Patellofemoral Pain

Also known as: knee pain, runner’s knee, jumper’s knee

What is patellofemoral pain?

Patellofemoral pain is a scientific term for describing knee pain that’s common among those who participate in sports. The source of the pain is often the kneecap and the front of the knee.

What causes patellofemoral pain?
Athletic participation is a common cause of patellofemoral pain. It can occur due to repetitive motion, such as running, or jarring injuries from jumping or impact.

What are the symptoms of patellofemoral pain?
In addition to pain that can occur both during activity or rest, patellofemoral pain can also cause difficulty moving the knee and a cracking or popping sound in use. Going up and down stairs can be painful.

What are patellofemoral pain care options?
Some cases of patellofemoral pain will resolve on their own. Rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE), as well as over-the-counter pain relievers can help. Some will require braces or special orthotics to help with the condition. Flexibility of the thigh improves symptoms. Physical therapy can help with strengthening and flexibility.

Reviewed by: Craig Spurdle, MD

This page was last updated on: 6/11/2018 9:36:34 AM

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The best way to help if your child is injured is elevating the injury and icing it. If you think there is a broken bone, consult with one of pediatric orthopedists.