Author(s): Kujala UM
A new questionnaire was used to evaluate subjective symptoms and functional limitations in patellofemoral disorders. The questionnaire was completed independently by four groups of female subjects: controls (N = 17), and subjects with anterior knee pain (N = 16), patellar subluxation (N = 16), and patellar dislocation (N = 19). The questionnaire mean scores for the groups were 100, 83, 68, and 62 points, respectively (p < 0.0001). The items dealing with abnormal painful patellar movements (subluxations) (p < 0.0001), limp (p < 0.0001), pain (p < 0.0001), running (p < 0.0001), climbing stairs (p < 0.0001), and prolonged sitting with the knees flexed (p < 0.0001) differentiated the study groups most clearly. We recommend that these questions be asked when taking a standardized clinical history of an anterior knee pain patient. We also analyzed lateral patellar tilt and displacement by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in 28 subjects with patellar subluxation or dislocation. Low questionnaire sum score correlated best with increased lateral patellar tilt measured during quadriceps contraction in 0 degree knee flexion. It seems that a tendency to lateral patellar tilt during quadriceps contraction causes anterior knee pain and can be imaged in knee extension when the patella is not fully supported by femoral condyles.