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Differential diagnosis of patellofemoral pain (part 3 of a course on Patellofemoral Pain)

Pain around the knee cap (patella) will not develop without a cause. Although you may have been told that you have 'chondromalacia' or that you suffer from 'patellofemoral syndrome', these terms actually encompass a wide variety of conditions. In this Part of the course I will run briefly through the list of some of these conditions.

A. Conditions interfering with the mechanics of the knee

Tight structures around the knee

Loose structures around the knee

Factors increasing the Q angle

Irritation of soft tissues inside the knee

Overuse

Deformed bones

Stressed bones

  • Stress fracture of patella
  • Traumatic fracture of patella
  • Osgood Schlatters disease & Sinding-Larsen-Johansson syndrome

B. Knee problems not necessarily involving the mechanics of the knee

C. 'Complex Regional Pain Syndrome'

I will go into this in more detail later.

D. 'Referred Pain', not originating with the knee at all

  • Hip problem, e.g. slipped capital epiphysis
  • Spine problem

This list is for reference and completes this part of the course. I'll explain all the terms as we go along - don't worry!

Updated: 15 Jun, 2013
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