Patello-Femoral Syndrome Runner’s Knee


Patello-femoral syndrome or «runner’s knee» is one of the most common knee conditions affecting athletes. It can be defined as retro patella or peri-patella pain. It results from the kneecap (patella) not tracking smoothly through the groove in the underlying femoral bone when the leg is bent and straightened. Pain typically presents in the front of the knee, in and around the kneecap especially when going up or down stairs, squatting, kneeling or running.


Many factors may contribute to cause the knee-cap to mal-track. Commonly, weakness of the inner quadriceps muscle plus poor lower limb biomechanics, over-pronation (feet rolling inwards), or oversure may result in the kneecap being pulled towards the outside of the leg.


  • Initial treatment suggested is typical for almost all acute sporting injuries. Icing the knee for 10-20 minutes after activity should help reduce inflammation and pain, plus reducing or resting from the activity that causes the pain. The use of simple painkilling medication such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatories may help
  • Taping or strapping the kneecap may be some benefit (see your Podiatrist or Physiotherapist for correct strapping technique)
  • Correction of lower limb biomechanics, overpronation via the use of a Realign innersole or prescription orthotics prescribed by Podiatrist, plus muscle stretching and strengthening exercises is often beneficial (again see your Podiatrist or Physiotherapist for the appropriate exercise program)
  • Appropriate sport specific footwear with adequate support to enhance function and assist in addressing any biomechanical anomalies
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