Knee Pain, Anterior/Patellofemoral Malalignment Syndrome
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- Condition characterized by discomfort at the anterior aspect of the knee that is generally associated with activities, especially those that involve running, jumping, and climbing stairs
- Has also been called “miserable malalignment syndrome”
- Predisposing factors for patellofemoral malalignment syndrome include the following:
- Femoral anteversion
- Genu valgus
- Pes planus
- These three anatomic features have been commonly referred to as a terrible triad contributing to anterior knee pain. Because the entire kinetic chain is linked in function, malalignment at one area can lead to secondary stresses at a distant location.
- Excess femoral anteversion, as well as marked pes planus, can contribute to increased lateral pull on the patella and subsequent patellofemoral pain.
- Further contributing factors include a wider pelvis and a more laterally positioned tibial tubercle, both of which also contribute to altered biomechanics at the knee.
- Weak hip abductors and quadriceps muscles and tight hamstrings, iliotibial band, Achilles tendon, and quadriceps can lead to increased forces across the patellofemoral joint.