Etiologic factors associated with patellofemoral pain in runners

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1991 Sep;23(9):1008-15.


The purpose of this study was to extend our knowledge of running related injuries by determining whether relationships exist between selected anthropometric, biomechanical, muscular strength and endurance, and training variables and runners afflicted with patellofemoral pain (PFP). Specifically, the objectives of this study were to examine differences in selected measures between a non-injured control group (C) of runners (N = 20) and a group of injured runners (INJ) diagnosed by an orthopedic surgeon as having PFP (N = 16). High speed photography, a force platform, and isokinetic dynamometry were used to determine rearfoot motion, ground reaction forces, and knee muscular strength and endurance. Stepwise discriminant function analyses were performed on the anthropometric, biomechanical, and muscular strength and endurance variables. Q angle was a significant discriminator (P less than 0.01) between the INJ and C groups. The muscular endurance data revealed several significant discriminators with the INJ subjects being weaker in knee extension endurance. Kinetic analysis revealed several significant discriminators whereas rearfoot movement variables were not good discriminators between the groups. The training data revealed that the INJ group ran significantly less (P less than 0.01) miles.wk-1 than the C group. Our results suggest that Q angle is a strong discriminator between runners afflicted with PFP and non-injured runners. In addition, several muscular endurance and kinetic variables may also be important components of the etiology of PFP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Knee / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Physical Education and Training / methods
  • Physical Endurance
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Running / injuries*