• Knee Pain

KNEE PAIN – Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

What is it?

Knee Pain Treatment in BrisbanePatellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) or commonly known as ‘runner’s knee’, is an umbrella term that is associated with anterior (front of) knee pain, in the absence of other pathologies. ‘Patellofemoral’ is in reference to the joint between the patella (knee cap bone) and the femur (thigh bone). As this joint is subject to a number of high repetitive stresses during every day activities, it is no surprise that PFPS accounts for approximately 1 in 4 knee injuries The most common presenting symptoms are; Pain while running (especially up or down hills), pain while squatting and an uncomfortable feeling after sitting for long periods of time.

Why did I get it?

Although PFPS can occur in any individual or age group, it is most commonly seen in young, active women. Most patients who present with the condition generally have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Pronated foot type
  • Flexible knees (too much movement)
  • Poor hamstring & quad strength
  • Knocked knees
  • High levels of physical activity

How is it diagnosed?

As mentioned above, the diagnosis of PFPS is secondary to the exclusion of other pathologies. A thorough clinical examination is generally sufficient however you may be referred for imaging of the knee to assist in the diagnosis.

Possible treatments:

  • Rest, Ice, Anti-inflammatories
  • Taping
  • Mobilization of the joint
  • Strengthening program
  • Custom Orthotics
  • Footwear advice
  • Patella Bracing
  • Release of lateral muscles


Providing absolute compliance, the majority of patients respond well to the conservative treatments listed above. Recent studies have shown that PFPS is associated with knee Osteoarthritis in later life, therefore immediate treatment is imperative. Once pain levels have improved, patients with the above risk factors must continue on a preventative strengthening program to avoid a reoccurrence. Surgery is very rarely recommended.

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