Patellofemoral Pain Symptoms & Causes

In-Depth

Who is at risk for patellofemoral pain?

  • Teenagers
  • Manual laborers
  • People who are overweight
  • Athletes

In athletes, patellofemoral pain may be caused by strain in the tendons, which connect the kneecap to:

  • the lower leg bone (this is the patellar tendon)
  • upper leg bone (quadriceps tendon)
  • the retinaculum (which supports the kneecap on both the left and right sides).

What are the symptoms of patellofemoral pain?

Your child may experience pain when he or she

  • sits with bent knees
  • squats
  • jumps
  • uses stairs

Your child may also experience

  • knee buckling under his or her weight
  • a catching, popping, or grinding sensation when walking, or when the knee is moving.