Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Malalignment of the knee joint—often caused by dysfunction in the feet. People who roll their feet out when they walk can pull the kneecap out of line. This causes painful rubbing of the kneecap against the bones of the knee. Rarely, this condition occurs because the kneecap is located too high or too low in the knee joint.
- Weak anterior thigh muscles—these muscles help to hold the kneecap in place as it moves. If these muscles are weak, they cannot hold the kneecap in the correct position. This causes the kneecap to rub against the femur during movement.
- Overuse and overloading the knee joint—especially from high-impact sports or activities that can cause pain.
Any condition that causes misalignment of the knee joint, such as:
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Hip dysfunction
- Pronation when walking—rolling feet outward
- External rotation of the lower leg
- Knock knees
- Participation in high-impact sports, such as running
- Trauma, such as an automobile accident where the kneecap hits the dashboard
- Swelling of the knee
- Popping or grinding sounds in the knee joint during activity
- A snapping sensation in the knee
Exercise and Physical Therapy
- Proper warming up before exercising. This includes stretching after warm-up and post-activity. This will help to prevent sports-related injuries.
- Vary the types of activities that you participate in. For example, rather than running or jogging every day, alternate between running and swimming.
- Take care of injuries right away. This includes getting first aid and resting the injury until it is healed before beginning an activity again.
American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition http://www.fitness.gov
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Browner BD et al. Skeletal Trauma: Basic science, management, and reconstruction. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier, 2008.
Canale, ST, ed. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, 2007.
DeLee, JC and D. Drez. DeLee and Drez’s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2009.
Juhn MS. Patellofemoral pain syndrome: a review and guidelines for treatment. Am Fam Physician. 1999; (60)7: 2012-2022.
Labella C. Patellofemoral pain syndrome: evaluation and treatment. Prim Care Clin Office Pract. 2004; 31: 977-1003.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome. Am Fam Physician. 1999 Nov 1;60(7):2019-2022. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/991101ap/991101b.html. Accessed May 3, 2013.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated November 27, 2012. Accessed May 3, 2013.
1/24/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Fukuda TY, Rossetto FM, Magalhães E, Bryk FF, Lucareli PR, de Almeida Aparecida Carvalho N. Short-term effects of hip abductors and lateral rotators strengthening in females with patellofemoral pain syndrome: a randomized controlled clinical trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2010;40(11):736-742.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 05/2013
- Update Date: 03/18/2013