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Patello-Femoral Syndrome


I've been having some pain in my left knee now for a few weeks (about 3-4) and decided that it's time to see the doctor. I brought in my training log so I could refer to my workouts, weights, etc. for the past few weeks as well.

He's a sports doctor (which is good as it's not just your average Joe) and it looks like I've got Patello-Femoral Syndrome and need to lay off squats (sorta), leg presses, and lunges are a complete no-no.

It was interesting to go through my log with him, for it appears the real damage occurred when I started doing lunges, as I haven't done them in about 20 years. Granted my form was probably off, but my notes in my training log kinda confirm it.

What's interesting is he's got me on a physio plan that DOES do squats, but it's a certain variation of them and I can't use heavy heavy weights (obviously).

These squats you start off normal, then quickly drop like your legs have been cut out from under you. You drop to a 45 degree angle and hold for 1-2 seconds, go up normally (slowly) and repeat.

My deadlifts are still good, as are extensions and curls and calves.

Cardio is just brisk walking on the treadmill on an incline and the exercise bike (no stair climbers, etc.)

Takes about 6 weeks to get better, but man I was so worried he was going to say that I'd have to take a break from the gym for a while.


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I had this once, it takes a long time to recover from and seems to recur from time to time.


That's what's really odd about this. In the past I've injuried myself getting tackled, so that makes sense. Or in karate, I got thrown and landed on my knee and there was a "crunch" sound. With this - no sounds, aside from my normal "click" in the knees when I squat way down.

But make no mistake about it, the pain in the lower knee cap area in one spot just below the knee cap was so acute it was brutal.

Another thing that was odd with this, is that when I woke up in the morning, or in the middle of the night, it was "gimped", yet I was sleeping, so it should have been rested. With this, it was horrible in the morning and at times, couldn't hold my weight. But as the day progressed, it was fine.

At least I was able to do deadlifts tonight with a brace on and no pain.



I have Patellofemoral syndrome from shearing off part of my kneecap a few years ago. I rehabbed it with bands to strengthen the muscles surrounding my knee to keep it tracking properly. It still sticks, but not as often and when that happens I know I need to do more band work.

I do have frequent swelling but ibuprofen works and just paying attention to my knee


LOL Damn straight, generic diagnosis for just about anything that could be up at the knee.

I am curious about the timing of symptom onset with recommencing lunges. In my experience, changing of modality coinciding with symptoms like you're reporting tend to be issues around the patella tendon.

If anything, I'd suggest you get hold of someone who can evaluate some of your movement mechanics to see if you've got some interesting hip movements that are changing the directing of the tension transmitted through the quads to the patella tendon.

If you're interested in trying something else, get a can of coke or something like that (or just use your knuckes, fingers), and apply pressure down the outside of your leg (IT band). Try different points up towards the hip, and even apply some pressure just above and behind your hip joint (glut med). If you get 'exquisite" localized pain anywhere along there, get back to us.