Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome

The Patello-Femoral Joint (PFJ) occurs where the kneecap (patella) sits in a groove at the bottom of the thighbone (femur). It is a common source of pain at the front of the knee. PFPF may also be referred to as “chondromalacia patellae” or “anterior knee pain”. Find out more about this condition and how we go about treating it at Harris & Ross here-


There are a number of factors that can lead to PFPS, including:

  • Overuse. Increased loads through the joint, which the individual is not accustomed to can trigger pain
  • Patella Mal-tracking. Damage to the smooth cartilage can occur due to improper tracking of the kneecap in the groove. This can lead to swelling, inflammation and changes in the cartilage – all of which cause pain
  • Muscle Imbalance. Overly tight muscles including those of the outer thigh, calf or gluteals can contribute to mal-tracking of the kneecap
  • Muscle weakness. Particularly around the hip and knee will result in poor lower limb mechanics and control
  • Those people with pronated feet & knock-knees are at increased risk
  • Traumatic Injury. Individuals who have suffered injuries such as fractured kneecap are also more likely to develop PFPS
  • Gender – women are more prone than men
  • Individuals who are overweight are more likely to develop symptoms


Signs and Symptoms

Commonly people report a dull aching pain at the front of the knee. Activities that may provoke symptoms include:

  • Prolonged sitting
  • Running and sport
  • Kneeling or squatting
  • Going up or down Stairs


 Treatment of PFPS

Treatment involves addressing the factors identified on assessment that are contributing to your problem. Physiotherapy treatment may include:

  • Strengthening – of muscles stabilizing the hip, knee and foot
  • Re-training lower limb control
  • Soft tissue release
  • Taping
  • Orthotics
  • Return to running / sport specific exercise program

To make an appointment for an initial physio assessment at our Wilmslow, Manchester, Altrincham or Wigan clinics, and discuss a treatment plan for your Patello-Femoral Pain call Harris & Ross on 0161 832 9000 or click the book now icon below