Menu   WellSpan Health

Health Library

Health Library

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner's Knee)

What is runner's knee?

Anatomy of the knee joint

Runner's knee, also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome, is a condition characterized by dull pain around the front of the knee (patella), where it connects with the lower end of the thigh bone (femur).

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:

  • A kneecap that is located too high in the knee joint

  • Weak thigh muscles

  • Tight hamstrings

  • Tight Achilles tendons

  • Poor foot support

  • Walking or running with the feet rolling in while the thigh muscles pull the kneecap outward

  • Excessive training or overuse

  • Injury

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 doctor 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.

What is the treatment for runner's knee?

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

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history

  • Extent of the injury

  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, surgeries, 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:

  • Cold packs, compression, and elevation

  • Medications such as ibuprofen

  • Stretching exercises

  • Strengthening exercises

  • Arch support in shoes

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner's Knee) - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Bass, Pat F. III, MD, MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Grantham, Paula, RN, BSN
Last Review Date: 2012-10-31T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2012-11-15T00:00:00
Posting Date: 2009-01-21T00:00:00
Published Date: 2012-11-15T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2007-03-30T00:00:00
© 2015 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to www.mywellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×