What is Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS)?

PFPS is a common condition that causes pain in the front of the knee, around the patella (kneecap).

Possible Causes

  • Poor biomechanics at the foot, knee and/or hip
  • Muscle weakness or imbalance in the quadriceps and/or gluteals
  • Increased muscle and soft tissue tightness in the leg, hips, ankles and/or back
  • Incorrect footwear
  • Overuse (e.g excessive training)

Who gets PFPS?

Almost anyone. It can occur in children from five onwards and in adults.  It is more prevalent in females than males.

How is PFPS Diagnosed?

The physiotherapist will assess your symptoms, the history of the problem plus a full physical knee examination.

Sometimes your physiotherapist may order X-Rays or MRI scans to rule out other conditions that may be causing your knee pain.

What is the treatment for PFPS?

Your physiotherapist will treat according to their assessment findings. Treatment may include:

  • Taping of the patella or prescription of a special brace
  • Soft Tissue Massage/Dry Needling
  • Ice, Ultrasound and Electrotherapy Modalities
  • Strength and flexibility exercises
  • Activity Modification
  • Correction Biomechanics (eg modifying running technique)
  • Modification of Footwear/orthotics
  • Non-steroidal Anti Inflammatory and Pain Killing Drugs

What is the Long Term outlook?

The long term outlook is good. Most people get better with Physiotherapy. However it may take 4-6 months for full recovery.