At The Podiatry Practice, we see LOTS of runners and sportspeople. One of the main reasons for seeing us is knee pain associated with exercise, usually around the front of the joint. The usual culprit? A badly tracking kneecap (patella).
The image below shows you an x-ray of a patella which is tracking (pulling) to the outside of the thigh bone (femur), and is causing wear and tear to the soft cartilage, and has become bone-on-bone rubbing.
Additionally, there is a valgus deformity at the knee joint causing a “knock knee” effect. The muscles and tendons around the knee cap are affected and not sitting in an ideal position. If this goes on long enough it causes osteoarthritis – for which there is no real cure.
Many times, it is poor foot alignment and function which drives these knee problems. A foot that pronates too much (“rolls inward”) will cause internal rotation of the leg, and exacerbate the malalignment of the knee cap, and knee joint. This is a common scenario we see every day, and can be easily managed with the right running shoe selection, and correctly prescribed orthotics to control the forces and alignment of the foot and leg. Usually this will eliminate the majority of symptoms, and preserve the integrity of the cartilage for a longer period of time – avoiding the need to give up running or exercise, and avoiding the need for invasive surgical procedures.