Plica syndrome is defined as inflammation of the plica, usually after an injury. It is important to note that the plica is a fold in the membrane bordering the knee joint. The condition often develops in the middle part of the kneecap.
What are the causes?
Plica syndrome is often brought about by stress or overuse of the knee joint. This is often due to exercises that require frequent bending and straightening of the knee such as cycling, running or using a stair-climbing device.
Injuries from falls or vehicular accidents can also cause the condition.
What are the signs?
The main sign of plica syndrome is knee pain, but it can also be caused by other conditions. The discomfort linked to the condition include:
- Aching sensation
- Pain is worsened when climbing upstairs, bending or squatting
The other signs of plica syndrome include the following:
- Locking or catching sensation in the knee joint when moving up from a chair after an extended period of being seated
- Difficulty sitting for extended periods of time
- Sensation that the knee is about to give out
- Instability while on stairs and slopes
- Cracking or clicking sound when the knee is bent or extended
In some cases, the individual can feel that the plica is swollen if the kneecap is pressed.
Is surgery required?
In case physical therapy is not effective, arthroscopic resection is necessary. The recovery period from surgery is based on various factors, including overall health and the affected knee.
The individual must wait for several weeks before resuming his/her regular level of exercise and physical activity.