Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a painful condition in the anterior aspect of the knee. It is common in athletes, particularly females. Patella or knee cap glides comfortably in the femoral groove and force between the patella and the femur is evenly distributed on the surface of the groove. When this force is not equally distributed causes maltracking of patella and lead to a condition called patellofemoral pain syndrome.

Causes:

One of the primary reasons which results this condition is due to increased Q angle.  It is the angle between the quadriceps muscles and the patella tendon and provides information about the alignment of the knee joint. Females genetically have wider pelvis to accommodate child birth and hence have increased Q angle which results in the maltracking of patella.

There are other reasons as well which can cause this condition such as muscular imbalances (weak quadriceps and hip muscles), issues can be related foot dynamics, the way foot strikes the floor. People who have flat foot or the tendency to have foot outside pronation alignment can further increase the Q angle.

Symptoms:

Pain due to everyday movements like walking up and down stairs can make it worse, pain often makes it difficult to kneel or squat, pain when elevate yourself from seated position, it is often aggravated by running, etc.

Treatment:

Physical therapy, correction of poor foot biomechanics, work on muscular imbalance, strengthening of weak muscles and stretching of tight muscles. Normally it is non operative but requires an excellent program to improve the symptoms and strength.

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