Mechanical factors in the incidence of knee pain in adolescents and young adults

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1984 Nov;66(5):685-93. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.66B5.6501361.


Mechanical abnormalities of the patellofemoral joint are among the many causes that have been suggested for adolescent knee pain. This study seeks to identify these factors. Measurements of joint mobility and lower limb morphology were made on 446 pupils at a comprehensive school, 136 of whom had suffered knee pain in the previous year. The pupils with symptoms enjoyed sporting activities significantly more than their symptom-free contemporaries. Joint mobility, the Q-angle, genu valgum and anteversion of the femoral neck were not significantly different between those pupils with and those without anterior knee pain. Data on lower limb morphology of normal adolescents are presented. Examination of 52 hospital outpatients aged 13 to 36 years with anterior knee pain produced results comparable with those for the pupils. It is concluded that chronic overloading, rather than faulty mechanics, is the dominant factor in the genesis of anterior knee pain in adolescent patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / physiopathology
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Movement
  • Pain / physiopathology*
  • Rotation
  • Sex Factors
  • Sports