Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment

 What Is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is a vast time period used to describe pain inside the front of the knee and across the patella, or kneecap. It is once in a while referred to as "runner's knee" or "jumper's knee" because it's common in people who take part in sports activities—specifically females and young adults—however PFPS can arise in nonathletes, as well. The ache and stiffness caused by PFPS could make it tough to climb stairs, kneel down, and perform other normal activities.

Many things can also contribute to the improvement of PFPS. Problems with the alignment of the kneecap and overuse from lively athletics or training are frequently great factors.

What Is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Symptoms are frequently relieved with conservative remedy, which includes changes in activity tiers or a therapeutic workout program.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is also referred to as runner’s knee or jumper’s knee. This scientific condition causes pain beneath or across the kneecap (patella). PFPS can arise in a single or both knees. It impacts both children and adults.

In maximum cases, pain increases with pastime or after sitting for long periods of time with the knees bent. Most human beings can manipulate symptoms with rest, modifications in interest levels or physical remedy.Anyone can increase patellofemoral ache syndrome. PFPS is much more likely to arise in girls and athletes, which include kids and young adults. People can experience PFPS most customarily once they take part in sports with common walking, jumping or squatting. Others may enjoy PFPS if they may be strolling or sitting for prolonged intervals of time, kneeling or mountain climbing stairs.

  1. Musculoskeletal system

  1. Human skeleton

  2. Joints

  3. Ligaments

  4. Muscular system

  5. Tendons

Medical terms

  • Patellofemoral (puh-tel-o-FEM-uh-rul) pain syndrome is pain at the front of your knee, around your kneecap (patella). Sometimes called "runner's knee," it's extra commonplace in people who participate in sports that contain jogging and jumping.
  • The knee ache frequently increases whilst you run, stroll up or down stairs, take a seat for long durations, or squat. Simple remedies — which include relaxation and ice — frequently help, but occasionally physical remedy is needed to ease patellofemoral pain.
  • Patellofemoral syndrome is a circumstance that describes pain within the front of the knee and across the kneecap, known as the patella. Doctors may name patellofemoral syndrome “jumper’s knee” or “runner’s knee.”

Common causes of the circumstance are overuse of the knee joint and trauma, such as hitting the kneecap or falling on it. Although the condition occurs more normally in athletes, everyone will have the signs and symptoms. Some people have a kneecap that abnormally tracks or movements in the groove at the stop of the femur. This can motivate more stress on the cartilage covering the kneecap or at the femur in which it rubs, known as the trochlear floor.

While patellofemoral syndrome can cause signs and symptoms that vary from uncomfortable to very painful, the circumstance can normally be treated at home. You may be capable of reducing your ache with rest and conservative treatment measures.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is a common cause of anterior knee pain in young and middle-aged adults The syndrome primarily affects female athletes who account for about 80% of all cases Sports that involve repetitive jumping and landing are often the culprit including basketball, volleyball and running.

Symptoms Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS)

Patellofemoral ache syndrome can affect one or each of your knees. The predominant symptom of patellofemoral pain syndrome is a stupid, aching pain, that you feel around and in the front of your knee, but every now and then behind your kneecap. The ache will typically begin steadily and worsen in case you do a variety of interest.

The pain can be in particular terrible whilst doing activities in which you need to bend your knee, which include going up and down stairs, or doing squats. It can also be painful when sitting along with your knees bent for a long time, for instance within the cinema.

You may additionally get crackling or crunching sounds in your knee whilst you bend or straighten it too.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome commonly causes a stupid, aching pain within the the front of your knee. This ache can be annoyed when you:

  • Walk up or down stairs

  • Kneel or squat

  • Sit with a bent knee for long periods of time

When to see your doctor

If the knee pain doesn't improve within a few days, consult your doctor.

Causes Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS)

The genuine reasons why you could broaden patellofemoral ache syndrome aren’t known. But it’s probable due to a combination of factors. It regularly develops because of overuse – for instance, when you have repeated stress on your knee during sports. It can also be induced through an unexpected alternate in how frequently you workout, or how lengthy you workout for.

You’re more likely to get patellofemoral pain syndrome if there’s a structural problem affecting the joint among your kneecap and thigh bone. This can consist of minor problems within the alignment of your knee joint and weak points within the muscle mass around your hip or thigh. These issues can affect the manner your knee joint actions, and purpose ache.

Doctors aren't certain what causes patellofemoral pain syndrome, but it's been associated with:

  • Overuse. Running or jumping sports activities places repetitive strain in your knee joint, which could motivate irritation below the kneecap.

  • Muscle imbalances or weaknesses. Patellofemoral pain can occur when the muscle mass round your hip and knee do not maintain your kneecap well aligned. Inward movement of the knee during a squat has been determined to be related to patellofemoral pain.

  • Injury. Trauma to the kneecap, inclusive of a dislocation or fracture, has been connected to patellofemoral pain syndrome.

  • Surgery. Knee surgery, specifically repair to the anterior cruciate ligament the use of your own patellar tendon as a graft, increases the hazard of patellofemoral pain.

Risk factors Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS)

Factors that can increase your risk include:

  • Age. Patellofemoral ache syndrome commonly influences kids and teens. Knee problems in older populations are extra normally because of arthritis.

  • Sex. Women are twice as likely as men to develop patellofemoral ache. This can be due to the fact a female's wider pelvis will increase the attitude at which the bones within the knee joint meet.

  • Certain sports. Participation in going for walks and leaping sports can position greater strain on your knees, particularly while you grow your education degree.

How long does it take for patellofemoral pain syndrome to heal?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is an overuse injury that affects the cartilage and muscles in the knee It often occurs in young active individuals who participate in sports such as running jumping or dancing Although there is no cure for patellofemoral pain syndrome your doctor can help you find ways to manage your symptoms and make them less severe.

Can you fully recover from patellofemoral pain?

If you have patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) there are a few things that can help you to recover including the following: Avoid activities that cause or worsen your symptoms such as squatting with your legs together and running up and down hills Strengthen the muscles in your thighs and buttock by doing exercises such as squats lunges and leg presses If these exercises cause pain do them only when the pain is gone Performing strengthening exercises when you have knee pain can actually make PFPS worse Can I Exercise With Patellofemoral Pain? | Everyday Health.

How do you stop patellofemoral pain?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) also known as runner's knee or anterior knee pain is a common cause of knee pain during and after exercise Patellar subluxation or dislocation is the most common cause of PFPS Degenerative changes in the cartilage and tendons contribute to this condition as well The kneecap may move into an incorrect alignment while tracking over the femur bone This misalignment may result in inflammation and pain under and around the kneecap.

What happens if patellofemoral goes untreated?

When patellofemoral pain syndrome or chondromalacia patellae is ignored it can lead to a lifetime of knee discomfort People who ignore the symptoms of this injury may develop long-term degeneration of the knee joint and eventually arthritis The cartilage that cushions the kneecap gradually wears away causing painful bone-on-bone contact This condition can be treated; however if left untreated it can lead to permanent damage to the knee joint.

Prevention Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Sometimes knee pain just happens. But certain steps may help prevent the pain.

  • Maintain strength. Strong quadriceps and hip abductor muscle groups help hold the knee balanced in the course of hobby, however avoid deep squatting throughout your weight schooling.

  • Think alignment and technique. Ask your doctor or bodily therapist about flexibility and energy sporting events to optimize your method for jumping, strolling and pivoting — and to help the patella track well in its groove. Especially important workout is for your outer hip muscles to save your knee from caving inward whilst you squat, land from a bounce or step down from a step.

  • Lose excess pounds. If you're overweight, losing weight relieves stress on your knees.

  • Warm up. Before running or other exercise, warm up with five minutes or so of light activity.

  • Stretch. Promote flexibility with gentle stretching exercises.

  • Increase intensity gradually. Avoid sudden changes in the intensity of your workouts.

  • Practice shoe smarts. Make certain your footwear healthy well and offer accurate shock absorption. If you've got flat toes, don't forget shoe inserts.

Diagnosis Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS)

A medical doctor typically diagnoses the syndrome through carrying out a bodily exam. They’ll ask approximately what makes your pain worse or better. They’ll additionally feel your kneecap for symptoms of instability and ask you to have interaction in range-of-movement sporting events.

While a health practitioner can normally diagnose patellofemoral syndrome without imaging studies, they may order an X-ray to rule out different capacity injuries.

Your physician will ask approximately your history of knee troubles and could press on regions of your knee and circulate your leg into a ramification of positions to assist rule out other conditions that have similar signs and symptoms and signs.

To help determine the purpose of your knee ache, your doctor would possibly suggest imaging exams inclusive of:

  • X-rays. A small amount of radiation passes through your frame in the method of creating X-ray photographs. This method visualizes bone nicely, but it's miles much less effective at viewing smooth tissues.

  • CT scans. These integrate X-ray photos from numerous angles to create cross-sectional pix of internal structures. CT scans can visualize both bone and soft tissues, however the manner delivers a miles higher dose of radiation than do plain X-rays.

  • MRI. Using radio waves and a robust magnetic area, MRIs produce specified pics of bones and gentle tissues, consisting of the knee ligaments and cartilage. But MRIs are lots more pricey than X-rays or CT scans.

Treatment Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS)

The preliminary remedy for patellofemoral pain syndrome is to address your pain. You can try this via reducing any sports that purpose ache and the use of ice to lessen pain and infection (see self-assist above). Medicines may also assist to reduce pain and inflammation. Further treatment includes stretching and strengthening physical games with physiotherapy to steadily get you lower back to your common activities. Most humans get better after about four to six weeks.

You may additionally find it beneficial to peer a sports medicinal drug professional, consisting of a physiotherapist, sports health practitioner or an orthopedic physician (a physician who specializes in bone conditions). Your GP can be capable of referring you, or you can book an appointment with a physiotherapist yourself.

Treatment of patellofemoral pain regularly starts off evolved with simple measures. Rest your knee as much as viable. Avoid or modify activities that increase the ache, inclusive of hiking stairs, kneeling or squatting.


If wished, take over-the-counter ache relievers, together with acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve).


A physical therapist might suggest:

  • Rehabilitation exercises. Specific exercises can strengthen the muscle mass that guide your knees and manage limb alignment, consisting of your quadriceps, hamstrings and the muscles around your hips, especially hip abductors. Correcting inward movement of the knee in the course of squatting is a number one purpose.

  • Supportive braces. Knee braces or arch supports may help improve pain.

  • Taping. Your physical therapist can also show you the way to tape your knee to lessen pain and enhance your ability to exercise.

  • Ice. Icing your knee after exercise might be helpful.

  • Knee-friendly sports. During your healing, you may want to limit yourself to low-impact activities which can be less difficult on the knees — such as bicycling and swimming or water running.

Surgical and other procedures

If nonsurgical treatments aren't effective, your doctor might suggest:

  • Arthroscopy. During this method, the doctor inserts a pencil-skinny device prepared with a digicam lens and mild (arthroscope) into your knee via a tiny incision. Surgical gadgets are handed via the arthroscope to cast off fragments of broken cartilage.

  • Realignment. In greater-extreme instances, a health practitioner may additionally need to operate for your knee to realign the angle of the kneecap or relieve stress at the cartilage.

Preparing for your appointment

You may start via seeing your number one care company. Or you are probably cited as a physical remedy and rehabilitation professional (physiatrist), bodily therapist, orthopedic health care provider, or a sports activities remedy specialist.

Here's information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

Before your appointment, write a list of answers for the following questions:

  • Your symptoms and when they began.

  • Key personal information, Consisting of whether or not you've ever injured your knee or had knee surgical procedure and what sort of exercising or sports activities you interact in.

  • All medications, vitamins or supplements you take, including doses.

  • Questions to ask your doctor.

Take a member of the family or friend along, if possible, that will help you consider the facts you are given. Also, if you've had X-rays or other imaging checks of your knees, try to bring copies of them on your appointment.

For patellofemoral ache syndrome, a few inquiries to ask your doctor consist of:

  • What's likely causing my knee pain?

  • What are other possible causes for my knee pain?

  • What tests do I need?

  • Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?

  • What's the best course of action?

  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?

  • How can I best manage my pain with my other health conditions?

  • Do I need to restrict my activities?

  • Should I see a specialist?

  • Are there brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, such as:

  • How would you describe your knee pain?

  • Where exactly does it hurt?

  • What activities improve or worsen your symptoms?

  • Have you recently increased your athletic activity?

  • What home treatments have you tried? Did they help?

General summary

  1. symptoms Patellofemoral pain syndrome or PFPS for short is a common knee injury among athletes It affects young people who are involved in sports such as basketball soccer and running PFPS also affects older people who do high-impact exercises like jogging or cycling Symptoms of patellofemoral pain syndrome - which can be quite painful - include: - Pain on the front and/or side of the knee; - Stiffness in the knee joint; - Difficulty walking up stairs going down stairs and squatting; and/or difficulty sitting for long periods of time; and/or difficulty kneeling.

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