We see a wide variety of knee injuries ranging from youth sports to the senior population at Skare Spine and Performance in Rochester, MN.

Because the hip and foot/ankle control the knee, knee injuries often result from dysfunction at the hip or foot/ankle. Both are essential to evaluate and treat along with the knee.

Common conditions with the knee:

  • Sprain
  • Torn Meniscus
  • Arthritis
  • Patellar Tendinitis
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner's Knee)
  • Baker’s Cyst
  • Muscle strain or tear
  • Osgood Schlatter's (Jumper's Knee) 

Is my knee pain serious?

The severity of your knee injury largely depends on if the initial injury was traumatic or if it came on over time. Like most conditions, the evaluation and history determine the severity and course of action.

When the initial injury was traumatic with a severe popping sound or pain, imaging may be required with an X-Ray or MRI.

Sometimes we know exactly what causes knee pain or injury, while other times, it could be more complex. If atraumatic and the injury came on over time, imaging can often wait until a trial of conservative care.

Patient Testimonials

"My daughter and I have been going to Dr. Nate Skare for a few months. He really helped me to get back to 100% after suffering from knee pain that made it hard to even walk or climb stairs. I am now pain and limitation free."

Tiffinee S., Rochester, MN

"The service at Skare Spine and Performance is fantastic. Dr. Skare spent a lot of time with me making sure that I was comfortable and making a plan that’ll get my knee back to 100%!"

Austin B., Goodhue

Symptoms of Knee Conditions:

  • Clicking or popping
  • Catching
  • Dull, achy, or throbbing pain
  • Severe and sharp pain with movement

The Skare Spine and Performance approach to knee pain:

Different treatments include:

Many knee injuries will require treatment at the hip and foot/ankle as well as the knee. One of our main goals will be to address hip stability. The hip abductors control the knee, and when weak or inhibited, this can cause the knee to get into vulnerable positions as well as cause strain on the musculature surrounding the knee.

The biomechanics of jumping, landing, running, and sport-specific positions are essential to evaluate to see if there is a link to their knee dysfunction.


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A sprain in the knee is due to ligament damage. The major ligaments are the ACL, MCL, PCL, and LCL. Conservative care is best for some sprains, while severe sprains or ruptures may require surgery. 

Torn Meniscus

The meniscus is placed between the bones and is a C-shaped piece of cartilage. It provides support and cushion and acts as a shock absorber. Injury to the meniscus can happen over time due to sports, running, or everyday life, or it can happen traumatically. Non-surgical, conservative care is becoming more popular with meniscus injuries. Meniscal injuries often respond well to McKenzie therapy by restoring pain-free ranges of motion. After that, we work on stabilizing and strengthening the muscles around the knee. 


Arthritis, osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease is one of the most common ailments of the knee as we age. Just like getting gray hair, arthritis is something that everyone will get. But just because you have it does not mean it will cause pain. Being told you are "bone on bone" can make you feel fragile and lead to more medical costs and treatment. Living with pain or having a knee replacement can be prevented frequently by increasing range of motion, acupuncture, and strengthening muscles around the knee.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner's knee, presents with pain around or under the knee cap. This pain can get worse after activity or increase with squatting-type movements. Young females who participate in sports with a lot of running are the most susceptible. Treatment usually consists of strengthening the hip abductor musculature. The hip works to control and stabilize the knee. With patellofemoral pain syndrome, the knee often moves too far inwards with movements. Over time, this can irritate the knee. By strengthening the hips, we address the root cause and have lasting results.

Patellar Tenndinitis

Patellar tendinitis is inflammation of the tissue connecting the kneecap to the lower leg bone. This condition can also be associated with Jumper's Knee or Osgood Schlatter's. Like Jumper's knee, athletes in sports such as basketball and volleyball are more susceptible to patellar tendinitis. It is usually due to a lot of jumping. Symptoms can include pain and tenderness around your patellar tendon, swelling and tenderness around and behind your kneecap, and pain with activity. Sometimes, this condition can happen after periods of inactivity and then doing too much too soon. Most often, strengthening and stretching the correct muscles around the knee provide relief. 

Osgood Schlatter's

Youth athletes who spend a lot of time running, jumping, and playing sports are most susceptible to Jumper's Knee. This condition is a stress reaction of the tibial tuberosity. It causes pain and inflammation on the front side of the knee. Usually, this condition will occur when the athlete has growth spurts. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments struggle to keep up during boney growth spurts.

The patella tendon attaches to a growth center on the front of the lower leg, called the tibial tuberosity. When the quadricep muscles are overly tight, this will create tension through the patella tendon and onto the growth center causing pain and inflammation.

If severe enough, sometimes rest is advised, but it is commonly a condition that an athlete can play with most of the time.

Our goal will be to reduce tension and tightness in the quadricep musculature to take stress and pressure off the injury site. With muscle work and dry needling, we can effectively do this. The athlete will also be taught specific stretches for home care to speed up the healing process.

Muscle Strain or Tear

The knee has many associated muscles that connect around the joint. Sports and activities can put a lot of stress on these muscles, resulting in a strain or tear. These muscle strains often consist of hamstring, calf, or quadricep strains. All these muscle groups are important to the knee joint. Treatment will include strengthening specific muscle groups and creating balance and synergy.

Learn More About Muscle Strains

Baker's Cyst

A baker’s cyst is a fluid-filled cyst behind the knee. Most often, these cysts are painless and asymptomatic. Sometimes, when there is a meniscal injury, these can get irritated and need to be drained, but most often these are left alone. 

Find out if your knee injury can be treated with conservative, non-surgical care. 

Our goal with therapy will be to turn on and strengthen the right muscles to take pressure off the knee and allow you to get back to sport, work, or life.

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