There are two different categories of treatment recommended for a patellofemoral syndrome: conservative intervention or surgical intervention.
Conservative treatment can consist of a selection of different self help remedies along with exercises, prescription and physical therapy. Below is a non-exhaustive list of conservative treatment options for the management of patellofemoral syndrome.
RICE – This simple home treatment can help with reducing pain and inflammation around the knee. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation.
Medication – your GP may suggest taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) medication to help with reducing pain levels and inflammation. Examples of NSAIDs include ibuprofen.
Activity Change – refraining from doing the exercise that is aggravating your knee will help with reducing pain levels and recovery time. The most beneficial is to switch out high impact activities with low impact exercises such as swimming or the stationary bike. High impact exercises can then be slowly reintroduced as your knee pain improves.
Exercise prescription – A personalised exercise designed by a registered physiotherapist or osteopath can be used to help strengthen the patella tendon and stabilise both the knee and ankle of the affected side.
Osteopathy and Physiotherapy – Hands on physical therapy can be used to help assess and treat areas of weakness and instability within the knee joint complex. A treatment plan can then be put in place to help restore strength, mobility and function helping with pain reduction. Many different techniques may be used to do this,including: joint mobilisation and articulation, soft tissue release and guided exercise prescription.
Surgical intervention is very rarely needed and only recommended in cases where conservative treatment has not been successful. Some of the surgical options available include:
- Arthroscopy – this type of surgery consists of the “cleaning” and decompression of the affected knee, using small incisions and cameras for guidance.
- Tibial tubercle transfer – this type of surgery consists of the alignment of the kneecap moving the patellar tendon along with a portion of the tibial tubercle.