Young patients with symptoms of anterior knee discomfort represent a most difficult and often enigmatic clinical group, in large part because of the highly subjective nature of the condition. A primary clinical research goal over the past several years has been a search for reliable objective indicators of a presumed underlying pathologic process to account for the symptoms. We believe that the use of the bone scan along with other clinical and experimental data has provided a new and previously unappreciated perspective of a dynamic osseous process occurring in many such patients. With further investigation, this process may clarify certain confusing aspects of the symptoms experienced by patients with patellofemoral pain. The technique and its clinical applications are still in its infancy, yet it appears to hold promise for the future. It is hoped that exposure to this method of evaluation will serve as a basis for an understanding of the benefits, limitations, and implications of this technique as further developments occur.