Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Meridee Danks


Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), lateral knee pain, hip abductors, Plyometric exercises.


Background and Purpose. Knee pain is the most common site for lower extremity injuries in runners, especially female runners. Knee pain is defined by a variety of conditions, one of which is patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). The purpose of this case report is to follow the six-week management of a distance runner with left lateral knee pain, with a suspected diagnosis of PFPS.

Case Description. The patient is a 37-year-old female who was seeking treatment for left knee pain with secondary pain in her right hip that she had been experiencing for over six months. She was found to have decreased strength in her left hip abductors and quadriceps and decreased left knee flexion.

Intervention. Therapy provided focused on stretching and strengthening the lower extremities with an emphasis on the hip abductors and the quadriceps. Manual therapy and modalities were utilized to decrease pain. Plyometric exercises were introduced and caused irritation, which decreased overtime.

Outcomes. The Activities of Daily Living portion of the Knee Outcome Survey (KOS-ADL) was used as an outcome assessment. At the end of the six-weeks the patient was able to meet the minimally diagnostic change of the KOS-ADL (7.1 points) and began feeling less pain when performing activities. The patient was able to achieve reduced pain when running, lunging, and performing stairs at the end of the six-weeks.

Discussion. While this case report does not follow the patient through discharge, the treatment episode was successful in reducing pain and improving tolerance to activities. Further research would allow for the advancement of prognostic factors for PFPS.