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Anterior knee pain – The patello-femoral joint

By July 14, 2015October 18th, 2023Knee Pain

Anterior knee pain – The patello-femoral joint


What causes anterior (front) knee pain?

Pain in the front of the knee can come from numerous structures, but the vast majority are due patello femoral pain picto issues of the patello-femoral joint. This is known as Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)

Other structures that may lead to pain at the front of the knee are the fat pad that lies underneath the patella, and the patellar tendon that runs between the patella (knee cap) and the tibia (shin).

A skilled physiotherapist can differentiate where the pain is coming from based on the nature of your symptoms and through physical tests aimed as stressing particular structures, telling us about the source of pain.


What factors contribute to patellofemoral joint dysfunction?

Issues that contribute to PFPS include:

  • Quadriceps muscle weakness
  • Hamstring and/or calf muscle tightness
  • Tight iliotibial band
  • Poor movement coordination of the muscle of the hip, knee and ankle/foot
  • Poor technique for walking, running, squatting


How can we help you?

At MGS we perform an extensive examination to identify the source of the pain, and all the lifestyle and biomechanical factors which can contribute to the injury and pain. Your MGS Physiotherapist is  trained in the best hands on and exercise based techniques to restore optimal function of the patello-femoral joint and the surrounding joints and muscle that effect its function. This may include muscle strengthening, corrective taping, restoring normal muscle length, and movement retraining for the activities that are aggravating your knee pain e.g. running.  Home use of a foam roller to release the tight ITB and muscles is just one of the many self management strategies your Physiotherapist may give you.