Syndrome > Treatments
Preparing for Injection
If you are in a great deal of pain from
plica syndrome and regular non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen are ineffective, your
physician may opt to give you a cortisone injection
directly into your knee. It is important to be aware
of the potentially dangerous side effects of cortisone
injections. As with any type of injection into a joint,
there is the risk of infection. In addition, in high
or repetitive doses, cortisone may actually promote
the destruction of the knee by destroying the joint's
articular cartilage and tendons. Cortisone shots should
be taken sparingly, no more than one every six months.
Therapeutic injection for plica syndrome
normally is administered at your doctor's office, and
does not require any special preparation on your part.
To avoid infection, your physician
will sterilize the area where the injection is being
made with an antiseptic solution such as betadine. The
entire procedure takes about five minutes. You will
have a small adhesive bandage on your knee where the
injection was made.
Normally, you will not have any limitations
on your movements after the injection, and you should
be able to drive yourself home.
Post-op in Hospital
Normally, you will not have any limitations on your
movements after the injection, and you should be able
to drive yourself home.
There is a very small chance that you could be allergic
to the steroid medicine injected. Any reaction should
be reported to your physician immediately. If none occurs,
you should continue to follow other treatments, such
as rest, ice, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
There normally are no side effects (numbness or swelling,
for instance) from therapeutic injection for plica syndrome,
and, depending on the degree of pain, you may be able
to resume normal activities right away. The most important
component of rehabilitation for sufferers of plica syndrome,
however, is relative rest. This means modifying your
workouts to avoid the activities that cause pain. The
pain can occur both during and after exercise. For example,
instead of riding a bike or running, you could swim
or rollerblade instead. Or, if your pain is not severe,
you could reduce the intensity of your workout
for example, using less resistance when you ride, or
eliminating hills from a running workout. Depending
on how serious you are about the relative rest and physical
therapy, you may be able to return to a normal level
of activity in six to 12 weeks. You may be able to return
sooner, but you may experience pain while engaged in
physical activities, and it may set back your rehabilitation.
While it is always important to stretch
and strengthen the muscles around your knees, particularly
the quadriceps and hamstrings, these will not by themselves
prevent plica syndrome, which is primarily caused by
overuse. However, you may be able to reduce your chances
of recurring plica syndrome by avoiding a sudden increase
in activities that require repetitive motion that irritate
the plicae, such as cycling or using a stair-climbing
machine, and instead, easing into a routine.