Patellar problems, also known as knee cap problems, can cause discomfort, pain, and difficulty with movement in the knee joint. There are several conditions and injuries associated with the patella that can affect its function. Here are some common patellar problems:
- Patellar dislocation - This occurs when the patella slips out of its normal position, usually towards the outer side of the knee. It can cause sudden pain, swelling, and difficulty straightening the leg. Patellar dislocation often requires medical attention to reset the patella back into place.
- Patellar subluxation - Similar to dislocation, patellar subluxation refers to a partial or temporary dislocation of the patella. The kneecap may move slightly out of its groove but returns to its normal position on its own. It can still cause pain, instability, and a feeling of the knee "giving way."
- Patellar tendinitis (jumper's knee) - This is an overuse injury that occurs when the patellar tendon, which connects the patella to the shinbone, becomes inflamed. It is commonly seen in athletes involved in activities that require jumping or repetitive knee movements. Symptoms include pain, tenderness, and swelling around the front of the knee.
- Patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner's knee) - This condition involves pain and discomfort around the front of the knee, specifically behind or around the patella. It often occurs due to improper tracking of the patella in the femoral groove, leading to irritation and inflammation. It can result from overuse, muscle imbalances, or biomechanical issues.
- Chondromalacia patellae - This condition refers to the softening and degeneration of the cartilage on the underside of the patella. It can be caused by factors such as overuse, injury, or abnormal patellar alignment. Chondromalacia patella typically causes pain and a grinding or cracking sensation when moving the knee.
Treatment for patellar problems depends on the specific condition and its severity. It may involve rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE), physical therapy, pain medications, and in some cases, surgery. Strengthening the muscles around the knee, improving biomechanics, and addressing any underlying causes are often important components of the treatment plan. Dr. Rajesh Malhotra, a highly experienced and reputed orthopaedic surgeon in Delhi, will help you with the right treatment and care plan. And gradually, you will get rid of your knee cap problems.