Patellofemoral syndrome also known as chondromalacia & “Runner’s Knee”
Patella, distal end of the femur, and the vastus lateralis of the quadriceps. Commentary Patellofemoral syndrome (PFS) is one of the most common cause of kneecap pain or anterior knee pain. Often called “Runner’s Knee,” this condition often affects young, otherwise healthy athletes. PFS is due to an irritation of the undersurface of the patella (kneecap). The undersurface of the patella is covered with a layer of smooth cartilage. This cartilage normally glides effortlessly across the knee during bending of the joint. However, in some individuals, the kneecap tends to rub against the lateral side (outside) of the knee joint, & the cartilage surface becomes irritated by activity (running, jumping, climbing or descending steeps) and knee pain is the result. The lateral tracking irregularity is caused by the vastus lateralis muscle of the quadricep pulling the patella to the lateral side of the leg.
Who is Affected
Patellofemoral syndrome is interesting in that it often strikes young, otherwise healthy, athletic
individuals. Women are more commonly affected with PFS. Exactly why this is the case is unknown, but it is thought to have to do with anatomical differences between men & women, in which women experience increased lateral forces on the patella.
*Additional information regarding knee pain Another condition that can cause knee pain is arthritis of the knee. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of knee arthritis. Also called wear-and-tear arthritis or degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is characterized by progressive wearing away of the cartilage of the joint. As the protective cartilage is worn away by knee arthritis, bare bone is exposed within the joint. It is the bone on bone contact that causes that pain. Acupuncture is an excellent modality to treat knee pain around the knee and especially beneath the patella (kneecap). With acupuncture needles, the underside of the patella can be accessed. With the use of electronic stimulation, micro-circulation can be increased at the site of the injury, thus decreasing pain.