Benefits of custom-made foot orthoses in treating patellofemoral pain

Prosthet Orthot Int. 2011 Dec;35(4):342-9. doi: 10.1177/0309364611420201. Epub 2011 Sep 26.


Background: Patellofemoral pain is one of the most common disorders affecting the knee. Forefoot varus and excessive subtalar pronation can be associated with patellofemoral pain. Foot orthotics may produce an improvement in symptoms.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to test whether patellofemoral pain is improved after four weeks of using custom-made foot orthoses.

Study design: Clinical trial without control group.

Methods: Twenty-one subjects with patellofemoral pain were given custom-made foot orthoses (2-mm thick polypropylene and 4-mm thick polyethylene foam liner of 45 shore A hardness). Patellofemoral pain was evaluated with a visual analogue scale before applying the treatment, and at two weeks and four weeks follow-up. At the two-week check-up, a forefoot varus posting was added to the orthoses.

Results: Improvements in patellofemoral pain was significant in all comparisons: initial pain with pain at the two-week check-up (P < 0.001), initial pain with pain at four weeks (P < 0.001), and pain at two weeks with pain at four weeks (P < 0.001). The effect size was large in all comparisons.

Conclusion: For the participants in this study, the custom-made foot orthoses were found to be an effective conservative treatment to reduce the symptoms of patellofemoral pain.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Foot Deformities / complications
  • Foot*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Orthotic Devices*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome / etiology
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome / therapy*
  • Polyethylene
  • Polypropylenes
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Polypropylenes
  • Polyethylene