What is Patello-Femoral Syndrome?
It is one of the most common causes of knee pain, it occurs when the patella (knee cap) does not glide correctly over the end of the femur (thigh bone). It results in acute and chronic pain and can occur at any age. As we walk, the patella needs to glide inside a cartilage protected groove in the thigh bone. When this does not occur there is rubbing, noise (crepitus) and degeneration of the cartilage and articulating surfaces.
What causes it?
The most common causes include poor alignment of the lower limb bones, increased pronation of the foot (flat feet), hereditary factors, and weakness in some muscles that work to assist the patella in gliding correctly, tightness in other muscle groups that pull the patella in the wrong direction.
What should I do about it?
One of our podiatrists can determine the cause with a biomechanical assessment and the correct exercises or treatment protocol can be designed specifically for your condition. Because there are a number of different factors that cause Patello-Femoral Syndrome there is no general treatment that works for everyone.
Should I have it attended to early or wait and see if it resolves itself?
Early intervention is best with this condition because the cartilage continues to be damaged the longer you leave it. Cartlidge does not regenerate itself like bone or muscle and therefore preventing wear and tear is important.
If you catch it early enough, it might be a simple technique change in your training or a simple exercise to prevent it from getting any worse. If you leave it too long and there is more damage done to the articulating surfaces then the treatment required is more often complicated and in extreme cases surgery may be required.