What’s going on with Al Horford’s knee? Checking in with Dr. Flynn

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The Celtics shut down Al Horford for a few games earlier this week due to constant knee pain. Given the importance of the All-Star to the C's title chances, we decided to check in with our BSJ medical expert Dr. Jessica Flynn for more information about his condition and what comes next for the veteran in his recovery.

Q; So we heard about patellar tendonitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome for Horford's knee? What was it? Could there have been some confusion about it?

Dr. Flynn: I don't think this was something that there was any confusion about when it comes to the medical staff. This is an easy distinction and diagnosis (with the syndrome), just the term used was probably wrong (earlier in the week)

Q: Horford doesn't have a history with knee issues, but what's the level of concern at age 32 for a condition like patellofemoral pain syndrome?

Dr. Flynn: Patellofemoral pain syndrome is probably the most common cause of knee pain that I see in my office. What it means is the kneecap joint, the joint that the kneecap tracks in, is inflamed. Another common term for this is runner's knee. It can be aggravated by running or just being active. It depends. Because it's so common, it's something that who knows, he may have had symptoms of in the past, but the syndrome really is a pain tolerance issue. It's something where the joint gets inflamed but you can't really do damage by playing through it. The issue is that you can really inflame the joint and with a really long season, it's not something that you want to ignore. You really want to quiet it down so it's something that is manageable for the rest of the year.

Q: So if he rests it enough now, it could go away entirely? Or will it be an injury that is going to be tough to get rid of entirely until the offseason, in which case it's just calming it down as much as possible?