Patellofemoral Syndrome – Symptoms And Treatment 


Patellofemoral syndrome is a condition in which a person experiences pain around the knee cap, also known as patella. Overuse of the knee joint and trauma to the knee cap are common causes of patellofemoral syndrome

Although the condition can lead to symptoms ranging from being uncomfortable to very painful, it can be treated at home. As per the medical experts in various affordable health clinics, the pain can be reduced with conservative treatment measures and rest. 


The main symptom of this condition is aching pain in the front of the knee. The pain can worsen with activity. Some of the other symptoms include: 

  • Pain while exercising 
  • Pain after sitting for a long time with the knee bent 
  • Pain while bending knees 
  • Popping or cracking sounds in the knee after sitting for a long time or while climbing stairs

Home Treatment 

As this condition often arises from overuse, resting the affected joint can be a very good way to treat it. Some of the commonly advised treatments include: 

  • Wrapping elastic bandage on the knee or using a pull-on bandage. 
  • Taking NSAIDs like naproxen or ibuprofen. 
  • Wearing special shoe inserts to stabilize and support your ankle and foot. You may buy these inserts from a drugstore or be custom-made with a prescription from a doctor in a health clinic in your area. 

If needed, you may need to alternate your activities to avoid overusing your knees to prevent future episodes. If you perform high-impact activities like playing a sport, you can do low-impact activities the next day. Riding a bicycle and swimming are examples of low-impact activities that you can do. 

Medical Treatment 

If your pain doesn’t respond to OTC medications and home treatment, surgical intervention might be recommended by your doctor. Some of the surgical interventions used to treat patellofemoral syndrome are: 

Tibial Tubercle Transfer: This involves realigning the kneecap. The patellar tendon and the bony portion of the shinbone will be moved to improve the alignment of your knee. 

Arthroscopy: In this procedure, the damaged cartilage will be removed by a surgeon after inserting a camera. The surgeon can also pull on the kneecap to let it move properly in the groove. 

These treatments might not be necessary in most cases. However, if your knee pain does not resolve with usual treatments or worsen with time, visit an affordable health clinic to discuss your treatment options.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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