Patella-femoral Pain :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Patellofemoral Pain

What is patellofemoral pain?

  • Patellofemoral pain is when there is pain in the soft tissue of the knee and around the patella (kneecap).
  • The soft tissue in the knee may include the tendons, the fat pad under the patella, and the synovial tissue that lines the knee joint.

What causes patellofemoral pain?

  • Usually caused by repetitive stress on the knee (such as squatting, stairs, and running).
  • Changes in footwear or playing surfaces may also cause patellofemoral pain.

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain in the front of the knee with movement or activity over the affected site.
  • Localized swelling.
  • Your knee may feel like it is catching and popping.
  • You may hear noises such as a creaking in your knee during activity.

What can I do to feel better?

  • Rest. Do not do things that cause pain.
  • Ice for 15-20 minutes at a time will help decrease swelling and pain.
  • Compression can be helpful to decrease swelling and pain.
  • Elevating your knee so that it is above your heart can also be helpful for swelling.

When should I see a medical professional?

  • If rest, ice, and compression are not improving the condition.
  • If you are uncertain about the severity of the condition.

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Free Parent's Guide to Knee Injuries

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