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Patellofemoral pain syndrome is pain in the front of the knee. It is 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.
In some cases, the kneecap does not move, or track, in a normal way. Your child may have knee pain when he or she runs, walks down hills or steps, or does other activities. Sitting for a long time also can cause knee pain.
Your child's knee pain may get better with medicines for pain and swelling. Exercises to make the quadriceps stronger can also help. Losing weight, if your child needs to, may also help with pain.
Pain in the front of the knee can also be caused by chondromalacia. In this problem, the underside of the knee cartilage wears down and frays. Cartilage is a rubbery tissue that cushions joints.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: June 26, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: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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