Knee Pain and Injuries
The patella is a disk shaped bone in the front of your knee. Your patella is attached to your tibia bone by a tendon called the patellar tendon. The kneecap also attaches to the quadriceps muscles which are the large muscles in the front of your thigh. The patellar tendon, quadriceps, and other soft tissue surround the patella in what we call a soft tissue envelope. Normally this soft tissue envelope is well balanced and strong allowing your knee to function without pain.
Normally your patella rides smoothly in a groove at the end of your thigh bone, or femur, when you bend and straighten your knee. The vastus medialis obliquus, or VMO, is important in maintaining this normal patellar movement and allowing balance of the soft tissue envelope around the patella. The movement of the patella in this groove at the end of the femur is called patellar tracking.
Other non-surgical options to help manage knee problems and joint instability include cold therapy ranging from simple ice packs to motorized cold therapy (an insulated cooler with a pump and pads that deliver cold to specific joints), your doctor may suggest using cold therapy to reduce pain and swelling of an injured joint. All cold therapy, including ice, can be cold enough to damage your skin, so regardless of what kind of cold therapy you use, follow your doctor’s instructions.
Exercises for Joint Rehabilitation: Your doctor may recommend exercises to help enhance your recovery. This may include exercises for stretching to gradually increase range of motion, strengthening to regain joint function and proprioception to help with balance and core stability.