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What exactly is patella femoral syndrome and how does itmanifest?

In order to understand what patella femoral syndrome is, itis necessary to know that patella is actually a term for the small bone that isa part of the kneecap, which has the purpose to absorb the shock. Patella femoralsyndrome is a medical term for any kind of damage to this cartilage, whether it is dueto injury, overuse, or some other reason, and it is particularly common amongathletes and people who are physically active. The condition in question isalso known as patella femoral compression syndrome, and the most common symptomthrough which it manifests is pain in the area around the kneecap. The paintends to increase when kneeling, sitting for a long time with a knee bent, andparticularly when going up or downstairs. What might also be present is agrinding sensation when extending the knee, and if these symptoms persist formore than a few days, it is highly recommended to visit a doctor.

What causes patella femoral syndrome and can it be treated?

The treatment depends on the cause, which is why it is necessaryto determine why the condition occurred in the first place. Besides variousinjuries and traumas to the kneecap, overuse and repetitive stress on the kneejoint, as well as misaligned bones may provoke patella femoral pain. Misalignedbones may also refer to the bones in the foot, not only bones in the knee.

Resting the knee is the most common suggestion to the peoplewith patella femoral syndrome, which implies avoiding activities that mightinduce the pain. Pain relievers are also allowed if needed, and the same goesfor NSAIDs. What a physical therapist might suggest includes wearing supportivebraces that help in protecting the joint and improving the alignment of thekneecap, icing or taping the knee to reduce the pain, or particular exercisesthat help in strengthening the muscles of knees. However, this also depends onthe cause of the pain.

Very rarely this condition requires some surgery, and it isusually in cases when none of the mentioned measures gives any positiveresults. The procedures that could be helpful in cases of patella femur syndromeare arthroscopy and realignment. Arthroscopy consists of removing the fragmentsof the cartilage that is damaged with the help of an arthroscope, whilerealignment is suggested only in very severe cases, in which the angle of thekneecap needs to be realigned so that the pressure on the cartilage would berelieved.

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