Injuries & Prevention

PFPS

PFPS

PatelloFemoral Pain Syndrome

Michael Ribar LAT,PES & Rebecca Kohl DPT

PatelloFemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) is a common and painful injury that can occur in athletes of all ages. PFPS represents about 25% of all knee injuries represented in Sports Medicine Clinics and is more common in women than men. Symptoms of PFPS include achy with occasional sharp pain in the front of the knee that is difficult to localize. There is usually a gradual onset of symptoms which are made worse by activities like squatting, stairs, and running. PFPS is caused by a number of different factors that affect the alignment of the patella or “kneecap”. This mal-alignment is characterized by an imbalance of muscle strength and flexibility causing a breakdown of biomechanics (figure 1.)

PFPS rarely requires surgical intervention as rehabilitation experts have illustrated improvements in PFPS by reducing symptoms and addressing the root cause of the biomechanical breakdown. Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers can provide the injured athlete with a rehabilitation program that consists of proper stretching and strengthening exercises. It is important for the injured athlete to seek medical treatment from a Physician, Physical Therapist, or Athletic Trainer, at the onset of pain and discomfort.

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I am a Licensed and Certified Athletic Trainer and performance Enhancement Specialist with a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology, Master's in Business Administration. I currently direct the Performance Enhancement Program and Runners' Clinic at Froedtert and Medical College Sports Medicine Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I have been an athletic trainer in the high school, college, and professional football settings, but I currently reside in a clinical setting. I played D1 college soccer and hold a 20 year high school hurdle record. I lecture frequently at Sports Medicine Symposiums and have several published articles.

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