Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) / Jumper’s Knee

Description

The patellofemoral joint is located where the thigh bone (femur), shin bone (tibia) and the kneecap (patella) meet. PFPS is a misalignment condition that occurs when the patella does not slide smoothly over the knee joint as the knee bends. PFPS most commonly results from one or more of the following factors: strength imbalance in the quadriceps (thigh) muscles, faulty hip (pelvis), femur (upper leg) and tibia (lower leg) bone alignment
and/or faulty foot mechanics like overpronation. PFPS experienced by runners can also be linked to a number of common overuse/training errors. A related condition known as “chondromalacia patella”, is a wearing away of the cartilage on back or underside of the kneecap that can occur in cases of longstanding PFPS problems.
Symptoms
  • Pain and swelling directly behind the kneecap usually to one side or the other.
  • It typically worsens with walking or running and can be particularly acute when walking or running downhill.
  • The pain may be accompanied by a grating and/or crunching sensation under the kneecap as it bends and/or straightens.
Pedorthic Management
  • Custom orthotics or over-the-counter insoles to maintain proper alignment of the bones in the feet, control over-pronation and improve leg alignment problems.
  • Supportive footwear that are torsionally stable (can’t be folded or twisted easily) and provide adequate shock absorption.
  • For runners, video and pressure mapping “Gait Analysis” can assist in identifying underlying gait inefficiencies that can contribute to PFPS.
Other Treatments
  • Physical therapy modalities include rest, ice, taping and most importantly, a strength.
  • A conditioning program targeting the medial (inside) thigh muscle (vastus medialis).