Plica Syndrome is the problem that occurs in knee due to certain injury and overuse. It leads to intense pain and often diagnosis of the problem is difficult; however, once diagnosed the problem can be easily treated. For effective treatment, one should understand what happens during the problem and how it is treated.
Plica is a defined as a fold in the inner lining of the knee joint. The lining, which has synovial tissue, helps in the unrestricted movement of the joint. Plica has four soft tissue folds, the medial Plica, one of the folds causes problem when it gets inflamed due to overuse or injury and is called Plica syndrome. The condition is common among athletes and runners.
- Repeated motion of the knee
- Exercises that irritate Plica
- Repeatedly bending and straightening of the knee
- Activities such as biking, running, climbing stairs
- Falling on the knee
- Hitting knee on hard surfaces during an accident
- Pain in the front of knee
- Popping and locking when the knee is bent
Plica Syndrome is difficult to diagnose. The orthopedic physician reviews the medical history of the patient and thoroughly examines the knee. He tries to access the extent of damage by the injury and determine the cause of the injury. The physician will look for a thickened piece of irritated tissue on the knee. He will also assess the strength and mobility in the knee. The physician may ask certain questions related to the routine activities of the patient. He also recommends imaging tests such as x-ray or MRI to find the source of pain.
Often Plica Syndrome is cured without surgery; however if the problem persists the patient has to undergo surgery. The patient is suggested to limit the physical activities to reduce the inflammation. The doctor may also prescribe some anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce swelling. Ice packs and massages can also help. In case the symptoms persist, the patient may have to undergo surgery. There is no harm in removing plica as your body can remain without it. The surgery does not involve any complications and side effects. The recovery time ranges from four to six weeks.
During the recovery period, a physiotherapist can help patients recover the lost strength and mobility. Regular stretching and strengthening exercises benefit the knee. The patient should allow complete recovery before starting any physical activity or sports.