Thursday, May 30, 2013

What is Runners Knee?

Runner’s knee or Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is a condition where the cartilage under the knee cap begins to wear away. Running can cause irritation where the kneecap rests on thighbone, which causes pain. The pain can be sharp or a dull ache that does not go away.


Runner’s knee can result from a biomechanical issue or from weak quadriceps and tight hamstrings. Some common biomechanical issues are flat feet, high arches in the feet, size and placement of the patella and worn cartilage. Weak quadriceps can cause alignment issues, while tight hamstrings and calves can put pressure on the knee. Also, the repetitive, jarring motion of running can often be enough to cause runner’s knee.


Symptoms of runner’s knee include pain behind or around the patella. Pain may also be felt toward the back of the knee. Some report a feeling of the knee ‘giving out’ and others have cracking in the knee.
Runner’s knee is more common in women due to the q-angle (see previous post on q-angle) – wider hips, which results in a larger angle of the thighbone to the knee, putting more pressure on the kneecap. It is also a condition that tends to strike younger athletes.


Run on softer surfaces and make sure you are wearing the correct shoes. Local specialty running stores can be a great resource to see that you are fitted properly. Orthotics can also be helpful in the prevention of runner’s knee. 

Strength training is another great way to prevent runner’s knee. Focus on strengthening the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. By doing this, you will reduce pressure on your knees. Also, remember to stretch the hamstrings and calves as this will also help with prevention.
If pain occurs, cut back on your running and avoid activities that involve extensive knee bending. Giving the knee a rest is the best way to begin to heal. If the pain persists, see a doctor.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

SLAP Lesions

A superior labral anterior posterior (SLAP) lesion is a tear where the biceps tendon meets the labrum. These tears are common in overhead sports; such as baseball, volleyball and pitching. The most common SLAP tear is referred to as a Type II lesion. In Type II lesions, the superior labrum and biceps anchor have pulled away from the superior glenoid tubercle.

How do SLAP lesions occur?

There are 2 main ways a SLAP lesion occurs. The first is due to a trauma or direct impact to the biceps. This can occur during the deceleration phase of throwing or in a car accident or fall. The second cause of a SLAP lesion is overuse. In this case, repetitive motion, such as throwing, can cause a tear. SLAP lesions are often seen in conjunction with a condition called GIRD (for more information on GIRD, see our recent post).

What are the symptoms?
  •  Anterior shoulder pain
  • Clicking or popping in the shoulder
  • Decreased function
  • Pain with overhead activities
  • Decreased power/velocity in throwing
How is a SLAP lesion diagnosed?

To diagnose SLAP lesions, a physician will perform a number of physical tests to determine if the injury is present. In these tests, the physician will look for range of motion, pain level and overall function. After the physical exam, an MRI will normally be performed.

What is the Treatment?

SLAP tears can be treated conservatively at times, but can require surgical repair. When surgery is required, the procedure is performed arthroscopically. The repair is made using suture anchor techniques. If you suspect that you have a SLAP tear, it is important to contact your orthopedic surgeon.