Have you been diagnosed with anterior knee pain? Read more to know about its causes and knee pain treatment in India.
In this page I shall only discuss patellar softening (chondromalacia) due to malalignment or trauma. Chondromalacia without malalignment can exist and is called idiopathic chondromalacia. Four theories are cited as the cause. a) Malalignment of the patella b) A tight lateral retinaculum leading to increased forces on the lateral facet. c) Dysplasia of the medial muscles with stronger lateral muscles. d) A biochemical cause with pressure breakdown of the proteoglycans. High impact sports such as football, running can lead to pain. Weak thigh muscles often are a cause in younger individuals.
The knee joint is formed by the union of three bones, namely the femur (thigh bone), the tibia (leg bone) and the Patella (knee cap). The Patella is a floating bone in the tendon of the powerful thigh muscle. It sits in a pulley like groove in the lower end of the femur. The tibia and femur join with each other at the knee joint. The inner surface of all these bones is lined with smooth articular cartilage. Overuse, abnormal stresses, injuries or malalignment can lead to a softening of this cartilage. This leads to anterior knee pain treatment. This is a very common symptom. It results from increased friction due to roughness at the contacting surfaces of the kneecap and the femur. Increased anteversion of the femur and external tibial torsion can predispose to an abnormally aligned patella. The tibial tubercle may be situated more laterally.
Pain at the front of the knee while descending or ascending stairs or rising from a squatting position. There is pain while sitting with the knee flexed at 90 degrees as in the cinema theatre or at home while watching TV. The patient feels a grating sensation inside the knee or complains that the fluid inside the knee has dried out. The pain can be sometimes felt in the back of the knee.
Age groups involved and etiology
Young growing boys and girls often complain of this symptom. Women in middle age are more prone to develop patell femoral arthritis. Elderly individuals with knock knee and bow legged deformities also develop anterior knee pain. In these individuals it is more likely due to patello femoral osteoarthritis which is a more advanced condition with complete loss of the cartilage down to bone. There can be a history of injury but often it develops insiduosly.
Once the pain has developed you should avoid squatting for prolonged periods, use of stairs or sporting activities until the pain has settled. Orthopaedician in India do not obtain the relevant x rays and scans to diagnose the condition accurately.
In the initial stages avoidance or restriction of the sporting activity helps. Muscle building especially of the inner thigh muscles after consultation with your Orthopaedic surgeon can work. R (Rest) I(ice) C(compression or crepe bandage) E(elevation) and anti inflammatory medication may be advised. A brace with a hole cut out in the front and lateral support to support the knee-cap can help. Persistence of pain may call for a radiological evaluation by sky line views, CT and MR scans. Arthroscopic assessment is performed of the patello femoral and tibio-femoral joints.
If I think that there is a mal-alignment and muscle strengthening exercises have not worked, then a lateral release surgery and tibial tubercle transfer is necessary. The latest treatment is stem cell treatment to the raw area of cartilage loss after correction of mal alignment.