Patellofemoral pain syndrome is pain in the front of the knee. It
may be caused by overuse, injury, excess weight, an improperly aligned kneecap,
or changes under the kneecap.
Pain, especially when sitting with bent knees,
squatting, jumping, or using the stairs (especially going down
Occasional knee buckling, where the knee suddenly and
unexpectedly gives way and does not support body weight.
catching, popping, or grinding sensation with walking or moving the
Patellofemoral pain syndrome most commonly occurs in teenagers,
manual laborers, and athletes. It can be relieved by avoiding activities that
make symptoms worse, such as sitting, kneeling, or doing exercises in the
Patellofemoral pain syndrome can be relieved by taking
nonprescription anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and by resting and icing the
knee. You can also try heat to see if it helps. Physical therapy can help increase flexibility and balance the strength
in the leg muscles. Taping the knee or using a brace may stabilize the kneecap.
Surgery may be needed if pain does not go away.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Patrick J. McMahon, MD - Orthopedic Surgery
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.