Imaging of patellofemoral disorders

Clin Radiol. 2004 Jul;59(7):543-57. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2004.01.004.


Anterior knee pain is a common symptom, which may have a large variety of causes including patellofemoral pathologies. Patellofemoral maltracking refers to dynamic abnormality of patellofemoral alignment and has been measured using plain film, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using static and kinematic techniques. Patellar dislocation is usually transient, but specific conventional radiographic and MRI features may provide evidence of prior acute or chronic dislocation. In addition, chondromalacia patellae, osteochondritis dissecans, patellofemoral osteoarthritis, excessive lateral pressure syndrome, and bipartite patella have all been implicated in causing patellofemoral pain. The imaging and clinical features of these processes are reviewed, highlighting the specific diagnostic features of each condition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthroscopy / methods
  • Bone Malalignment / diagnosis
  • Femur / pathology
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Knee Joint / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Patella / pathology
  • Patellar Dislocation / diagnosis
  • Patellar Ligament / physiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods