Patella femoral syndrome

Patella femoral pain syndrome refers to pain in the front of your knee and around the knee cap. The symptoms are associated with weakness, tightness, and stiffness in the muscles around the knee. It can also be from an abnormality in how the lower leg is aligned from the foot to the hip. These conditions can affect how the patella glides smoothly on the femur causing friction and pain. Patella femoral syndrome occurs in people who are physically active, or who have suddenly increased their level of activity.

What are the symptoms associated with Patella femoral syndrome?

  • Pain is worse when walking up or downs hills, steps, or uneven surfaces
  • Pain increases with activity and improves with rest
  • You may experience pain or discomfort with prolonged sitting and having the knee bent.
  • May experience a "cracking" or "popping" when you bend or straighten the knee

How can a Physical Therapist help?

  • Instruction on strengthening exercises for the hip and knee musculature to give you increased joint stability
  • Instruction on flexibility exercises for the calf, knee, and hip to promote greater muscular health
  • Proper assessment of the foot that may be directly affecting your knee joint. Some patients may require the use of a shoe orthotic to help minimize the stress and impact being placed on the knee joint
Thursday the 13th. Copyright 2012, Three Rivers Hospital