Platelet Rich Plasma Injection for Runner's Knee (PFPS)
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I had 'runners knee' for years. Remember this is a catch all phrase to describe knee painwhere the cause isn't known. I agree that seeking out a good physiotherapist is the place to start. Ultimately for me I had an MRI which revealed nothing, but elected to have keyhole surgery which removed my plica and since then problem solved. No I hadn't heard of it either before the surgery... Took over a year to get to that point and then a few months recovery. Obviously surgery is a last resort. As an aside I'm not sure if running on forefoot is always the answer, but again for me increasing stride frequency has kept me injury free since, circa 3 years.
- Injury Status Recovering
- Chronicity 6-18 Months
I developed the same injury 1 year ago from training with too much mileage and stair repeats way too soon. As a runner, it's so simple to do what feels good, but as we age our tendons are not able to keep up with the speedy intensity. I'm a 36 yr old female. I made the mistake of seeing Kaiser's orthopedic doctor. Huge mistake! Three months after the injury (rested the entire time) he injected my knee with cortisone, then did PRP 2 weeks later. Both huge mistakes. Don't do that. If only I had gone to a running chiropractor who performs ART & seen a deep massage therapistright away, then most likely I wouldn't still be trying to heal this thing.
I now see a running doctor (chiro) who has given me assignments to do backwards walking on the treadmil at an incline of 15, speed of 1.3. I do that for 10 minutes with big strides back and lowering my legs a little to build my quads. It no longer hurts so I can bend just fine when doing this. If it hurts, lessen this technique somehow. This has a similar effect as the eccentric exercies that are recommended. I am to also do other Physical therapyto build my core and rear end as he discovered one side was much weaker than the other. He performed ART on me, which I have found some great research on regarding how this can help. It would probably help to get that done very frequently in the early stages. I also get deep tissue massages, which I believe has helped as well.
My advice, try to find a running doctor/chiropractor & masseuse that know this injury. Find him/her ASAP. My tendon is thickened as shown in my MRI and I can visually see this, and it will probably be thickened forever possibly. I no longer feel it, which is great, however I can still feel it slightly when I press on the top and bottom of the tendon. I have not run for over 1 year and had to change my mentality toward running. Since I am better I have been training in the gym on the bike and elliptical (plus treadmil therapy) to build up strength and stability. (FYI, elliptical probably shoudn't be done while it's still this painful - stick with other leg strengthening PT exercises & maybe light bike.) Since my pain is just surface pain now, I am told I should attempt running slowly soon, but I am nervous. Honestly I am not expecting to ever run like I used to, but maybe I'll be able to. I had to change my mentality so that I don't get depressed about it.
- Injury Status Cured
I had this. I suspect it came from too pronounced heel striking whilst running on hard roads in London.
I had an interesting treatment from a guy called Dr Tom Crisp. It basically involves injecting saline behind the patella. It worked pretty well for me - I ended up running the Marathon des Sables after (with a bit of correction of my heavy heel-strike and free weights to keep it from recurring).
The theory goes... when you have chronic patello-femoral pain, this is accompanied by neovascularisation i.e. growth of new blood vessels into the patella tendon and this contributes to the perception of pain. By injecting saline behind the kneecap, I think into the infrapatellar fat pad, you basically stretch all the tissue and break these fragile new blood vessels. This helps to resolve the feeling of pain.
It's pretty uncomfortable at the time - a decent amount of fluid is injected into a fairly small area - but as I say it worked for me, along with the change to my heel strike. And I'd recommend some free weight training for any serious runner.