Purpose of Review
This article will focus on additional treatment options for the two most common causes of anterior knee pain, patellofemoral pain syndrome, and patellar tendinopathy. Conservative management is the first-line treatment for these conditions. For clinicians to maximize the efficacy of conservative treatment options for their patients, they must understand the most up-to-date literature evaluating the potential benefit of taping, bracing, and injections as adjunctive treatments for maximizing treatment success.
Recent studies of bracing and taping have found them to be helpful for patients in the short-term management of pain and improving function. However, less is known about their exact mechanism but studies are encouraging that they have a subtle role in changing patellofemoral biomechanics. Injections remain a commonly used treatment for musculoskeletal conditions; however, the evidence for their use in patellofemoral pain and patellar tendinopathy is limited. The use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), sclerosing, high volume, or stem cell injections is an exciting new area in the treatment of patellar tendinopathy. However, evidence at this time to recommend these treatments is lacking, and more well-designed studies are needed.
The treatment of patellofemoral pain and patellar tendinopathy consists of a multi-faceted approach of physiotherapy and physical modalities. There is evidence for short-term use of taping and bracing for these conditions. The evidence for injections at this time is limited and remains under investigation. Future well-designed randomized controlled studies will provide insight into the efficacy of several different types of injections in the treatment of patellar tendinopathy. Physicians should feel comfortable integrating taping and bracing into their anterior knee pain treatment paradigm while making cautious use of invasive injections as adjunctive therapy.
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Daniel Sisk declares that he has no conflict of interest. Michael Fredericson declares he has no conflict of interest.
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Sisk, D., Fredericson, M. Taping, Bracing, and Injection Treatment for Patellofemoral Pain and Patellar Tendinopathy. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med 13, 537–544 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12178-020-09646-8