Knee pain after walking 3.5 miles

Patient

Q: I walked 3.5 miles yesterday hadn't walked that far in a while. Now I have pain on the inside of my left leg just below my knee cap. It gets worse when squating. What should I do to treat it?

Doctor

A:   According to your description of the symptoms, most likely you may have a Patellofemoral Syndrome, which basically is an unbalanced muscle pull that produced excessive pressure or leverage forces on the knee joint surfaces. The difficulty in flexing/ extending the knee that you described is a common presentation of the Patellofemoral SyndromeThe suggested strategy should be: strengthening and stretching the main muscle of the thigh: quadriceps, to restore the muscle balance around the knee joint, for this is indicated physical therapy for 6 to 8 weeks, using ice packs at the end of the exercise routine to decrease pain and swelling. The use of soft knee braces helps to control patella position and restrict full knee flexion which is good to ease the pain. Also, and very important, you have to stretch the hamstring muscles and the activities or sports that require frequent squatting must be avoided until the pain is under control. If there is a limited response to the treatment and locking or instability of the affected knee is noticed, then an orthopedic surgeon evaluation must be considered.

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