Sports Medicine

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 377–395 | Cite as

The Efficacy of Foot Orthoses in the Treatment of Individuals with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

A Systematic Review
  • Christian J. BartonEmail author
  • Shannon E. Munteanu
  • Hylton B. Menz
  • Kay M. Crossley
Review Article


Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is a highly prevalent condition, often reducing functional performance and being linked to osteoarthritis development later in life. Prescribing foot orthoses is often advocated, although the link between foot mechanics and PFPS development remains unclear. This systematic review was conducted to summarize and critique the existing evidence for the efficacy of foot orthoses in individuals with PFPS and to provide guidance for future research evaluating foot orthoses in individuals with PFPS. A comprehensive search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL® and Current Contents revealed 138 citations for review. Two of the authors independently reviewed and assessed each citation for inclusion and quality using a modified version of the quality assessment scale for randomized controlled trials in PFPS designed by Bizzini and colleagues. A total of seven studies were included in the final review. The review found limited evidence that prefabricated foot orthoses may reduce the range of transverse plane knee rotation and provide greater short-term improvements in individuals with PFPS compared with flat inserts. Findings also indicated that combining physiotherapy with prefabricated foot orthoses may be superior to prefabricated foot orthoses alone. Further research is now needed to establish the mechanisms behind the efficacy of foot orthoses and to identify individuals with PFPS who are most likely to benefit from prescription of foot orthoses. A comparison of the efficacy between prefabricated and customized foot orthoses is also needed.


Physiotherapy Treatment Effect Size Calculation Current Systematic Review Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome Lower Limb Alignment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



H.B. Menz is currently a National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia fellow (Clinical Career Development Award, ID: 433049).

No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this review. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review.

Supplementary material

40279_2012_40050377_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (98 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 100 KB.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian J. Barton
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shannon E. Munteanu
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hylton B. Menz
    • 2
  • Kay M. Crossley
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health SciencesLa Trobe UniversityBundooraAustralia
  2. 2.Musculoskeletal Research Centre, Faculty of Health SciencesLa Trobe UniversityBundooraAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Podiatry, Faculty of Health SciencesLa Trobe UniversityBundooraAustralia
  4. 4.Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  5. 5.School of PhysiotherapyUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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