Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Diagnosis, Differential; Patella


Dysfunction of the patellofemoral joint has long been a topic of discussion and debate for caregivers of patients with this syndrome. Various diagnosis related to the patellofemoral joint of the knee have been reported. Patellofemoral pain refers to the clinical presentation of pain in the anterior region of the knee. It is one of the most common musculoskeletal complaints in children, adolescents, and adults. It is a major source of pain and dysfunction in both genders, but is more common in females.

The purpose of this literature review is to help distinguish between several differential diagnosis included as part of patellofemoral pain syndromes. These include plica syndrome, chondromalacia patellae, extensor mechanism or tracking problems, and instability problems of subluxation and dislocations. Aspects of each of the above conditions will be discussed in the manner of definition, presentation, clinical signs and symptoms, and special tests specific to each syndrome along with a brief diagnosis and treatment for each condition. I will conclude my findings by comparing and contrasting each condition.