Patellofemoral disorders: A classification system and clinical guidelines for nonoperative rehabilitation

Kevin E. Wilk, George J. Davies, Robert E. Mangine, Terry R. Malone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Patellofemoral disorders are among the most common clinical conditions managed in the orthopaedic and sports medicine setting. Nonoperative intervention is typically the initial form of treatment for patellofemoral disorders; however, there is no consensus on the most effective method of treatment. Although numerous treatment options exist for patellofemoral patients, the indications and contraindications of each approach have not been well established. Additionally, there is no generally accepted classification scheme for patellofemoral disorders. In this paper, we will discuss a classification system to be used as the foundation for developing treatment strategies and interventions in the nonsurgical management of patients with patellofemoral pain and/or dysfunction. The classification system divides the patellofemoral disorders into eight groups, including: 1) patellar compression syndromes, 2) patellar instability, 3) biomechanical dysfunction, 4) direct patellar trauma, 5) soft tissue lesions, 6) overuse syndromes, 7) osteochondritis diseases, and 8) neurologic disorders. Treatment suggestions for each of the eight patellofemoral dysfunction categories will be briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-322
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1998


  • Classification
  • Patellofemoral dysfunction
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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