Disorders of the patellofemoral joint continue to present as some of the most perplexing pathological conditions in orthopedics and sports medicine. Previously described as the “black hole of orthopedics” by Dr. Scott Dye, the patellofemoral joint continues to cause dysfunction for patients and confusion for clinicians. Patellofemoral pain syndrome is often described as a diagnosis that tends to result in poor outcomes. Despite years of research and attention to the joint, the vague use of the term “patellofemoral pain syndrome” continues to be prevalently
abused used to categorize patients. This becomes evident when analyzing the myriad of surgical and rehabilitative interventions that are currently being utilized to alleviate symptoms and restore function in patellofemoral patients. It appears that a single surgical or rehabilitative approach cannot be efficaciously used to treat patellofemoral disorders.
Welcome to a new series of posts dedicated to the evaluating and treating the patellofemoral joint.
There will be several posts tied together, similar to my series on SLAP lesions. Each post will have links to one another and a table of contents to help you navigate.
In this series, we will discuss the evaluation and treatment of the patellofemoral joint with topics ranging from differential diagnosis to treatment strategies that can be applied to any rehabilitation or fitness program. My goal will be to develop an easy to understand and implement system to treat patellofemoral pain based on an accurate differential diagnosis and an understanding of the normal biomechanics of the joint.
Solving the Patellofemoral Mystery
Continue on to Part 2: The source of patellofemoral pain or skip around below:
- Part 1: Introduction – Solving the patellofemoral mystery
- Part 2: What causes patellofemoral pain?
- Part 3: Differential diagnosis of patellofemoral pain
- Part 4: Principles of patellofemoral joint rehabilitation
- Part 5: Specific treatment guidelines for patellofemoral pain
- Part 6: Biomechanics of the patellofemoral joint – clinical implications
- Part 7: Understanding the clinical implications of the kinetic chain: The influence of the hip and foot on the patellofemoral joint
I hope you enjoy and interact with each post, please share your thoughts and experience!
Photo credit: Wallpapergate