Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
What is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?
The patella or the kneecap sits in a groove at the front of the knee and should glide painlessly up and down through your femoral groove.
– However, this is not always the case and Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome is one of the most niggling and common knee complaints of both young and old.
– It is generally caused by poor kneecap alignment and instead of gliding, the kneecap maltracks to one side and grates against the femur.
What are the symptoms of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?
Symptoms of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome include
– Pain around the knee. The pain is felt at the front of the knee, around or behind the kneecap (patella).
– The pain comes and goes
– Stairs, squatting, kneeling, hopping, running are often painful
– There may be a grating or grinding feeling or noise when the knee moves
– Sometimes there is fullness or swelling around the patella
– If the groove or the patella is unusually flat the knee cap may be predisposed to dislocating
– Running and jumping sports like netball and football, running, volleyball, skiing and basketball all see a high level of patellofemoral pain
– As the condition progresses the pain may be more noticeable while walking and even at rest
What is the treatment for patellofemoral pain?
– The good news is that the majority of patellar pain syndrome patients will benefit from physiotherapy intervention, along with rest, ice and protection or taping.
– Aim to stay away from kneeling and sporting activities until the knee pain is gone
– Apply ice every 20 minutes for several hours at the onset of pain or if your knee feels warm to the touch
– Speak to your physiotherapist about taping, mobilisation and other treatments along with techniques to improve your kneecap pain.
– Surgery will only be required if there if there is continued maltracking despite an extensive course of physiotherapy.