Sunday, November 11, 2007

Miserable Malalignment

Les Miserables

This month's Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America, contains a review article about PFPS (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome).

If you've been around basketball players long enough, you've known lots of people who have had this type of kneecap pain. In fact, PFPS accounts for 1 out of every 4 knee injuries treated in a sports medicine clinic.

In 1979, it was named "miserable malalignment syndrome" because it was felt to be due to several factors that led to improper tracking (and rubbing) of the patella (kneecap) as you run and/or jump.

There are many potential causes of this condition, including:

* femoral anteversion
* squinting patellae (see photo above)
* patella alta
* increased Q angle
* imbalance of the quadricep muscles
* tibial external rotation
* foot hyperpronation
* poor dynamic alignment (how the thigh, knee, and shin bones line up when in motion)

So what can you do about PFPS?

There are a bunch of interventions, that can help, as long as you know which one(s) to use.

In my next entry, I'll talk about a few things that can help reduce kneecap pain and make you less miserable.

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