What is a patello femoral pain syndrome?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a condition causing pain behind or around the patella (knee cap) in the knee joint. It is one of the most common causes of knee pain and is also commonly referred to as “runner’s knee” or “jumper’s knee” because it is prevalent in patients who participate in sports. It can however also affect non-athletes and is common in any age group including the young and elderly.

Do you suffer from patellofemoral knee pain?

Signs & symptoms of patellofemoral pain syndrome

The following signs or symptoms may indicate patellofemoral pain syndrome:

  • Pain present either behind or around the patella (knee cap) in one or both knees.
  • Pain may present as a dull ache at the front of the knee during activity.
  • Symptoms are often noticed more during activity (especially high impact activity) and relieved with rest.
  • Running, jumping, squatting, stairs or activities involving repetitive bending of the knee may exacerbate symptoms.
  • In some cases you may hear associated cracking of the knee joint as it bends.
Knee pain treatment Camberwell

Causes of patellofemoral knee pain

Patellofemoral knee pain is most commonly caused by poor alignment or tracking of the patella (knee cap) within the knee joint. This causes increased forces or pressure behind the knee leading to irritation of soft tissue and joint surfaces. If left untreated patellofemoral pain syndrome can lead to degeneration of the cartilage behind the patella (knee cap).

Other factors that can cause patellofemoral knee pain include overuse of the patella (knee cap), muscle imbalance or weakness, injury, surgery or poor foot biomechancis.

Poor foot mechanics (e.g. flat feet) are a major cause of patellofemoral knee pain. When your feet excessively pronate or roll in it causes the tibia bone to excessively rotate inwards. This then leads to excess internal rotation at the knee joint and poor tracking of the knee cap resulting in patellofemoral pain. Poor knee alignment can lead to future degeneration or arthritis within the knee joint and chronic pain.

Athletes involved in sports that involve a lot of running or jumping such as athletics, football and basketball may be more prone to patellofemoral knee pain.

Patellofemoral knee pain diagnosis

Patellofemoral knee pain is easily diagnosed clinically by our Melbourne podiatrists, who are experts in identifying sports injuries of the lower leg. In some cases referral for an x-ray may be required to check for cartilage degeneration behind the knee cap and within the knee joint.

Poor knee alignment and foot mechanics are a major cause of knee pain including patellofemoral pain. Our sports podiatrists can diagnose poor foot biomechanics and knee alignment through the use of computer gait analysis.

Podiatry treatment for patellofemoral knee pain

The sports podiatrists at Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics are experts in foot related knee pain including patellofemoral knee pain treatment. They can use computer gait analysis to assess your feet and gait, to see if poor foot function is a factor that needs correcting.

Treatment options at our Melbourne podiatry clinic for patellofemroal knee pain include:

Orthotics work by improving foot function and this helps improve knee alignment. By reducing excess foot pronation (inward rolling of the feet) orthotics can reduce internal tibia rotation, keeping the knee joint straighter during activity.

A sports podiatrist is the best health professional to help identify and address biomechanical causes of knee pain.

Call us Melbourne Podiatrist

Do you suffer from patellofemoral knee pain?

At our Melbourne foot clinic our sports podiatrists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. This includes common causes of knee pain including patellofemoral knee pain syndrome.

So if you are suffering from knee pain or pain behind the knee cap book an appointment with one of our friendly sports podiatrists today!