What started as patella femoral joint issues (aka runner’s knee) is increasingly confusing. I would like to give special thanks to some muppet who works in my local hospital’s radiography department who ensured that I spent several fun-packed hours typing my MRI scan results into Google one word at a time in a desperate attempt to understand them.
I ended up with a lot of scribbled notes about various terms from various places on the internet – plus some guessing from my co-workers/ husband/ cat/ random strangers.
(Photo from the BBC – this is from the big freeze earlier this year when Hell did freeze over)
As I went to all this effort I thought I should record these definitions somewhere as I’ll probably need them again before my stupid knee makes any progress – although given the speed and efficiency of the NHS I think hell will freeze over before my knee stops hurting.
Patella – knee cap
Patella alta, aka the high riding patella – the knee cap position on the leg is rather high
Trichlear groove (aka trochlea) – the groove where the patella (knee cap) makes contact with the femur (thighbone). The sides of the knee cap should be almost parallel to the groove and the knee cap should slide inside the groove.
Lateral ridge – in the case of the trichlear groove this is the outside of the groove.
Femoral – to do with the femur (thigh bone)
Infrapatellar fat pad (aka hoffa’s fat pad) – a fatty pad filled with nerves that sits below the knee cap and behind the patella tendon.
Vastus Medialis Obliquos (VMO) – a muscle group which are very useful to help stablise the patella (including its tracking) and are potential weak if you have knee pain!
Bursa – small sac filled with synovial fluid. When working correctly these reduce friction between bones and stuff in joints.
Menisci, cruciate and collateral ligaments – ligaments!
Articular cartilage – slippy white substance that helps the bones glide smoothly. Very important stuff.
Pain themed words:
Patellofemoral pain syndrome – a blanket term meaning anterior knee pain
Anterior – in humans this means “the front”
Retropatellar articular cartilage fissure –you have damage to the cartilage on the back of your knee cap.
Chondropathy – your cartilage is screwed.
Patellofemoraldysfunction – Term so vague as to be useless, aka the chap in radiology is an unhelpful individual or totally stumped and doesn’t want to admit it.
Patellofemoral arthritis – when the articular cartilage wears down and inflames. This is usually along the trochlear groove and on the underside of the patella. Owch owch owch.
One day I want to be able to NEED a list of cute fluffy words to describe my knee with.
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