Patellofemoral pain (knee pain) is the medical term used to describe pain that occurs at the front of the knee, around the kneecap (patella), without signs of any damage or other problems in the knee joint. It is also called patellofemoral pain syndrome, patellofemoral syndrome, or anterior knee pain.
Knee pain can be caused by injuries, mechanical problems, forms of arthritis, tendonitis, torn ligaments or tendons, menisci or cartilage damage, bleeding in the joint, gout, bursitis, and other problems that occur while running, cycling, going up and down stairs, and squatting. Injury to the knee can increase pressure to the kneecap (patella) and the lower part of the thigh bone (femur). It often happens during adolescence and affects more young women than young men.
Swelling and stiffness, popping or crunching noises, redness and warmth to the touch, instability or weakness, limping due to discomfort, and inability to fully straighten the knee.
Treatment includes avoiding strenuous use of the knee until the pain lessens, painkillers such as paracetamol, anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen, physiotherapy which involves strengthening the muscles around the knee and hip in order to ease stress on the knee, and taping of the kneecap (patella) which involves applying adhesive tape over the patella to alter the way it moves. Injecting corticosteroids and lubricants directly into the knee might also help in certain instances.