A treatment strategy focused on activity modification and load management correlated with high rates of successful outcomes at 12 and 52 weeks among patients with patellofemoral pain, according to a study published recently in The American Journal of Sports Medicine.
Researchers identified 151 adolescent patients aged 10 years to 14 years with patellofemoral pain. At 1 to 4 weeks, patients and parents met with a physical therapist to modify activity to decrease patellofemoral joint loading with the use of an activity ladder and pain monitoring. Patients underwent home-based exercises at 5 to 8 weeks and at 9 to 12 weeks underwent return-sport guidance.

The seven-point global rating of change was the primary outcome and 12 weeks was the primary endpoint. Successful outcomes were those that patients reported as “much improved” or “improved.” Other outcomes included the KOOS, hip and knee torque, sports participation, treatment satisfaction and painkiller use, a media release from Healio explains.

After 12 weeks, 87% of patients had completed the full questionnaire. Eighty-six percent of those respondents reported a successful outcome at that time versus 77% at 6 months and 81% at 12 months. Three KOOS subscales saw significant clinically relevant improvements that included pain, sport/recreation and quality of life, per investigators.

According to researchers, hip and knee torque increased between 20% to 33%. Overall, 68% of patients returned to sport after 3 months. At 6 months, 79% of patients returned to sport, and 81% at 12 months. Ninety percent of patients were satisfied with their treatment and 95% said they would recommend the treatment to a friend. There were no specific patient characteristics that correlated with prognosis, the release concludes.

[Source: Healio OrthopedicsToday]