Taping the knee has become a standard method of treating pain caused by a poorly aligned kneecap ( patella ). The idea is that the tape helps hold the kneecap in better alignment. But does the tape actually improve the position of the kneecap? Past research is unclear. This study involved 16 young women with alignment problems of their patella. Researchers took pictures of the bones of the subjects' knees using computed tomography (CT). The CT scans were used to see the position of the knee caps before and after taping the knee, and with or without having the subject tighten the quadriceps muscle. Only four knees showed even a slight improvement in patellar alignment with taping. In the rest of the knees, taping made no difference in alignment at all. Patellar taping may indeed help ease pain or provide support for the knee cap. But the authors conclude that the benefits from taping do not seem to be from correcting the alignment of the patella. Reference: Antonio Gigante, MD, et al. The Ef...
Many people who have torn their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) have surgery to repair the injured ligament. Since the ligament has been torn, donor tissue is needed to replace it. The donor piece may come from tendon taken from the patient. Usually, this comes from the injured leg, but it can come from the other leg. The graft site may be the tendon that goes to the kneecap or it may come from a leg muscle. After surgery of any kind, problems can occur. ACL repair has its share of possible complications. There may be infection or poor wound healing. The donor tissue may not be strong enough to hold the joint together. In rare cases, the kneecap may even break. This is called a patellar fracture . Patellar fractures occur in about one percent of all cases when the patellar tendon is used as the donor tissue. The number of patellar fractures has decreased as more and more ACL repairs are done. There isn't a single cause of this fracture. In this study, eight people ended up with a patell...
One of the first questions I sometimes hear from people who have knee pain is: Doc, do you think it is arthritis? The answer is, invariably, please tell me more about your pain. There are many causes of knee pain and arriving at an accurate diagnosis begins with a full, comprehensive medical history and physical examination. Osteoarthritis is one of the more common causes of knee pain in people over the age of 55. However, there are many other potential causes in this population of people as well. For example, knee pain can be due to:
Ø A meniscus tear
Ø A ligament tear, sprain, or strain
Ø Malalignment of the patella (knee cap) leading to pain beneath the patella
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