Rehabilitation of patellofemoral joint disorders: a critical review

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1998 Nov;28(5):345-54. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1998.28.5.345.


Patellofemoral pain is one of the most common knee disorders seen in orthopaedic practice. Despite its high incidence, treatment of this disorder remains controversial. Traditionally, nonoperative management of patellofemoral pain has focused on restoring normal patellar tracking by improving dynamic stability. Of particular interest to clinicians has been the vastus medialis oblique, which has been implicated as being the primary medial stabilizer of the patella. Although emphasis on the vastus medialis oblique continues to be the mainstay of conservative care of patellofemoral pain, there exists considerable disagreement between research outcomes and clinical practice. This article critically reviews the current literature concerning the treatment of patellofemoral pain with respect to the vastus medialis oblique, taping, and bracing, as well as various forms of therapeutic exercise, and relates these findings to the prevailing views regarding the management of this disorder.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Femur
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / physiopathology
  • Joint Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Knee Joint*
  • Knee* / physiopathology
  • Muscles / physiopathology
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Patella
  • Physical Therapy Modalities* / methods