Long-term efficacy of a short period of taping followed by an exercise program in a cohort of patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome

Marco Paoloni, Giancarlo Fratocchi, Massimiliano Mangone, Massimiliano Murgia, Valter Santilli, Angelo Cacchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is a common source of anterior knee pain. While treatment for PFPS may be successful in the short term, long-term results are less promising. The purpose of this study was to record long-term pain and functionality outcomes following rehabilitation in patients affected by PFPS. A prospective cohort study of 44 patients with a diagnosis of PFPS and an activation imbalance between the vastus medialis obliquus (VMO) and vastus lateralis (VL) muscles were enrolled. Patients underwent patellar taping (2 weeks) followed by a rehabilitation program lasting until the end of the third month. Primary outcome measures were pain and the functional level of the patellofemoral joint. Secondary outcome measures were surface electromyographic (sEMG) onset timing of the VMO/VL during seated knee extension and squat and isometric knee extensor muscle strength. Significant differences in all the outcome measures were observed between the affected and unaffected sides before treatment. The pain score significantly decreased both posttreatment (Δ = -4.7; 95% CI = -5.4 to -3.9) and at the 12-month follow-up (Δ = -5.5; 95% CI = -6.1 to -4.8), while the functional level significantly increased both posttreatment (Δ = 24; 95% CI = 18.3 to 30.2) and at the 12-month follow-up (Δ = 26; 95% CI = 21.4 to 30.6). Posttreatment, 35/44 patients (79.5%) and 31/44 patients (70.5%) achieved normal sEMG onset timing of the VMO and VL in the seated knee extension exercise and in the squat exercise, respectively. A short period of patellar taping followed by an exercise program results in long-lasting pain control in PFPS associated with muscular dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-539
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Rheumatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Anterior knee pain
  • Patellar taping
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome
  • Rehabilitation
  • Surface electromyography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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