Patellar Tracking Dysfunction
This is a condition in which the patella, or knee cap, tends to be pulled too far outwards each time the knee is straightened under load. This causes the patella to move abnormally within the patellar groove of the femur, or thigh bone. The result is a low grade, painful inflammatory response.
Typical complaints of a patient presenting with patellar tracking dysfunction are a gradual onset of pain, pain felt primarily over the inside aspect of the knee, and pain aggravated by activities involving increased patellofemoral compressive stresses, such as descending stairs and sitting with knees bent for long periods of time.
In treating this condition particular attention will be paid to strengthening the vastus medialis, the inner portion of the quadricep muscle. This will correct muscle insufficiency or attempt to compensate for structural causes of patellar maltracking. Tape may also be applied to ensure normal tracking; stretching and a weight bearing strengthening program may also be implemented to target any tight or weak muscles contributing to the dysfunction.