Physical Examination and Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

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Fredericson M, Yoon K: Physical examination and patellofemoral pain syndrome. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2006;85:234–243.Patellofemoral pain syndrome, which accounts for 25% of all sports-related knee injuries, is multifactorial in origin. A combination of variables, including abnormal lower limb biomechanics, soft-tissue tightness, muscle weakness, and excessive exercise, may result in increased cartilage and subchondral bone stress, patellofemoral pain, and subtle or more overt patellar maltracking. Because of the multiple forces affecting the patellofemoral joint, the clinical evaluation and treatment of this disorder is challenging. An extensive search of the literature revealed no single gold-standard test maneuver for that disorder, and the reliability of the maneuvers described was generally low or untested. An abnormal Q-angle, generalized ligamentous laxity, hypomobile or hypermobile tenderness of the lateral patellar retinaculum, patellar tilt or mediolateral displacement, decreased flexibility of the iliotibial band and quadriceps, and quadriceps, hip abductor, and external rotator weakness were most often correlated with patellofemoral pain syndrome.

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