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Prim Care. 2004 Dec;31(4):977-1003.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome: evaluation and treatment.

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Department of Pediatrics, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, 303 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


Patellofemoral pain syndrome is common among athletes and non-athletes. It results from an imbalance of forces acting on the patellofemoral joint, which leads to increased strain on the peripatellar soft tissues, increased patellofemoral joint stress, or both. The most important risk factors are overuse, quadriceps weakness, and soft-tissue tightness. In most cases, the etiology is multifactorial. A careful history and targeted physical examination will confirm the diagnosis and determine the most appropriate treatment. A physical therapy program that employs quadriceps strengthening, manual stretching of the lateral patellar soft-tissue structures, patellar taping, and biofeedback is successful in the majority of cases. Surgery maybe required for the few patients who do not respond to nonoperative management.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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