Chondromalacia Patella/Patelloremoral Syndrome


Chondormalacia Patella/Patellofemoral Syndrome (sometimes referred to as Runner’s Knee) is the deterioration and softening of the cartilage (tissue) on the underside of the patella (kneecap). Symptoms present as a dull/aching pain at the front of the knee and/or a feeling of grinding when the knee is in motion. Painful symptoms can be intensified while running, walking, jumping, ascending or descending stairs, and sitting for prolonged periods of time. Runner’s Knee is associated with overuse, muscle weaknesses and/or imbalances, anatomical misalignment, injury, and knee surgery.


Patellar Tendonitis

Patellar Tendonitis (sometimes referred to as Jumper’s Knee) is an injury to the patellar tendon, a tendon connecting the bottom of the patella (kneecap) to the tibia (shinbone). Patellar Tendonitis is most common in athletes who’s sport includes frequent jumping (i.e., basketball and volleyball). Symptoms of Jumper’s Knee include: Pain at the base of the patella (kneecap) that worsens with exercise, swelling, and pain with activities such as stair climbing and/or descending. Contributing factors of this condition involve tight and/or imbalanced leg muscles, anatomical misalignment, and wearing non-supportive footwear.


Patellar Dislocation


Patellar Dislocation (kneecap dislocation) frequently occurs as a result of a traumatic blow, fall, or twisting action of the knee that places excessive stress on the patella (kneecap). Patellar Dislocation is most common among athletes in sports such as football, basketball, and soccer. Contributing factors that make Patellar Dislocation more likely are insufficient VMO strength (quadriceps muscle on the inside of the thigh), over pronation of the feet (flat-footed), and the condition Genu Valgum (knock-knee, where the knees angle inward and touch when the legs are straight). Symptoms of Patellar Dislocation include: Limited range of motion, pain with weight-bearing, bruising, swelling, and observable patellar misalignment.


Baker's Cyst

A Baker’s Cyst, sometimes referred to as a Popliteal Cyst, is a condition where an excess amount of synovial (lubricating) fluid from the knee joint is produced and accumulated. The synovial fluid can become trapped and separated from the joint to form a fluid filled sack at the back of the knee. It most commonly occurs if there are additional underlying problems with the knee, such as Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, or a torn meniscus. Symptoms can include: Pain, swelling, and tightness at the back of the knee.

Meniscus Tear

A Meniscus Tear is one of the most frequently occurring injuries of the knee. The meniscus is comprised of cartilage that serves to cushion and stabilize the knee joint, while protecting the bones from direct contact. A healthy meniscus allows for full, smooth range of motion in the knee joint. However, it is susceptible over time to age related degeneration. Meniscus tears are common in contact sports (football and field hockey), in sports requiring jumping and cutting (volleyball and soccer), and can occur as a result of trauma caused by forceful twisting or hyper-flexing of the knee joint. Meniscus tears often accompany other knee injuries, such as anterior cruciate ligament tears and other ligamentous injuries. Symptoms include: Knee pain, stiffness, swelling, a catching/popping sensation in the knee, and limited range of motion and weakness.


ACL/PCL Ligament Injuries

Injuries to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) are common, especially among athletes. The ACL and PCL are two of four ligaments that stabilize the knee joint, allowing the knee to move forward and backward without moving side to side. The ACL is located in the center of the knee just in front of the PCL, keeping the tibia (shinbone) from moving too far forward, while the PCL keeps it from moving too far backward. Injuries to these ligaments are more often sprains than tears and can occur when the knee joint twists abruptly and forcefully while the feet remain planted on the ground. Additionally, ACL injuries can occur when an individual changes direction, pivots, suddenly slows down, or misses the landing of a jump. PCL injuries do not occur as frequently as ACL injuries and are most often due to a sudden impact at the front of the knee or when the knee is forcefully hyper-extended. Symptoms of ACL/PCL injury include: Pain, swelling, weakness or a sensation of the knee “giving way,” decreased range of motion, knee joint instability, and a notable “popping” sound when moving the knee.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter Disease (OSD) is an inflammation of the bone, cartilage, and/or patellar tendon at the tibial tubercle (a bony attachment site of the quadriceps and patellar tendon to the shinbone), where the tibial growth plate is located. Growth plates in adolescents are primarily composed of cartilage, making them more susceptible to injury. OSD is not actually a disease, but an overuse injury that is one of the most common causes of knee pain in children ages 8-13 for girls and 10-15 for boys. Generally affecting one knee, OSD usually occurs in active adolescents around their growth spurts, the 2 year period in which they grow most quickly. Teens with the highest risk factors play sports involving running, jumping, and twisting. When exercising, differences in size and strength between the muscle groups of the thigh (caused by the rapidly changing bones, muscles, and tendons) place excessive stress on the growth plate, resulting in inflammation. Symptoms of OSD include: A noticeable bony bump just below the knee, pain that worsens with exercise, pain relief with rest, swelling and tenderness at the tibial tubercle, and tightness in the hamstring and quadriceps muscles.

Arthritis of the Knee

Arthritis is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. Two of the most common types of arthritis diagnosed in the knee are Osteoarthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).

Osteoarthritis (OA) occurs from the prolonged wear and tear on joints. There is a dense protective cartilage covering the ends of the bones, which allows them to slide easily. Over time however, the cartilage becomes worn down and the bones begin to rub against each other, which causes the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Certain individuals are more at risk for developing osteoarthritis. Older, females (twice as likely as men), Caucasian, and/or overweight individuals are more at risk for developing OA. Injuries such as fractures and dislocations can increase the risk of developing OA. The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee include: Pain, swelling, stiffness, joint weakness, chronic pain, limited mobility, and reduced range of motion.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition where a person’s immune system attacks the synovial fluid of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis will affect joints on both sides of the body, such as both knee joints. This symmetry sets it apart from other types of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, blood, or nerves. Symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis in the knee include: Pain, stiffness, swelling, fatigue, joint redness, warmth around the knee, joint weakness, limited mobility, and a loss in range of knee motion. Symptoms of RA can last weeks or months at a time, but overall, RA is a slowly progressing disease. Causes of Knee RA are unknown, but it is believed that factors such as genetics, environmental exposures (bacteria, viruses, secondhand smoke, air pollution, insecticides, etc.), intestinal disorders, and hormone imbalances may contribute to triggering the condition.


Post-Knee Surgery

Knee surgery can include a variety of procedures ranging from arthroscopic meniscus repair to total knee replacement. Most frequently the decision to undergo knee surgery serves to help relieve pain and restore function to injured or damaged knee joints, tendons, ligaments, and cartilaginous tissues. K-Laser Class IV Cold Laser therapy has been proven extremely effective in reducing recovery time post-surgery. Most studies show patients can heal up to 40% faster, with no adverse side effects [1,2]. In our practice, we have certainly observed over and over again the expedited healing results demonstrated in these studies. Benefits of K-Laser Class IV Cold Laser therapy include: Increased blood flow, accelerated tissue repair and cell growth, reduced inflammation, faster wound healing, reduced fibrous scar tissue formation, analgesic effect, improved vascular activity, increased metabolic activity and oxygen delivery to the cells, improved nerve function, and increased production of ATP (primary carrier of cell energy and the energy source for all chemical healing reactions in the cells).

[1] Sattayut, S., & Bradley, P. (2012). A Study Of The Influence Of Low Intensity Laser Therapy On Painful Temporomandibular Disorder Patients. Laser Therapy, 21(3), 183-192. doi:10.5978/islsm.12-or09

[2] Prindeze, N. J., Moffatt, L. T., & Shupp, J. W. (2012). Mechanisms of action for light therapy: A review of molecular interactions. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 237(11), 1241-1248. doi:10.1258/ebm.2012.012180