Patellofemoral Syndrome (Knee Pain)

18 June, 2018

Mum, My Knee Hurts!

What is Patellofemoral Syndrome?

Patellofemoral syndrome, also known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, Mal-Tracking Patella or Chondromalacia Patella,is a condition where the patella (or knee cap) does not track properly in the knuckle of the femur (thigh bone).  This improper tracking leads to increased pressure on the cartilage underneath the knee cap and on the thigh bone.  It can therefore cause pain with running, jumping, bending the knee(s), squatting down, going up or down stairs, or kneeling down.  Severe cases that don’t resolve can wear the cartilage so much that it cracks, causing long term, irreversible pain.

What causes this?

Muscle weakness or poor activation patterns around the knees, hips, or buttocks, too much of one activity (such as jumping or steps), poor flexibility, or poor alignment/posture of hips, knees or feet, particularly with flat feet or dropped arches. This may occur in both children and adults.

What can I do to help?

  1. Stop your child performing the aggravating activity.
  2. Use ice
  3. Contact your local physiotherapist for an assessment.  Your physiotherapist will determine what the exact cause of the mal-tracking is, then prescribe the appropriate management – stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, strapping of the knee, knee brace, change in footwear, or orthotics – or a combination of these.

If you have any further concerns or queries regarding Patellofemoral Syndrome, please feel free to contact us at the clinic on 9580 1985. A free assessment can be arranged if necessary.


Brendan, Ash, Danielle, Anmei, Jack and Brodie (Physiotherapists)