Treatment Orthopedics

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Eighty to 90 percent of people suffering from patellofemoral pain recover fully and are able to resume their previous activities. Most active people respond to non-surgical treatments. Surgery is prescribed only in rare cases when patellofemoral pain cannot be eased with braces, rest or physical therapy.

Depending on the amount of malalignment, you typically will be asked to try a well-supervised rehabilitation program for six weeks to six months. In most cases, you will need to continue the exercises you learn in physical therapy for life, which include specific movements for strengthening the knee, hamstring and calf muscles. If your patellofemoral pain continues, surgery may be recommended, although this is relatively uncommon.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

Recommended reading

A Woman's Aching Knees

Why are women winding up with more knee injuries? Researchers suspect one of the most likely causes is the way women are built. Learn more here.

After Surgical Kneecap Alignment

Learn what to expect following Surgical Kneecap Alignment, including how long you will feel pain/discomfort, when to begin physical therapy and more.

Patellofemoral Surgery

There are several surgeries for patellofemoral pain depending on what your surgeon needs to do and if there are other associated injuries. Learn more here.

Preparing for Surgical Kneecap Alignment

Surgical kneecap realignment is performed when all other efforts to put it back into the natural kneecap track have failed. Learn more here.

Preventing Future Patellofemoral Pain

To decrease the risk of patellofemoral pain returning after surgical kneecap realignment, Doctors recommend making rehab exercises an everyday routine.

Take Care of Your Knees

Although collateral ligament injuries can be difficult to avoid, here are several steps you can take to improve the strength and flexibility of your knees.

Seeking care at UCSF Health

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