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Runner's Knee Definition & Overview


The patella is the bone that makes the knee cap. Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a condition in which pain is felt under the kneecap. This pain occurs during exercise or movement. It is most common during weight bearing activities such as running. It is often increased by going down stairs or down hills.

It is caused by abnormal movement of the patella. As the leg extends and flexes, the patella normally moves both up and down, and tilts slightly. It should not touch the other bones of the knee.

The femur is the thigh bone. This bone forms the upper part of the knee. In people with patellofemoral pain syndrome, the patella painfully rubs against the femur. If you have knee or joint pain during activity, call your doctor.

The Kneecap

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

The Latest in Runner's Knee Definition & Overview

  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

    Encylopedia entry for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.

    Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome(Runner’s Knee)

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