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Overuse injuries

Overuse of your knee joints can lead to a variety of knee conditions. These usually occur due to localised inflammation and irritation to the ligaments and tendons around the knee joint.

Modification in activity including rest combined with physiotherapy usually helps. However, if the problems persist, surgical treatment may be necessary.

Here’s a look at some of the common knee conditions.

Jumper’s Knee (Patella Tendinopathy)

When you experience pain in the front of your knee just below your kneecap or patella, it could be a sign of jumper’s knee. The pain may be severe and can be made worse by certain activities.

Early diagnosis is crucial. Specialist physiotherapy usually helps treat the condition. However, if your symptoms don’t improve then injection therapy or even surgery may be needed help you get back on track.

Patella Tendinopathy Facts

2x more common in males

Over 70% will improve with non-surgical treatment

3.2 x bodyweight = force in patella tendon when climbing stairs

Over 25% of athletes will suffer anterior knee pain

Accounts for 2.4% of all injuries in elite football

Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome (ITB Syndrome)

This is common in runners but can be caused by cycling and other activities. It often occurs when you increase the intensity or duration of your training. Symptoms include pain around the outside of your knee either during or after your run.

The first thing I will do is fully assess your knee to confirm the diagnosis. I will ensure the pain is not caused conditions such as lateral cartilage tear or early wear and tear in your joint. This might involve assessing your knee with an MRI scan.

Usually, specialist physiotherapy will help. However, in some cases, injection therapy (e.g. Platelet Rich Plasma – PRP) might be needed.

Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome (ITB Syndrome) Facts

One of the most common overuse injuries in runners

Iliotibial band extends from the pelvis crossing the hip and knee joint

The iliotibial band attaches onto the tibia just below the knee

Can be caused by running on a banked surface such as the side of a road or indoor track

ITB syndrome can occur in cyclists and swimmers

Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)

Pain in the joint between your kneecap and thighbone is sometimes called patella-femoral syndrome. This is the most common cause for pain at the front of your knee. It could be caused by knee overuse.

When you are running, your knee is under a lot of stress. This may lead to your kneecap rubbing against the thighbone which in turn leads to irritation and inflammation.

The major symptom is pain around the kneecap. The pain usually comes on gradually and gets worse. It can be aggravated if you sit for a long time. You may hear grinding or clicking noise when bending or straightening the knee. Your knee may feel weak .

Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome) Facts

Almost anyone can get it

Also known as Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome

Most common injury suffered by runners

Also known as “cinema knee” caused by sitting for a long time

Over 40% of pro-cyclists will get anterior knee pain

Most will respond to non-surgical treatment

Gareth Stables

Cheshire Orthopaedic surgeon, Mr Gareth Stables, is a fully UK trained Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon specialising in knee surgery. Gareth has the highest qualifications possible for an orthopaedic surgeon in the UK, FRCS (T&O), and is on the GMC specialist register for Trauma and Orthopaedic surgery.

Gareth specialises in; keyhole or knee arthroscopy surgery, ligament reconstruction surgery, knee osteotomy and knee replacement surgery. He has over 15 years of experience in the field having qualified with a commendation in 1998 from the University of Liverpool Medical School.

"My life was transformed and the pain almost negligible.... Now no painkillers or stick. I cannot thank my caring consultant enough. I will be ever grateful for his wisdom"

"Brilliant treatment from start! Had arthritis in knee joint.Was given injection and the effect was immediate! Brilliant. Would recommend to anyone. One of the most helpful doctors I have ever seen(and I`m 73 !!)"

"Mr Stables was very understanding, patient and thoroughly competent. I would recommend anyone to have knee replacements by him. The whole experience was worthwhile and very good for my quality of life."