Patient Information Resources

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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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Our daughter (who is now 23-years-old) was first diagnosed with knee problems when she was 14. She's no longer an athlete but still complains of knee pain. Will this bother her the rest of her life?

The patella, or kneecap, can be a source of pain when it fails to function properly. Alignment or overuse problems of the patella can lead to pain, weakness, and swelling of the patellofemoral joint. The patellofemoral joint is where the patella moves up and down over the femur (thigh bone). This problem is called patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). PFPS is most common among athletes and military recruits (soldiers). Following patients with PFPS over the years to see what happens to their painful symptoms helps us know what is the natural history of the condition. There aren't very many long-term studies of the natural history of PFPS. But what has been done suggests that the majority of PFPS sufferers continue to have pain throughout the rest of their lives. Most are still able to join in on sports activities as desired. But less than one-quarter of the patients studied were ever pain free. About 25 per cent reported continued pain even with activity modification. The long-term results of PFPS are good with regular exercise for the quadriceps muscle. A specific training program can be set up for your daughter by a physical therapist. A 10-minute daily program can help her maintain a pain free status. Most of the time, strengthening and stretching exercises are enough to manage the problem and prevent the need for surgery.


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