Sharp pain on the knee cap

Patient

Q: I have sharp pain in my left knee. It only occurs when I press on an area to the right of the knee cap (or when I kneel down). But the pain is felt on both the right and left side of the knee... and it's sharp! I've had the pain for more than a week, but I don't recall an incident that might have caused the issue. I don't feel any pain with everyday activities... walking, running, biking, playing soccer.

Doctor

A:   Knee pain is the most common presentation of patellofemoral syndrome in almost all age groups. The pain typically is located behind the kneecap and often shows during activities that require knee flexion and forceful contraction of the quadriceps (e.g, 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." Also “grinding” and “clicking” may be present. 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 drugs (i.e.: “Aleve”, “Advil”), educate you about 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

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