomfort after participating in sports as this sort of pain is often associated with high activity levels. Sports that require extensive running, jumping or kneeling are more apt to cause kneecap pain. Direct blows to the kneecap can also be a cause of this condition.

Most of the time, this condition can be corrected by strengthening the quadriceps muscles in the patient. The main function of the quadriceps is to straighten or extend the knee and hold the kneecap centrally in place. Strengthening the quadriceps greatly reduces kneecap pain as it distributes the force of the joint evenly across the patella surface. Exercises that put strain and excess pressure on the kneecap should be avoided. They include leg extensions, squats and utilizing stair equipment. Replacing strenuous activities with low-impact activities that put less stress on the knee joint, is recommended (such as biking or swimming). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also be recommended by your doctor to help reduce swelling and relieve pain.

Our Physicians whom specialize in conditions of the knee

In rare cases surgery is required to remove damaged articular cartilage from the patella or inflamed joint lining underneath it. Even more rarely, a surgeon may need to correct patellar malalignment. This is done via a variety of both arthroscopic and open reconstructive procedures. The goal of surgery is to allow for better movement of the kneecap in the trochlear groove.


Our Physicians whom specialize in conditions of the knee

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