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1.  COMPARISON OF HIP AND KNEE STRENGTH AND NEUROMUSCULAR ACTIVITY IN SUBJECTS WITH AND WITHOUT PATELLOFEMORAL PAIN SYNDROME 
Purpose/Background:
Historically, patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) has been viewed exclusively as a knee problem. Recent findings have suggested an association between hip muscle weakness and PFPS. Altered neuromuscular activity about the hip also may contribute to PFPS; however, more limited data exist regarding this aspect. Most prior investigations also have not concurrently examined hip and knee strength and neuromuscular activity in this patient population. Additional knowledge regarding the interaction between hip and knee muscle function may enhance the current understanding of PFPS. The purpose of this study was to compare hip and knee strength and electromyographic (EMG) activity in subjects with and without PFPS.
Methods:
Eighteen females with PFPS and 18 matched controls participated in this study. First, surface EMG electrodes were donned on the gluteus medius, vastus medialis, and vastus lateralis. Strength measures then were taken for the hip abductors, hip external rotators, and knee extensors. Subjects completed a standardized stair-stepping task to quantify muscle activation amplitudes during the loading response, single leg stance, and preswing intervals of stair descent as well as to determine muscle onset timing differences between the gluteus medius and vastii muscles and between the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis at the beginning of stair descent.
Results:
Females with PFPS demonstrated less strength of the hip muscles. They also generated greater EMG activity of the gluteus medius and vastus medialis during the loading response and single leg stance intervals of stair descent. No differences existed with respect to onset activation of the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis. All subjects had a similar delay in gluteus medius onset activation relative to the vastii muscles.
Conclusion:
Rehabilitation should focus on quadriceps and hip strengthening. Although clinicians have incorporated gluteus medius exercise in rehabilitation programs, additional attention to the external rotators may be useful.
Level of Evidence: 4
PMCID: PMC3230156  PMID: 22163090
gluteus medius; knee; patella; surface electromyography
2.  AN UPDATE FOR THE CONSERVATIVE MANAGEMENT OF PATELLOFEMORAL PAIN SYNDROME: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE FROM 2000 TO 2010 
Purpose/Background:
Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is one of the most common and clinically challenging knee pathologies. Historically, clinicians have used a myriad of interventions, many of which have benefited some but not all patients. Suboptimal outcomes may reflect the need for an evidence-based approach for the treatment of PFPS. The authors believe that integrating clinical expertise with the most current scientific data will enhance clinical practice. The purpose of this systematic review is to provide an update on the evidence for the conservative treatment of PFPS.
Methods:
The PubMed, CINAHL, and SPORTDiscus databases were searched for studies published between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2010. Studies used were any that utilized interventions lasting a minimum of 4 weeks for subjects with PFPS. Data were examined for subject sample, intervention duration, intervention type, and pain outcomes.
Results:
General quadriceps strengthening continues to reduce pain in patients with PFPS. Data are inconclusive regarding the use of patellar taping, patellar bracing, knee bracing, and foot orthosis. Although emerging data suggest the importance of hip strengthening exercise, ongoing investigations are needed to better understand its effect on PFPS.
Conclusions:
Current evidence supports the continued use of quadriceps exercise for the conservative management of PFPS. However, inconsistent or limited data regarding the other interventions precluded the authors' ability to make conclusive recommendations about their use. Future investigations should focus on identifying cohorts of patients with PFPS who may benefit from the other treatment approaches included in this systematic review.
PMCID: PMC3109895  PMID: 21713229
foot orthosis; hip exercise; knee; patella bracing; patella taping; quadriceps exercise

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