Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a common problem that occurs in association with mild malalignment of the extensor mechanism of the knee or as a result of repetitive microtrauma from overuse. Patients most often present with retropatellar or peripatellar knee pain, which becomes especially noticeable when they climb or descend stairs. The diagnosis is usually made from the history and the physical examination, with relatively little information gained from other diagnostic aids. Treatment involves physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication and the application of ice. In most patients, surgical treatment should be avoided. Patient motivation and adherence to the treatment regimen are critical to long-lasting improvement.