Chronic patellofemoral pain syndrome: alternatives for cases of therapy resistance

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2001 Sep;9(5):290-5. doi: 10.1007/s001670100219.


This study compared the efficacy of two approaches to treating therapy-resistant patellofemoral pain syndrome. In a prospective randomized study 20 patients were treated for 8 weeks with 16 physiotherapeutic exercises on a neurophysiological basis (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) while another 20 patients underwent a special training program using a special resistance-controlled knee splint for 15 min three times daily. We measured muscle activity on a Cybex 6000 and performed surface electromyography of the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis muscles. Anterior knee pain was assessed by the Bessette and Hunter score and a visual analogue scale. An increase in electromyographic activity in the vastus medialis muscle and significant improvement in individual comfort were observed only in those treated by knee splint. The knee splint thus proved more effective than proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation for treating cases of patellofemoral pain syndrome resistant to conservative therapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthralgia / physiopathology
  • Arthralgia / therapy*
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Femur
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Patella
  • Prospective Studies
  • Splints*
  • Syndrome