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Patellofemoral pain syndrome is pain in the front of the knee caused by overuse, weak thigh muscles (quadriceps), or a problem with the way the kneecap moves. Extra weight may also cause this syndrome. The patella is the kneecap, and the femur is the thigh bone. Some people may have pain in the front of the knee from a condition called chondromalacia, in which the underside of the knee cartilage wears down and frays. Cartilage is a rubbery tissue that cushions joints.
In some cases, the kneecap does not move, or track, in a normal way. You may have knee pain when you run, walk down hills or steps, or do another activity. Sitting for a long time also can cause knee pain.
Your knee pain may get better with medicines for pain and swelling and exercises to make your quadriceps stronger. Losing weight, if you need to, may also help with pain.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: July 1, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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