Patient: I have had a meniscus repair about 4 years ago and I recovered perfectly, had been physically active since, with no problems, until now. I started feeling pain after running, so I would take a break for a few days and the pain will go away, but would come back after running again. That happened three times and I stopped running but the pain would not go away this time. It is not unbearable pain, but I feel it inside my knee going downstairs or putting pressure on it. Could it be the same problem, meniscus tear? Cause I would hate to have another surgery. I need to do MRI I know, but I’ve been postponing hoping for the pain to go away.
Doctor: Knee pain is the most common presentation of patellofemoral syndrome in young and active people. The pain typically is located behind the kneecap and often shows during activities that require knee flexion and forceful contraction of the quadriceps (ei, during squats, ascending/descending stairs or pendants). Pain may be worsen by sitting with the knee flexed for a long period of time, such as while watching a movie, hence leading to the terms “theatre sign” and “movie-goer’s knee.” The causes are diverse: Overuse (repetitive use or activity), overloading, and misuse of the patellofemoral joint. The suggested strategy for conservative treatment should be as follows: Physical therapy program (exercises and pain control with TENS, ultrasound, ice packs after exercises), anti-inflammatory medications (i.e.: “Aleve”, “Advil”), education so you understand which activities avoid because those can aggravate patellofemoral syndrome. Also, and very important, remark the need for extended adherence to the exercise regimen. Your physical therapist should educate you about a home exercise program. Allow time for these conservative measures take the desire effect.