Runner's knee refers to pain around the patella (kneecap). It may be due to an underlying structural problem. Many people who experience this discomfort suffer from structural defects, such as a misaligned patella, flat feet, weak quadriceps muscles (the muscles in front of your thigh), tight hamstrings (the muscles in the back of your thigh) or some prior injury. If you have flat feet, you can use orthotic devices to improve your arch and decrease the impact on your foot as it lands on a surface. A foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon or podiatrist can determine which orthotic device is appropriate. If your patella has a history of dislocating, you might require surgical intervention to improve the alignment of the patella so that it tracks properly.