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What is patella-femoral arthritis?



Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition affecting the articular cartilage that lines most joints. Patella-femoral arthritis is osteoarthritis located in the patella-femoral joint which is where the patella (knee cap) meets the femur (thigh bone). Physiotherapy is an excellent treatment for patella-femoral arthritis.


How does patella-femoral arthritis happen?



There is no single cause of patella-femoral arthritis and it is often simply due to the ageing process. A previous trauma, being overweight and a family history of osteoarthritis are all risk factors for the condition.


What are the symptoms of patella-femoral arthritis?



The main symptoms of patella-femoral arthritis are pain and joint stiffness. You may find the stiffness is worse in the morning and it takes a while for your joint to loosen up before you begin any activities. Other symptoms include:

What should I do if I have patella-femoral arthritis?



If you notice any symptoms of patella-femoral arthritis, you should visit your GP who may prescribe you with painkillers. You may be referred for an X-ray to provide an accurate diagnosis. Surgery will only be advised in very severe cases and this can include an arthroscopy or patella-femoral joint replacement.


What shouldn’t I do if I have patella-femoral arthritis?



You should limit the amount of high impact activities or sports that you carry out as this will place additional strain on the patella-femoral joint and could cause further damage. Do not ignore your symptoms as they may begin to restrict your normal active lifestyle.


Physiotherapy treatment following patella-femoral arthritis.



Physiotherapy is a brilliant way to restore the strength in the muscles surrounding the patella-femoral joint. This will provide extra support to the joint and will reduce your pain. Physiotherapy options include:

Could there be any long-term effects from patella-femoral arthritis?



There is no cure for patella-femoral arthritis. However the impact of the condition can be minimised by a personalised physiotherapy programme tailored to your needs and goals.

To arrange a physiotherapy assessment call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 or book online.


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