What is the pathophysiology of patellofemoral syndrome (PFS)?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Noel F So, MD, FAAPMR; Chief Editor: Consuelo T Lorenzo, MD  more...
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While theories regarding the pathophysiology of patellofemoral syndrome vary, identification of the resultant forces involved in dynamic and static knee positions has been fundamental to the research on this syndrome. Factors believed to contribute to production of retropatellar pain include impairments affecting the patellofemoral joint interface. Such impairments may result from an imbalance of ligamentous and muscle forces, malalignment between the joint surfaces, excessive knee valgus (ie, increased Q-angle) resulting in increased lateral forces, and quadriceps contractures causing production of excessive leverage forces on the patellofemoral joint surface. Excessive use of the joint, either in frequency of loading or excessive loading, also contributes to the symptoms.

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