What is Runner’s Knee?

Many people these days live a very active lifestyle, running marathons, triathlons, and playing sports. This is a wonderful thing, but also increases the potential for injuries.  For runners, one of the areas of the body that takes a beating are the knees. Consequently, knee pain and knee injuries are one of the most common complaints that orthopedic surgeons deal with. If you add age and arthritis to the mix, you end up with the perfect recipe for knee pain.  One of the most common complaints is pain around the patella, or kneecap, which causes pain when climbing stairs, but not while running or walking. This condition is called runner’s knee.

Runner’s knee is caused by the softening or deterioration of the cartilage under the kneecap. This can lead to a misalignment of the knee cap as you bend your knee. The deeper you bend your knee, there is more movement and friction that can cause pain. When you walk or run, you’re not bending your knee very much. However, when you climb the stairs, squat, or stand up, the knee is bent to almost a 90-degree angle.

Although this condition can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, the fix is usually simple. Rest from physically demanding activities, taking anti-inflammatory medication, and strength-building exercises are the first course of action to improve symptoms of runner’s knee. But if the condition is due to a severe injury or arthritis, surgery may ultimately be necessary.

When you are experiencing knee pain, the doctors at Tucson Orthopaedic Institute are thoroughly trained and experienced in all knee issues and conditions. A sports medicine physician can be a good place to start.  Dr. Troy M. Taduran is a sports medicine, fellowship-trained orthopedist who sees patients at three offices. He specializes in a non-surgical approach for sports injuries.

The body is an amazing thing, and pain is how the body communicates when something is wrong. When something hurts and can’t be relieved with a few days of rest and ice, we should listen.  Don’t put off finding out what could be a problem that needs an orthopedics’ touch, or you might be doing more damage to the condition.

We have four conveniently located offices to meet your needs. Call today or go online to request an appointment.


Dr. Troy M. Taduran