Patellofermoral Pain Syndrome, also called retropatella pain, is successfully treated in more than 2/3 of cases with conservative treatments including rehabilitation. The goal of these programs should be to reduce pain and restore function of the foot, knee, and hip. A classic sign of PFPS is pain in the knees while sitting for long periods of time and reduction of pain when standing.
The exact cause of patellafemormal pain syndrome is debated by many different specialists. Many believe that weakness in the VMO or medial/inside quad muscle causes abnormal movement of the knee cap and leads to pain and dysfunction. Exercises to strengthen the VMO are commonly preformed but these exercises only make the underlying dysfunction worse.
Current research shows that the true cause of PFPS is not the abnormal movement of the knee cap but the abnormal movement of the femur under the knee cap. This abnormal movement is caused by weakness in the hip muscles, which allow increased inward movement of the leg. Not only the hip but the foot can increase one’s risk of developing PFPS. Loss of motion of the ankle joint or major excessive pronation or supination of the foot can increase the stress on the knee and lead to pain under the knee cap.
Braces and straps can help decrease symptoms.
For PFPS exercises click here.
Yours in health,
Dr. Justin Hildebrand