Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Clinical Consult.

To view the entire topic, please or purchase a subscription.

Medicine Central™ is a quick-consult mobile and web resource that includes diagnosis, treatment, medications, and follow-up information on over 700 diseases and disorders, providing fast answers—anytime, anywhere. Explore these free sample topics:

Medicine Central

-- The first section of this topic is shown below --



  • Pain in or around the patella that increases after prolonged sitting, squatting, kneeling, or ascending/descending stairs (1)
  • Synonyms: anterior knee or retropatellar pain syndrome, runner’s knee
  • System(s) affected: musculoskeletal


  • Most frequent presenting condition in patients <50 years old with knee complaints (1)
  • Women have higher incidence than men, with female adolescents having the highest incidence (1).

Etiology and Pathophysiology

  • Multifactorial etiology (1)
  • Direct relationship with hip abductor weakness and poor functional control of the femur during weight-bearing tasks (2)
  • Increased contact forces between the retropatellar cartilage and the trochlear groove due to musculoskeletal imbalances (1)


Risk Factors

  • Female gender (1)
  • Q angle >20 degrees (1)
  • Decreased quadriceps and abductor strength (1)
  • Decreased hamstring, quadriceps, and gastrocnemius flexibility (1)
  • Excessive increase in volume and intensity of exercise training, including change in training surface (1)
  • Tight iliotibial (IT) band with weak vastus medialis (1)

General Prevention

Strengthening and stretching exercises, particularly hip abductors and terminal extension of the quadriceps (1,2)

Commonly Associated Conditions

  • Overuse
  • Knee ligament injury/surgery
  • Patellar tendinopathy
  • Prolonged synovitis
  • IT band friction syndrome

-- To view the remaining sections of this topic, please or purchase a subscription --


* When formatting your citation, note that all book, journal, and database titles should be italicized* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) ID - 117604 ED - Baldor,Robert A, ED - Domino,Frank J, ED - Golding,Jeremy, ED - Stephens,Mark B, BT - 5-Minute Clinical Consult, Updating UR - PB - Wolters Kluwer ET - 27 DB - Medicine Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -