Patello-Femoral Syndrome

Orthopedics and Joint Replacement at Mercy - Baltimore

At Orthopedics and Joint Replacement at Mercy, our orthopedic surgeons specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of knee injuries, including patella-femoral syndrome. Patients in the Baltimore region seek the expertise of our orthopedic specialists to help them find the best treatment for their knee pain.

About the Condition

Patello-femoral syndrome occurs when the patella (kneecap) does not move fluidly in the groove of the femur (thigh bone). Pain results when the knee is flexed or extended. Patello-femoral syndrome commonly is seen in adolescents and young adults as well as athletes. Patello-femoral syndrome can be caused by:

  • Weak quadriceps muscles
  • Knock knees
  • Poorly balanced training programs
  • Injuries
  • Trauma
NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

The main symptom of patella-femoral syndrome is a dull pain in front of the knee, especially when using stairs, kneeling or squatting. Grinding and clicking of the knee are also symptoms of patella-femoral syndrome. 

Orthopedic specialists diagnose patella-femoral syndrome by examining the knee by pressing on the knee and moving the leg in different directions. X-rays, CT scans and MRIs may be conducted to view the kneecap bone and tissue.

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Patello-femoral syndrome treatment options include:

  • Rest
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Taping of the knee cap
  • Bracing
  • Isolated strengthening and stretching of certain muscles around the knee

In very rare cases, when the tilt of the knee cap affects its tracking or when articular cartilage of the knee cap has been severely damaged, surgery is considered as a treatment option for patella-femoral syndrome.