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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1998 May;30(5):665-70.

Randomized controlled trial of Protonics on patellar pain, position, and function.

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St. Luke's Healthcare Association, St. Luke's Hospital OSF, Saginaw, MI 48602-5375, USA.



Patellofemoral pain (PFP) and abnormal patellofemoral congruence (PFC) are common athletic problems whose treatment remains controversial. This study examined the effects of a high volume of submaximal knee muscle exercise on objective measures of PFP and PFC under a test-retest design.


A sample of 100 subjects was randomly divided into two groups: control and treatment. All subjects of both groups were tested for PFC, using a Merchant x-ray view, function, via Kujala patellofemoral score (KPS), and pain, through a visual analog scale (VAS), initially and then 4 wk later. The treatment group exercised during activities of daily living (ADL) by wearing a Protonics device; the control group did not receive treatment.


One-way analysis of variance tests found no difference between pre- and posttest results for the control group but found significant changes in PFC, KPS, and VAS (all P < 0.001). PFC and joint function improved, and PFP decreased in all subjects of the treatment group.


It was concluded that the treatment reduced PFP and PFC as compared with the control. A high volume of submaximal knee exercise seems useful for clinical patients with PFP and abnormal PFC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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