Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is a syndrome characterized by pain or discomfort seemingly originating from the contact of the back of the patella with the femur. It is a frequently encountered diagnosis in sports medicine clinics.
Specific populations at high risk of primary Patellofemoral Syndrome include runners, bicyclists, basketball players, young athletes and females. Typically patients will complain of localized anterior knee pain which is exacerbated by sports, walking, stair climbing, or sitting for a long time. The pain from prolonged sitting is thought to occur because of the constant pull of the quadriceps muscle on the knee cap while sitting, which causes its impaction against the hard and unyielding surfaces of the bones of knee joint. Descending stairs may be worse than ascending. Unless there is an underlying pathology in the knee, swelling is usually mild to nil.
The diagnosis of patellofemoral pain syndrome is made by ruling out patellar tendinitis, prepatellar bursitis, plica syndrome, Sinding–Larsen–Johansson syndrome, and Osgood–Schlatter disease.
The Physical Therapists at Lincoln Orthopedic Physical Therapy can often help people suffering from patella femoral pain through a customized strengthening and stretching regimen that allows our patients to end the pain and get back to the activities that they enjoy.