Runner’s Knee Treatment
Whether you call it runner’s knee, patellofemoral pain syndrome (frontal knee pain) or iliotibial band friction syndrome (pain in the side of the knee) – it hurts. And not just for runners.
Runner’s knee can account for up to 40% of the knee complaints in sports medicine clinics where patients are commonly instructed to rest, ice, wrap, elevate, and stretch their knee while taking NSAIDs. In severe cases, surgeons remove damaged cartilage. These aren’t always effective long-term solutions, especially as our knees begin to age.
Regenerative medicine specialists have been performing stem cell therapies on the knees of professional athletes for over 20 years. When live stem cells are injected into damaged knee tissue they may be able to stimulate your cells to repair themselves, and also promote new cell growth, while relieving or reducing your pain.
Pain. Lots of it. You know you have runner’s knee when you feel:
- pain in front of your kneecap, though it could be around or behind it
- pain when you bend your knee to walk, squat, kneel, run, or even get up from a chair
- pain that worsens when you walk downstairs or downhill
- pain with swelling, popping or grinding around your kneecap
There are so many ways to put our knees through the wear and tear required to cause this common debilitating condition. Here are the most common:
- direct hit: from a fall or blow
- overuse: high-stress exercises, repetitive lunges and too much running
- bone malalignment: a kneecap that’s slipped out of position can cause painful pressure
- foot conditions: hypermobile feet, fallen arches, or overpronation can lead to knee pain
- weak, unbalanced thigh muscles: weak quadriceps fail to keep the kneecap in place
- chondromalacia patella: cartilage under your kneecap breaks down
For over 20 years clinical trials have been demonstrating promising results of stem cell injections as an efficacious runner’s knee tissue treatment. After a thorough physical knee exam, and maybe an X-ray, your provider will inject 5 million live-nucleated cells into your injured knee tissue using ultrasound technology as a guide.
These stem cells will migrate to your damaged cells and release growth factors, cytokines & chemokines into your blood. These substances may then:
- activate T-cells to secrete proteins
- open your blood vessels and form new ones
- move cells out of your blood vessels and into the tissues surrounding them
- stimulate your cells to regenerate your tissue
- inhibit your inflammation
- regulate your immune system
- How quickly or potently this regeneration occurs in your knee depends on your age, genetics, injury severity, general health, follow up care, and other environmental factors.
People heal at different rates. Your recovery time depends on your age, genetics, damage severity, general health, and environmental factors, as well as your dedication to post-treatment care.
Give your cells time to regenerate by taking it easy on your knee. Temporarily switch to a new form of exercise that won’t hurt your joint (e.g., joggers, consider swimming laps for a couple of months instead of jogging).
Your body’s regenerative powers work slowly and steadily – observe your unique pace and respect it. If you return to your usual workouts before your tissues have had a chance to regenerate you could damage your knee permanently. You can return to your usual robust routine after your doctor informs you it’s okay to do so, generally after:
- your knee is fully bending and straightening without pain
- you can walk, jog, sprint, or jump pain-free
- your treated knee is just as strong as your uninjured knee.