Dear TAI Experts: I have pain that radiates from outside of left knee and half way down the outside of leg.  My pain levels are intermittent. I have severe knee pain after racquetball, although spin class does not seem to bother my knee. I’ve had this pain for 6-8 weeks.  I am 59 years old.  I recently saw an Orthopedic physician who found no issues with x-rays. He thought this could this be patella strain or an arthritis issue.  What treatments are recommended for these conditions?

Answer:

Seeing a physical therapist that can perform a musculoskeletal examination and find the specific tissue that is causing the difficulty in the knee, be it muscle/ligament/tendon/cartilage, would be a good idea seeming that the condition is yet to be determined.  Once the culprit is found treatment can include soft tissue work, joint mobilizations, modalities and activity modification to help create a good healing environment so healing can occur.  It may be advantageous to stop playing racquetball for a while since it appears to cause a good deal of pain and start icing the knee daily.  Once the problem tissue is healing a strengthening/stretching and individual return to racquet ball program can be started to safely return back to the sport.  Best of luck.

Laura Flaherty PT, DPT