The purpose of this case study was to determine the effect of patellar taping, patellar bracing, and control condition on (a) patellofemoral congruence angle (PFC), (b) lateral patellar angle (LPA), (c) lateral patellar displacement (LPD), and (d) pain, as determined by the visual analog scale (VAS) during an 8-in. step-down. The subject was a 15-year-old female with a 3-year history of recurrent patellar subluxations and anterior knee pain syndrome. Results revealed the following: control condition—PFC 41.4-1.1°, LPA 19.9-6.9°, LPD 18.6-8.3 mm, VAS 8.8 cm; tape—PFC 46.2-2.3°, LPA 25.1-2.9°, LPD 24.2-7.5 mm, VAS 0.8 cm; brace—PFC 3.4-16.5°, LPA 7.9-0.8°, LPD 9.4-4.7 mm, VAS 0.3 cm. Patellar bracing was effective in centralizing the patella as revealed by the PFC, LPA, and LPD measures; however, patellar taping did not improve patellar position, and in some positions taping actually worsened patellar position. A large reduction in pain as measured by the VAS occurred during an 8-in. step-down for both taping and bracing. More research is necessary to explain the pain reduction without a change in patellar position using tape.
Teddy W. Worrell is with the University of Indianapolis Krannert School of Physical Therapy, 1400 E. Hanna Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46227. Christopher D. Ingersoll is with Indiana State University Department of Athletic Training, Terra Haute, IN 47809. Jack Farr is with Specialty Centers for Orthopaedic and Rehabilitative Excellence, Indianapolis, IN 46227.