Patellofemoral osteoarthritis (pain syndrome) the knee joint: treatment and symptoms

What is patellofemoral osteoarthritis of the knee?

Podiatrists often diagnose osteoarthritis patellofemoral in the case when the patient turns because of the pain in the knee joint.

Discomfort, pain and other discomfort in the knee, which are irregular in nature are the primary symptoms of the disease.

In the international classification of diseases pathology is referred to as patellofemoral pain syndrome. Pain arthrosis precede ordinary and easy differenciate doctors after the establishment of the causes of pain in the knee joint.

Causes of the syndrome

Most often the cause of knee pain lies in the damage of cartilage tissue in the center of the patella.

The cartilage of the knee joint tend over time to deteriorate resulting in lose natural cushioning. In the end, because of this mechanical action develops an arthritis.

In most cases pathological changes in the knee joint initially manifested in the form patellofemoral syndrome.

Painful sensations are observed in front of the joint. The inflammatory process at this stage is usually not.

The degree of development of the disease

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There are three degrees of the disease:

  1. At the first degree violation, we are talking about nesformirovannost disease. In this case, the cause of the syndrome is a common fatigue or overexertion of the joint.
  2. If the pain does not disappear after a certain time, or relapse occurs, triggered by trauma, doctors diagnosed patellofemoral osteoarthritis of the knee 2 degrees. This form of the disease is inherent discomfort in the front of the knee joint. The patient may complain of acute or prolonged pain radiating up leg severity of pain. Pain is a dependent phenomenon and occurs after excessive stress on the joints during heavy training, after a run, frequent climbs and descents the stairs after dragging heavy objects, etc. In a quiet state with soreness gone.
  3. The third degree of the disease is characterized by degenerative changes in cartilage. On x-ray well observed the narrowing of the gap between the bones of the joint. In the third degree syndrome show a complex therapy, including the passage of various physical treatments.
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The clinical picture

Patellofemoral syndrome is often a precursor of osteoarthritis of the knee.

The pathological process develops on the background of excessive stress on the joints or is a consequence of injury that often occurs in athletes (runners, skiers, etc.) and the elderly amid the aging. After the trauma, the structure of the joint changes, which is developing pathology.

The main clinical symptom is nagging pain, increasing with prolonged walking, stairs, in a position where people long time keep the knees bent.

Sometimes when driving the pain syndrome accompanied by crunching or crackling.

Diagnostic approach

The diagnosis presents no difficulties. A qualified doctor performs diagnosis on the basis of anamnesis, patient’s complaints and examination of the extremities. Specialist probes the site, which disturbs the patient, whereby it is possible to pinpoint the location of pain.

If the doctor suggests the presence of other, more dangerous pathological processes with similar symptoms, appoint additional instrumental studies:

  • magnetic resonance imaging of the knee;
  • computed tomography;
  • the x-ray.


A special technique for the treatment of osteoarthritis patellofemoral is still not developed. In some cases it is sufficient to temporarily stop the exercise and reduce the stress on the joints.

If pain in knee be permanent, doctors have resorted to the following measures:

  • fix the patella with the help of a restraint orthosis or splint;
  • recommend restriction of loads on the knee joint;
  • prescribed analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs.

If patellofemoral syndrome is a symptom of the true knee, the patient is assigned to support therapy in joint use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids for direct administration to the affected area.

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In some cases, the violation starts to progress, causing severe pathology in the form of various deformities (e.g., severe arthritis).

In such a situation is treatment of degenerative-dystrophic processes.

Patellofemoral syndrome, not burdened with other destructive lesions of the musculoskeletal system and not associated with any clinical signs of osteoarthritis usually disappears by itself.

If there is constant pain a podiatrist can construct a treatment plan with the use of chondroprotectors for intra-articular injection.

If the treatment does not give proper results for some time, shows therapy used for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee:

  • receiving analgesic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • the use of special orthopedic devices that minimize the load on the knee joint;
  • the binding of the retaining bandages;
  • physiotherapy sessions to strengthen the muscles of the joint.

In severe and advanced forms of surgical treatment. The elimination of damaged cartilage with arthroscope is called arthroscopy.

Surgery is as follows: in the affected area is a small incision, which is inserted through the arthroscope, the surgeon removes the diseased material.

Possible complications

The syndrome is causes difficulty in execution of daily physical activity (e.g. climbing stairs), reduces the quality of life of the patient.

To prevent disease!

Preventive measures aimed at preventing the development patellofemoral syndrome are:

  1. Exercise the muscles of the legs. Developed musculature increases the stability of the knee joint.
  2. Control of body weight. Excess weight is an additional burden on the lower limbs.
  3. Warm up the knee joints before physical activity.
  4. Buying quality and comfortable Shoe that provides good cushioning and will cause discomfort while wearing. With flat feet best to buy orthopedic shoes, or use special orthopedic insoles.
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The violation is a life threatening condition, however, can significantly reduce its quality. When the first negative signs you need to consult a doctor to rule out a more serious diagnosis.