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As your mileage picks up throughout the year, you might start to experience a dull pain in your knees. This pain is often diagnosed as Runner’s Knee, known medically as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS).
Knee injuries are one of the most common orthopedic problems, especially for people performing in high impact sports like running. The symptoms of Runner’s Knee are easy to spot: When you take your first strides, you will probably notice pain around the kneecap that may subside during the run but return once you are finished. If you catch Runner’s Knee early, the easiest cure is to cut your mileage down significantly or stop running altogether for at least several weeks.
However, if you have already tried these methods and the pain continues, you may have an acute or chronic injury that cannot be solved without proper medical diagnosis and treatment. Medical treatment may be necessary because once the knee pain becomes recurrent, you may have permanently damaged the cartilage in your knee. Pain, swelling, and stiffness are signs of damaged cartilage especially after rest, activity modification, and the use of anti-inflammatories. As a runner, there is nothing worse than putting your training on hold, especially when you are gearing up for a race.
At this point, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with Dr. Kelly Cunningham at Austin Sports Medicine. If you are diagnosed with chronic Runner’s Knee, Dr. Kelly Cunningham can provide several innovative treatment pathways that may help restore the cartilage health and function, decrease pain, promote healing, and get you back to running in time for your next race. He will help you come back stronger so that you can keep logging those miles without knee pain or further injury to your knees. Call 3003 Bee Cave Road Suite 200, Austin, TX 78746. You can email us at
Kelly Cunningham, MD, has cared for many young and mature athletes whose joints take a beating day in and day out. He welcomes patients from Austin, Texas, and its surrounding communities to experience the cutting-edge technology and skill offered by his team at Austin Ortho + Biologics.
Dr. Cunningham works with each athlete to develop an individual treatment plan that emphasizes the least invasive treatments possible with a goal of minimal recuperation and downtime. He combines rigorous standards and quality of care with experience and insight, integrating the best new techniques into the care of each patient.
His patients have included skilled athletes in football, basketball, baseball, and hockey, including members of the Dallas Cowboys at their Austin training camp, Austin Ice Bats hockey players, Southwestern University athletes, and many other college and high school athletes. He served for 15 years as a traveling team physician for the men’s alpine downhill US Olympic Ski Team, providing on-the-hill medical race coverage in North America and Europe, including qualifying races for the Winter Olympics.
As a sports medicine specialist, Dr. Cunningham also treats many seasoned weekend warriors such as runners, skiers (downhill, snowboard, and water), and tennis and golf enthusiasts. He is an expert at ACL and meniscus cartilage surgery of the knee and dislocation, labrum and rotator cuff surgery of the shoulder. He also utilizes both surgical and in-office PRP and stem cell therapy.
After medical school and residency training in Dallas, he completed a sports medicine/knee fellowship with renowned orthopedic specialist Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colorado, and underwent further shoulder training in England and Canada.
In recent years, he has closely monitored cutting-edge techniques as they’re developed for use in these acute and chronic problems.