Patellofemoral Joint pain

  • The patellofemoral joint is the articulation between the patella and the distal femoral groove.
  • Pain is often caused by an imbalance of the muscles that surround and support the knee, this can alter the load and positioning of the patellofemoral joint
  • Also known as: anterior knee pain, runners knee
  • Potential irritated structures: bursa, patella tendon, ITB, cartilage

  • The patellofemoral joint is the articulation between the patella and the distal femoral groove.
  • Pain is often caused by an imbalance of the muscles that surround and support the knee, this can alter the load and positioning of the patellofemoral joint
  • Also known as: anterior knee pain, runners knee
  • Potential irritated structures: bursa, patella tendon, ITB, cartilage
  • The patellofemoral joint is the articulation between the patella and the distal femoral groove.
  • Pain is often caused by an imbalance of the muscles that surround and support the knee, this can alter the load and positioning of the patellofemoral joint
  • Also known as: anterior knee pain, runners knee
  • Potential irritated structures: bursa, patella tendon, ITB, cartilage
  •  

    Patellofemoral

    Image showing the different forces that can act on the patellafemoral joint in relation to biomechanicas

     

    Subjective Examination:

    • Insidious onset, usually related to increased load or activity
    • Usually felt on the anterior aspect of the knee joint. Often a vague intermittent pain that can not be pin-pointed
    • Patient may also report crepitus. 
    • Pain presents following or during activity, usually weight bearing
    • Common aggravating factors: walking/running, stairs (down>up), kneeling, squatting

    Objective Examination:

    • Patient may present with full knee joint range of motion or may be limited by pain. PROM should be full
    • Tight quadriceps or hamstring muscles
    • Swelling with acute episodes
    • Weakness in quadriceps and gluteal muscles. Quadriceps weakness may be more prominent in VMO than other muscles
    • Biomechanical  variation: knee valgus during single leg squat, over-pronated feet, patella mal-tracking

    Treatment :

    If you feel that your patient is suffering with patello femoral joint pain then refer to physiotherapy and we can work with the patient to improve their symptoms through

    • Initial treatment of acute symptoms – rest, ice, pain relief as indicated
    • Strengthening  local and hip musculature 
    • Stretching tight musculature
    • Addressing biomechanical variations or abnormalities
    • Correcting movement patterns
    • Gradually increasing load through the knee

     

    References

    • Image from OpenI – Licensed by CC
    • Image from OpenI – Licensed by CC
    • Image from OpenI – Licensed by CC
    • Image from OpenI – Licensed by CC

    close
    Select font size
    Site colour