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Tennis pain in my left knee when I turn to the left

March 11, 2010

Question

“Dr. Rick, I am an avid tennis player and have pain in my left knee when I turn to the left. Sometimes walking up and down stairs seems to bother me and running seems to bother me. Do you have any suggestions?”

Answer

Things to be concerned about are iliotibial band tendinitis, patellofemoral maltracking and what is characterized as extensor mechanism knee pain. Extensor mechanism knee pain consists of pain underneath the kneecap or patellar tendon and is due to overload, which is generally attributable to either a tight iliotibial band, weakness in the quadriceps mechanism or malrotation as well as hyperpronation of the foot. If this knee pain does not resolve with icing, short rest and oral anti-inflammatories, a visit to your physician as well as physical therapy would be very helpful. After a physical therapy program has increased your strength and allowed normal biomechanics in her kneecap and quadriceps mechanism, a home program to exercise 2-3 times per week is beneficial to keep this pain from returning. In general, it is very important that this type of anterior knee pain be resolved early and that it does not continue to be problematic, creating chronic, long term pain and arthritis.

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