How to best take care of patellofemoral joint disorders

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What disorders affect the patellofemoral joint?

The patellofemoral joint is at the front end of the knee, at the intersection of your femur (thigh bone) and your patella (knee cap). Smooth articular cartilage covers the areas that are in contact with each other such as the base of the kneecap, the femoral groove and the ends of the femur. The joint enables movement like ascending stairs and squatting. When this movement becomes painful, you may be experiencing patellofemoral joint disorders.

Types and causes of patellofemoral joint disorders

Overexertion or stress on the knee results in patellofemoral pain syndrome, also called the runner’s knee. This condition is common in athletes. Exercise-related injuries can also cause dysfunction in the joint.

The kneecap may be unstable, hence some people experience tracking problems in this area. In these cases, the kneecap can partially slip out of place causing pain and buckling of the knee (subluxation). A dislocation may occur and result in further damage to surrounding tissues and ligaments.

Patellofemoral arthritis is another disorder whereby the kneecap experiences wear and tear and the cartilage degenerates. The damage here is quite extensive, and muscle weakness and swelling may be present.

The best treatment options

Always consult your physician if you experience symptoms for patellofemoral joint disorders. Non-surgical therapies that reduce stress on the knee and relieve pain are commonplace when the condition is not too serious. Some examples are anti-inflammatory medications, rest and physiotherapy. Surgery may also not be necessary for a subluxation. Ordinarily, the doctor will immobilise the knee in a brace to allow repair and healing.

For dislocations, traumatic injuries and arthritis cases, however, surgery might be required. Procedures with minimal risks and that prevent further damage take priority. If the damage is not extensive, the doctor may perform corrective procedures to stabilise the patella or realignment surgery to remove anatomical abnormalities. These reduce the risk of arthritis and severe patellofemoral joint disorders.

A partial knee replacement surgery, also called patellofemoral replacement, is a viable therapeutic option for knee arthritis. It involves resurfacing the specific area of damage with a suitable plastic or metallic component. If the damage is extensive, doctors may advise or perform a total knee replacement procedure.

Get appropriate help

The doctor will carefully consider a patient’s condition before recommending any treatment for patellofemoral disorders. It is also essential that an individual knows what to expect before visiting the orthopaedic clinic. To understand more about these knee issues and treatment options, call us on 0161 4957 762.

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