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Anterior Knee Pain in Adolescents (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)

Anterior knee pain in adolescence is a trauma that occurs in the front of the knee and in the center, just below the knee cap, just above the shin bone.

It is mainly common in young female athletes. It is also known as Patellofemoral syndrome (PFS)  or chondromalacia patellae

This is a common complaint that is diagnosed when all other conditions are denied.


Anterior knee pain begins slowly, although in a few cases, a sudden trauma can take place.

The most common symptom is an unexplained discomfort in or around the knee. It usually becomes difficult for the patient to understand the exact origin of the pain.

Other common symptoms include clicking, noise suppression, decreased knee flexibility, locking coupled with giving away of the joint. 

Also Read:- Denizens Bone And Joint: An Advanced Orthopedic Program Offering Comprehensive Care


Adolescent knee pain involves a widespread and interdisciplinary diagnosis.

Usually, we can say that it is caused because of overuse and returning to sports activities with insufficient warmup exercises. 

However, there can be several other reasons for triggering this condition, such as :

  1. Rigid or weak quadriceps and hamstrings.
  2. Imbalance of the thigh muscles that hold the knee joint together
  3. The kneecap or patella is out of alignment due to the unbalanced shape of the legs.
  4. Undergo improper sports training methods or equipment.
  5. Problems occur with the usage of new shoes or sports surfaces. Thus, there may be swelling around the joint.
  6. Excessive use of muscles while performing an exercise. Changes in training cause stress on tendons and bones in the frontal knee.
  7. Pain is referred to by a problem in the hip or femur. The bones of the hips and thigh should be carefully examined.
  8. A cartilage defect in the knee joint is known as Osteochondritis dissensus.
  9. Inflammatory ligaments and tissues around the knee.
  10. Bony Tumor – This is very unusual and heartwarming, but should be ruled out.
  11. A history of chronic injury, surgery, or joint disease.


Anterior knee pain is a common issue but can be a cause of concern for children and their families.

This is rarely due to a serious medical condition. Once diagnosed, treatment depends on most of the causes.

The examination may include an X-ray and an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to determine the cause.

MRI allows for a more detailed assessment of soft tissues, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Clinically, your orthopedic surgeon will examine the strength, flexibility as well as a range of motion.

To reduce inflammation and swelling, ice packs and no steroid anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are advised. Relaxation from pain-causing activities is mandatory.

For extreme injuries, once the pain has abated, improvements in athletic activities and training techniques are necessary.

In the majority of the cases, stretching and strengthening programs designed by a physical therapist can reduce a teenager’s AKP. Knee guards or sleeves are also helpful in relieving trauma.


To keep chronic knee pain under control in your teens, especially when they are active in sports, you must follow a joint-friendly program.

Athletic training should be prescribed by your doctor. Workouts should include mandatory exercises that strengthen the hamstrings and quadriceps. Movements that cause pain should be reduced.

Shoes should be chosen carefully based on the sport or activity of the young one.

Special shoes are available for jogging, tennis, football and all other sports. Moreover, it is compulsory that children must wear shots.   

The playing surface plays a significant role too. If there has been a sudden change in land type in the past, it should also be considered in the future.

Different bases of soil, concrete, wood, and grass have different types of effects on the knees according to their buffering capacity.

In Spite of stopping everything, alternative sports activities like cycling and walking should be encouraged.

Within a few weeks, the baby can return to normal play activities.


Anterior knee pain is more common in children and adolescents. The diagnosis is not only challenging but also requires a detailed history and physical examination.

The patellofemoral joint and the knee extensor mechanism are commonly held responsible.

It is important to exclude conditions of inflammatory conditions and systemic diseases such as malignancy.

An in-depth study of the patient’s history and clinical examination leads to proper diagnosis and treatment of PFP.

About The Author

Tanveer Bhutani
Eva Hospital encompasses various modern orthopedic practices pioneered by the prominent orthopedic surgeon in Ludhiana “Dr. Tanveer Singh Bhutani”.


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