Lasting Improvement of Patient-Reported Outcomes 6 Months After Patellofemoral Pain Rehabilitation

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Background/Objective:

Hip- and knee-muscle-strengthening programs are effective in improving short-term patient-reported and disease-oriented outcomes in individuals with patellofemoral pain (PFP), but few to no data exist on moderate- to long-term postrehabilitative outcomes. The first purpose of the study was to assess differences in pain, function, strength, and core endurance in individuals with PFP before, after, and 6 mo after successful hip- or knee-muscle-strengthening rehabilitation. The second purpose was to prospectively follow these subjects for PFP recurrence at 6, 12, and 24 mo postrehabilitation.

Methods:

For 24 mo postrehabilitation, 157 physically active subjects with PFP who reported treatment success were followed. At 6 mo postrehabilitation, pain, function, hip and knee strength, and core endurance were measured. At 6, 12, 18, and 24 mo, PFP recurrence was measured via electronic surveys.

Results:

Sixty-eight subjects (43%) returned to the laboratory at 6 mo. Regardless of rehabilitation program, subjects experienced significant improvements in pain and function, strength, and core endurance pre- to postrehabilitation and maintained improvements in pain and function 6 mo postrehabilitation (Visual Analog Scale/Pain—pre 5.12 ± 1.33, post 1.28 ± 1.14, 6 mo 1.68 ± 2.16 cm, P < .05; Anterior Knee Pain Scale/Function—pre 76.38 ± 8.42, post 92.77 ± 7.36, 6 mo 90.27 ± 9.46 points, P < .05). Over the 24 mo postrehabilitation, 5.10% of subjects who responded to the surveys reported PFP recurrence.

Conclusions:

The findings support implementing a hip-or knee-muscle-strengthening program for the treatment of PFP. Both programs improve pain, function, strength, and core endurance in the short term with moderate- and long-term benefits of improved pain and function and low PFP recurrence.

Hamstra-Wright and Aydemir are with the Dept of Kinesiology & Nutrition, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL. Earl-Boehm is with the Dept of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI. Bolgla is with the Dept of Physical Therapy, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, GA. Emery and Ferber are with the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

Hamstra-Wright (karrie.hamstrawright@my.wheaton.edu) is corresponding author.