Plica syndrome is pain in the knee due to overuse. Plica is used to describe the folds that are found in the lining of the knee joint. There are four plicae synovial folds, but only the medial plica causes issues. The medial plica is attached to the lower end of the kneecap and runs sideways on the inner part of the knee to the lower end of the thighbone.
Repetitive motions from exercising can irritate the plica and cause plica syndrome. Plica syndrome can also occur from a fall or any type of trauma hitting the knee. The injury can cause the plica to swell and may lead to scarring and thickening of the tissue.
The swelling and scar tissue will cause pain within the knee. A snapping or catching feeling may be felt when the knee is bent and you may experience or tightness that is tender to the touch.
Your physical therapist will assess the state of your knee through an examination. The examination will determine the mobility of your knee and to find a thickened piece of plica on your knee.
Working with a physical therapist is a great way to improve your symptoms of plica syndrome without surgery. He or she will design a customized treatment plan to reduce your pain as well as to improve the strength of your knee. Their goal is to keep your pain under control while improving the quadriceps muscle strength and range of motion. Icing the knee and taking anti-inflammatories will also help to reduce inflammation and pain.
Your physical therapist will focus on getting the quadriceps muscle moving when the symptoms of pain and swelling begin to subside. He or she will instruct you to do exercises designed to keep pressure off of your kneecap while improving the muscles in your leg. Physical therapy is a great way to heal your knee from plica syndrome by building your strength back and healing the injury.
Did you know that you have Direct Access to Physical Therapy? No referral is needed. We offer the best Physical Therapy on Long Island where you can get help from our trusted and expert Physical Therapists. We have several locations on Long Island including Massapequa, Valley Stream, Wantagh, and Lindenhurst. To start your Physical Therapy evaluation, call Park Physical Therapy and The Physical Therapy Alliance at (516) 568-4444.