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Seeking treatment for runner's knee

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Is 15 too young to be arthritic? I spent many of my younger child years in sports from anything from figure skating to track and field and about two years ago my track coach and I noticed my knees seemed to be weekending. Later that season when running at a meet my knee gave out after landing off a hurdle. For 3 days every time I put wight on it, it gave. I went to a physio but all I got were strengthening exercises and told that the part of my knee were the cap rests is shallow. Now I have dropped every sport I loved minus horseback riding and I still find that after I long ride (in patella knee braces) my knees get swollen and hot to the touch. Also lately it feels like I'm stretching them just by moving them and when It's cold they hurt to move and get really stiff. It feels like there girding. Help! I just want to be able to have no pain when doing simple things!

The left knee is worse but the right knee hurts sometimes. my knee Caps also rotate jut about 180 degrees.


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replied January 23rd, 2010
Arthritis Answer A9438


Given the data you reported (pain in knee when you put weight on it, knees swollen and hot to touch, being told that the part of the knee where the cap rests is shallow, knee caps rotate about 180 degrees) you might be experiencing “Runner’s knee”. This term refers to chondromalacia which is a condition where the cartilage beneath the knee cap is damaged. This cartilage is supposed to enable smooth gliding of the knee cap on the front side of the knee. In people suffering from “Runner’s knee”, the knee cap rubs against the knee joint, thus causing pain in the knee. The chronic irritation of the cartilage causes swelling of the joint.

The prognosis differs from the prognosis in arthritis because the damage pattern in “runner’s knee” differs from the one in arthritis and is more favorable.

The treatment includes rest to ease the swelling and the pain. Physical therapy is most often used to decrease the inflammation and to get the knee ready. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs might be recommended by a doctor, too.

If all of this does not work out, you might want to visit an orthopedist for a physical examination. Arthroscopy might be suggested to check the condition of the knee. This would also determine if surgery would provide enough improvement.


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