Update of Risk Factors, Diagnosis, and Management of Patellofemoral Pain

  • Daniel SiskEmail author
  • Michael Fredericson
Non-Operative Management of Anterior Knee Pain (M Fredericson and T Besier, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Non-Operative Management of Anterior Knee Pain


Purpose of Review

Patellofemoral pain is the most common cause of anterior knee pain. The purpose of this review is to examine the latest research on risk factors, physical examination, and treatment of patellofemoral pain to improve accuracy of diagnosis and increase use of efficacious treatment modalities.

Recent Findings

The latest research suggests patellofemoral pain pathophysiology is a combination of biomechanical, behavioral, and psychological factors. Research into targeted exercise therapy and other conservative therapy modalities have shown efficacy especially when used in combination. New techniques such as blood flow restriction therapy, gait retraining, and acupuncture show promise but require further well-designed studies.


Patellofemoral pain is most commonly attributed to altered stress to the patellofemoral joint from intrinsic knee factors, alterations in the kinetic chain, or errors in training. Diagnosis can be made with a thorough assessment of clinical history and risk factors, and a comprehensive physical examination. The ideal treatment is a combination of conservative treatment modalities ideally individualized to the risk factors identified in each patient. Ongoing research should continue to identify biomechanical risk factors and new treatments as well as look for more efficient ways to identify patients who are amenable to treatments.


Patellofemoral pain Anterior knee pain Biomechanical risk factors Diagnosis Management 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Daniel Sisk declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Michael Fredericson declares he has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Orthopedic SurgeryStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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