Are Physical Function and Fear of Movement Risk Factors for Patellofemoral Pain? A 2-Year Prospective Study

Marcella F. Pazzinatto, Christian J. Barton, Richard W. Willy, Amanda S. Ferreira, Fábio M. Azevedo, Danilo De Oliveira Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

CONTEXT: To determine (1) whether physical function and fear of movement are prospectively associated with the risk of females developing patellofemoral pain (PFP) and (2) whether they change following development of PFP.

DESIGN: Prospective observational study.

METHODS: A total of 114 asymptomatic females (18-22 y old) completed assessment of physical function (forward step-down test and single-leg hop for distance) and fear of movement using the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia at baseline and 2-year follow-up. Presence of symptoms of PFP was monitored bimonthly.

RESULTS: Ninety participants (retention rate = 79%) completed the 2-year follow-up assessment, with 27 (24% of the cohort) developing PFP. Physical function, including forward step-down test (P = .659) and single-leg hop for distance (P = .825), and fear of movement (P = .479) were not associated with the risk of developing PFP. Females who developed PFP presented with reduced forward step-down repetitions (mean difference = 2.8; 95% confidence interval, 0.2 to 5.3) and single-leg hop for distance (10.2; 95% confidence interval, 2.7 to 17.7 cm) at 2-year follow-up. There was no statistically significant difference between those who did and did not develop PFP for fear of movement (-3.4; 95% confidence interval, -7.0 to 0.2).

CONCLUSIONS: Physical function and fear of movement were not associated with the risk of developing PFP in young females. However, the change over time in the step-down and single-leg hop for distance tests may suggest that, even in the early stages of PFP, young females present impaired physical function compared with females who did not develop symptoms. Fear of movement may develop due to persistent PFP, and does not appear to be a risk factor or key feature in females with PFP of short symptoms duration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sport Rehabilitation
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • anterior knee pain
  • avoidance behavior
  • kinesiophobia
  • musculoskeletal pain
  • patellofemoral pain syndrome
  • Kinesiophobia
  • Fear
  • Prospective Studies
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
  • Movement
  • Humans
  • Female

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