Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Knee News

Reviewing Nonsurgical Options for Kneecap Pain

There seems to be no way to tell who will get better with nonoperative treatment for patellofemoral pain (PFP). Some patients with severe X-ray findings improve. Others with mild changes on X-ray fail to find pain relief with rehab. In this report, Dr. Post from the Mountaineer Orthopaedic Specialists in Morgantown, West Virginia, reviewed the results of nonoperative care for PFP.

PFP includes pain in front of, around, or under the kneecap. Most often sitting for too long, squatting, kneeling, and climbing stairs cause increased pain. Hopping and jumping can also be difficult. Rehab for this problem usually includes exercise, rest, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Taping, biofeedback, and stretching may also be included.

After reviewing the results of many studies and his own patients, Dr. Post concluded that all patients with PFP should start with nonoperative treatment. Activities should be kept below the level that triggers symptoms. Patients should avoid the old saying: "no pain, no gain." Surgery should only be used when all other efforts fail to help.

William R. Post, MD. Patellofemoral Pain: Results of Nonoperative Treatment. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. July 2005. Vol. 436. Pp. 55-59.


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