3 Things Runners Need To Know About Patellofemoral Arthritis

Running is a popular sport, but it can lead to many painful health problems, including patellofemoral arthritis. Patellofemoral arthritis is a common cause of knee pain and occurs when the cartilage that cushions your patella is worn away. Here are three things runners need to know about patellofemoral arthritis.

How does running cause patellofemoral arthritis?

When you run, your feet strike the ground with a force equivalent to about 2.5 times your body weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, the peak force will be about 500 pounds. This extreme force is at the root of many running injuries as it puts strain on your tissues, including the tissues that make up your knee joint.

Your patella is your knee bone, and it's cushioned by a layer of cartilage. This cartilage can be worn away by repetitive, excessive force, and when the cartilage is lost, patellofemoral arthritis is the result.

What are the signs of patellofemoral arthritis?

The main sign of patellofemoral arthritis is pain in the front of the knee, around the knee cap. This pain tends to get worse when you go up or down stairs, walk up hills, get out of a chair, kneel, or squat. This can have a major effect on your daily life, not to mention sidelining your running career.

You may also hear a crackling sound coming from your knee during movement. The knee may also become stiff or locked; this occurs because your bones directly touch, without a protective layer of cartilage in between.

How is it treated?

Cartilage doesn't grow back, so once it's been worn away, it's gone. Non-surgical treatments like painkillers or taking a break from running will help you manage your pain, but they won't solve the problem, and they won't get you back to the sport you love. For these reasons, your doctor may recommend cartilage transplantation.

Cartilage transplantation is exactly what it sounds like: cartilage will be taken from another part of your body, or from a donor, and attached to the back of your patella. This is a major surgery, but studies have reported that 87% of patients have good-to-excellent results.

After your surgery, you'll need to avoid putting weight on the affected leg for two weeks. You'll need to use crutches during this time. After two weeks, partial weight bearing can begin, and you'll get a walking cast. After this healing period, you'll need to go to physiotherapy to regain strength and flexibility in your knee.If your knee is sore, crackling, or locking, you may have patellofemoral arthritis and should see a sports medicine doctor. To learn more, speak with a business like Cypress Cove Care Center.