patellofemoral joint

The Forgotten Joint, Part 2

Last month, we talked about what the patellofemoral joint (PFJ) is and where it is located (The Forgotten Joint, Part 1). This month, we will continue with how to differentiate pain from the knee area and pain from the PFJ. But first we need to understand the biomechanics of the PFJ.

Biomechanics of the PFJ
The knee cap works as a single pulley with the quadriceps and the patellar tendon being the ropes attached to the top and bottom ends, respectively. Its function is to increase the efficiency of the quadriceps muscle in stabilizing the knee, especially in weight bearing position. The resultant force from the pull of these two ropes is the compression force to the PFJ. Just like in other joint pain, the more compression is at the joint, the more pain a patient will experience. At the PFJ, the compression increases as the knee goes into more bent positions.


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