Anterior Knee Pain is very common in the general population, creating chronic disability, limitation from participation in sports, lost time from work, and generally diminished quality of life for many people of all ages. Clinicians noted that one third or more of all complaints at their sports medicine clinics were patellofemoral pain. Although these problems are common, many people with anterior knee pain never get relief. Too many never return to sports or work.
Despite these advances, many remain disabled and live with daily pain or discomfort. Criteria for proper treatment have been based largely on individual experience. Randomized control studies must be initiated in addition to broad-based research and education dedicated to patellofemoral disorders. There is a great need to refine the indications for anterior knee pain management and surgery, improve bracing and non-operative measures, standardize operative approaches, and develop an educational network that reaches well into the sports medicine and orthopedic communities.
There has been some progress in the understanding of anterior knee pain. Anatomic and clinical studies have revealed sources of pain not previously recognized and opened the door to specific treatments of pain around the front of the knee. New radiologic techniques, particularly computerized tomography and MRI, have led to a greater understanding of the mechanical behavior of the patella.