What is it?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also called runner’s knee, refers to pain felt around the kneecap, at the front of the knee. It is caused due to overuse, muscle weakness, injury or surgery on the ACL.
Patellar maltracking refers to movement in the patella that is not aligned. The person feels like the patella is moving sideways. Causes may include too loose or too tight muscles and ligaments of the knee, being overweight, flat feet, knock- knees, high arched foot and structural problems in the knee.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Patellofermoral pain syndrome
- Patellar maltracking
- Miserable malalignment syndrome

Signs & symptoms

Patellofemoral pain syndrome symptoms include a dull pain in the front of the knee which gets worse by walking up or down the stairs, kneeling, squatting or sitting with a bent knee. Patellar maltracking symptoms include pain and swelling in the front of the knee, which gets worse when walking up or down the stairs, kneeling, squatting as well as popping when the knee is bent.


Diagnosis for both conditions is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination. Further evaluation may include imaging tests.


Treatment begins with rest, pain relievers, rehabilitation exercises, braces, taping, and icing. Then, if nonsurgical treatments are not effective, surgical procedures such as arthroscopy and realignment may be done.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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