Patellofemoral Joint Contact Pressures: Current Concepts and Use in Patellar Instability Studies

Orthopedics. 2019 Mar 1;42(2):e172-e179. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20190118-05. Epub 2019 Jan 31.


The patellofemoral joint is thought to be a common source for knee pain. Improper alignment and function of the patellofemoral joint can lead to abnormal contact pressures, which may explain patients' symptoms. In this review, the authors examine techniques for measuring patellofemoral joint contact pressures and summarize the relevant patellofemoral joint anatomy and contact pressures in normal knee kinematics. Finally, they discuss the results of studies investigating contact pressure changes in cases of patellar instability. This includes both reconstruction of the medial patellofemoral ligament and tibial tubercle osteotomy. [Orthopedics. 2019; 42(2):e172-e179.].

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena / physiology
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology
  • Joint Instability / surgery*
  • Ligaments, Articular / surgery
  • Osteotomy
  • Patellofemoral Joint / anatomy & histology
  • Patellofemoral Joint / physiopathology
  • Patellofemoral Joint / surgery*
  • Pressure
  • Tibia / surgery