Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

On Your Knees


Swelling at the sides of the knee joint, or underneath the kneecap tendon, is generally due to bursitis, an accumulation of fluid in the bursae, small sacs that cushion the tendons where they glide over bone. Bursitis can result from direct trauma or overuse.

Overlying the knee joint is the patella, or kneecap. It is held in place by the tendon of the quadriceps (thigh) muscle, which is attached to the top of the tibia. When the knee is fully extended or straight, there is no tension on the kneecap.

Sit on the floor with your legs extended and relax your muscles. Then wriggle the kneecap back and forth. It will move a few millimeters in either direction side to side.

Now bend your knee about 30 percent and you'll notice the patella is very tightly pushed against the femur and will not move. As you bend your knee, the patella moves up into a groove between the two prominences of the femur. This is called the "tracking" of the patella between the condyles (the rounded ends of the bone) of the femur.

Some people have a problem with the tracking of the kneecap. When the knee bends, the patella can move laterally to the outside of the leg instead of staying in the middle. If this happens repeatedly wear and tear on the cartilage undersurface of the patella results. This painful condition is called patella-femoral arthralgia.

When observed in surgery the damaged cartilage has a "crab meat" appearance called chondromalacia. Since cartilage will not repair itself, surgical treatment involves shaving off the worst portions.

The patella is most vulnerable to this tracking problem in women with certain biomechanical alignments of the leg. A woman with a broad pelvis is more likely to have such an alignment. The broader pelvis makes the knees angle inward to a "knock-kneed" position.

You can see whether this applies to you by standing in front of a mirror and putting your ankles together. If your knees appear to be "squinting" toward one another; you have this alignment.

What are some other symptoms?

Next | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Previous

Order Now!
Order The Athletic Woman's Survival Guide
Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2000 - Sports Doctor, Inc.