Expected prevalence from the differential diagnosis of anterior knee pain in adolescent female athletes during preparticipation screening

Kim D. Barber Foss, Gregory D. Myer, Stephen S. Chen, Timothy E. Hewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Context: Anterior knee pain is a common disorder in female athletes with an undefined cause. The relative prevalence of specific patellofemoral disorders associated with anterior knee pain in adolescent females remains undetermined. Objective: To determine the prevalence of specific patellofemoral disorders obtained using the differential diagnosis of anterior knee pain in adolescent female athletes during preparticipation screening. Design: Descriptive epidemiology study. Setting: Preparticipation screening evaluations at a county public school district in Kentucky. Patients or Other Participants: A total of 419 unique middle and high school-aged female athletes. Main Outcome Measure(s): Participants were evaluated by physicians for anterior knee pain over 3 consecutive basketball seasons. Given the longitudinal nature of this study, some participants were tested longitudinally over multiple years. Results: Over the course of 3 basketball seasons, 688 patient evaluations were performed. Of these, 183 (26.6%) were positive for anterior knee pain. A statistically significant difference was noted in the prevalence of anterior knee pain by school level, with 34.4% (n = 67) in high school-aged athletes versus 23.5% (n=116) in middle school-aged athletes (P < .05). In the 1376 knees evaluated, patellofemoral dysfunction was the most common diagnosis, with an overall prevalence of 7.3% (n = 100). The only diagnosis shown to be statistically different between age levels was Sinding-Larsen-Johansson disease or patellar tendinopathy, with 38 cases (9.7%) in high school-aged and 31 (3.1%) in middle school-aged athletes (P < .05). Conclusions: Anterior knee pain was present in 26.6% of the adolescent female athletes screened over 3 years. Symptoms of anterior knee pain likely persist after middle school-aged onset and reach peak prevalence during the high school years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-524
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of athletic training
Volume47
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012

Keywords

  • Biomechanics
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease
  • Patellar tendinopathy
  • Patellofemoral disorders
  • Plica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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