Patellofemoral pain is considered one of the most common forms of knee pain, affecting adults, adolescents, and physically active populations, with women often presented higher incidence and prevalence.1,2 High incidence and prevalence levels for patellofemoral pain indicates that it should be an urgent healthcare priority.
In this section, you will find information about the epidemiology of patellofemoral pain (“how common it is”). What populations are most affected by patellofemoral pain? What is the incidence and prevalence of patellofemoral pain?
Populations most affected
Patellofemoral pain is considered one of the most common forms of knee pain. Patellofemoral pain frequently affects physically active populations, such as the military and elite athletes, who usually perform activities that overload the knee joint, such as squatting, running, climbing and descending stairs.1
A recent systematic review1 reported that the point prevalence of patellofemoral pain in mixed-gender military populations is 13.5%, whereas for military women the prevalence is 15.3% and military men is 12.3%. In women who practice elite sports (including soccer, volleyball, ballet, among others) the point prevalence ranges from 16.7% to 29.3%. Furthermore, in amateur cyclists a point prevalence of 35% was reported. While in elite cyclists, the annual prevalence is 35.7%.
The general population is also quite affected by the condition. The annual prevalence in a mixed-gender general population is 22.7%, while for women only this value reaches 29.2% and for men only, 15.5%.
Finally, patellofemoral pain does not only affect young adults, but also adolescents. The incidence of patellofemoral pain in adolescent athletes varies from 5.1% to 14.9%, while the point prevalence in female adolescent athletes is 22.7%. In the general population, the point prevalence of patellofemoral pain in mixed-gender adolescents’ population is 7.2%, and the annual prevalence is 28.9%.
See the infographic below to get more information about the incidence and prevalence of patellofemoral pain in different populations.
Watch the video below with Dr. Michelle Boling, answering the most common questions about this topic:
Now that you have reviewed everything about patellofemoral pain epidemiology, test your knowledge by taking the quiz below.