The knee: Patellofemoral disorders

Marco Giordano, Angelo Gabriele Aulisa, Vincenzo Guzzanti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Disorders involving the extensor mechanism of the knee are common in children and adolescents. Its proper functioning is closely related to the stability of the patellofemoral relationship during the full range of motion. This delicate balance is also developing during skeletal growth because of the modifications of the joint flexibility, the height of the patella and the axis of the lower limbs. Clinical examination is critical in the diagnosis. The characteristics of the anatomy and development of the knee, the normal relationships between the femur and the patella and their physiological tracking should be known in order to recognize the pathologic and its different modes of manifesting. In case of problems, the patellofemoral joint clinical evaluation first requires a careful evaluation of the overall skeleton and then specific examination of the knee. The presence of an abnormal patellofemoral relationship associated with malalignment constitutes a diagnostic and therefore therapeutic problem. The identification and classification of disorders of patellofemoral alignment requires visualization of the patellofemoral joint in early flexion. Routine anteroposterior, lateral, and axial views are not specifically useful. If patellofemoral maltracking is clinically suspected, the adolescent knee should be submitted to static and the dynamic computed tomography (CT). Among the various problems that may involve the pediatric knee patellofemoral disorders are very common and among them acute dislocation of the patella, patellar syndrome excessive pressure, and varying degrees of instability are the most frequent forms.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPediatric and Adolescent Sports Traumatology
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Milan
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9788847054127, 9788847054110
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Acute dislocation
  • Medial patellofemoral ligament
  • Patellar instability
  • Patellofemoral disorders
  • Skeletally immature patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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