Patellofemoral injuries are described as any condition that produces pain between the kneecap and the underlying thigh bone. These conditions are commonly due to overuse of the knee from repetitive tracking of the patellar when the knee is straightened or bent. During these movements, the knee cap will glide up and down within a grove located at the end of the femur, which over time may cause altered kneecap movement and wearing out. A shortened quadriceps, slow medial/lateral quadriceps response time and a hypermobile patella are the most frequent causes of patellar tracking injuries. Aggravating activities such as going up and down stairs, sitting prolonged periods with knee bent, running, squatting, jumping and cycling tend to have a higher risk of causing irritation under the kneecap and result in acute pain with swelling.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Anterior knee pain felt around and behind the kneecap.
- May present with swelling around the kneecap when acute.
- Grinding noise heard when knee is bent or straightened.
- Knee pain worse during and after any squatting movements.