Patellar syndrome, what is it exactly?
Patellar syndrome (or “patellofemoral syndrome” in medical parlance) is a pathology which concerns the interface between the ball joint (the flat, triangular bone in the knee joint, also known as the patella) and the femur (the thigh bone, located between the pelvis and the knee), that is to say the surface where the two bones are in contact – we also speak of “femoral trochlea”.
What exactly is going on? ” For reasons that are still poorly identified, hyper-pressure develops between the kneecap and the femur, which causes pain “explains Dr. Alexandre di Iorio, orthopedic surgeon.
Attention ! Patellar syndrome (or “patellofemoral syndrome”) should not be confused with patella instability. ” In the case of patellar syndrome, the patella stays in place in the femoral trochlea: there is normally no instability “clarifies the orthopedic surgeon.
Patellar syndrome: what are the symptoms?
To know. Although the exact causes of patellar syndrome are, to date, not known, there are some well identified risk factors. Thus, the patellar syndrome occurs more in adolescents and the elderly; it also primarily reaches …
- people with an anatomical abnormality. For example: a high patella compared to the femur or a patellar dysplasia, that is to say a patella “too flat”,
- people with misalignment. For example: legs in X or genu valgum,
- people with muscle dysfunctions. For example: in case of too weak quadriceps muscles – these are the muscles located in the front of the thigh,
- people who practice sports characterized by hyper-solicitation of the knee: fitness (exercising squats, in particular), football, handball …
The main symptom of patellar syndrome is pain: ” this varies from patient to patient: it can be permanent or only appear during physical activity (when the person climbs a staircase, for example) or when the person has the knee flexed for a long time. period (after prolonged sitting, for example) “explains Dr. di Iorio. In addition, the pain is localized in the front of the knee.
Diagnosis and treatment: what treatment for patellar syndrome?
To know. The diagnosis of patellar syndrome is made by the sports doctor, the orthopedic surgeon or (more rarely) by the rheumatologist. It is mainly a clinical examination: examination of gait, search for various signs that may suggest patellofemoral syndrome …
Patellar syndrome: treatments. The management of patellofemoral syndrome (patellar syndrome) is multidisciplinary:
- Rehabilitation. The rehabilitative treatment (which is carried out by the physiotherapist and / or by the osteopath) aims to relieve the pain with gentle mobilization techniques of the patella but also by working on the patient’s posture in order to limit hyper- pressure between the patella and the femur.
- Of muscle building. Symptoms of patellar syndrome can be related to a muscle imbalance between the quadriceps (the muscles that are in the front of the thigh) and the hamstrings (that are located behind the thigh, opposite the quadriceps). .
- Medication. In the acute phase (understand: when the pain is maximum), the doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Hyaluronic acid infiltrations may also be proposed, in particular to reduce friction at the level of the femoral trochlea.
To know. The treatment of patellofemoral syndrome is long: it lasts between 3 months and 6 months on average. ” It is also necessary to learn how to manage stress and strong emotions, because it is known that there is a psychological factor regarding the pain characteristic of patellar syndrome. “adds Dr. di Iorio.
The pro’s advice. ” In prevention, if you have a weakness in the knee, I recommend sessions of muscle building with specific stretches (stretching), 2 to 3 times a week. In addition, it is important to avoid weight gain, which promotes the appearance of joint disorders in the lower limbs. “advises Dr. Alexandre di Iorio.
Thanks to Dr. Alexandre di Iorio, orthopedic surgeon at the Montagard Surgical Center in Avignon (ELSAN group).
Source : Patellofemoral syndrome in city medicine: standardized patient technique (Delphine Neyens)