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OBJECTIVE--To test the hypothesis that medial taping of the patella reduces the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee when the patellofemoral joint is affected. DESIGN--Randomised, single blind, crossover trial of three different forms of taping of the knee joint. Each tape (medial, lateral, or neutral) was applied for four days, with three days of no treatment between tape positions. SUBJECTS--14 patients with established, symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee and both clinical and radiographic evidence of patellofemoral compartment disease. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Daily visual analogue scale ratings for pain; patients' rating of change with each treatment; and tape preference. RESULTS--Medial taping of the patella was significantly better than the neutral or lateral taping for pain scores, symptom change, and patient preference. The medial tape resulted in a 25% reduction in knee pain. CONCLUSION--Patella taping is a simple, safe, cheap way of providing short term pain relief in patients with osteoarthritis of the patellofemoral joint.