The patellar pain typically is located in the anterior knee region, although many times it radiates towards the posterior area, and the patient complains about pain at the popliteal fossa. In case of osteoarthritis, usually present in elderly people, it is accompanied by pain of the whole knee, so the treatment must include the entire knee.
In young people, the pain usually appears isolated, often in athletes, and it can arrive to be intense enough not only to prevent any sport practice, but also to affect the daily life.
It may be exasperating, because in most of the cases the study with radiographs, MRI and CT scan does not show any alteration from the normal. In addition, the received treatment often does not solve the problem and, sometimes, it may even worsen it.
At Clínica Adler we perform a detailed history of the development of the pain, with a careful analysis of its origin and the reasons that may be causing it. In most cases a proper physiotherapy is enough, which is initially aimed to relieve the pain symptoms and, specifically, to correct the factors that cause the pain, which are usually related to a postural and muscle imbalance along with an overuse of the knee. The patient must know that the physiotherapy treatment may last several months, and that it involves not only the structures around the knee, but also the pelvic and hip muscles.
Sometimes, typically in patellar tendinitis, we perform platelet-rich plasma injections, which brings growth factors with anti-inflammatory and regenerating effects.
The surgical treatment is rarely needed for patellar pain in young people. The kind of treatment required depends on the origin of the pain. For instance, if the patellar alignment must be corrected, an anterior tibial tubercle osteotomy is commonly performed. If it is caused by a chronic inflammation of the patellar tendon, an arthroscopy may be necessary for removing the inflammatory tissue.