n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - A conservative programme for treatment of anterior knee pain in adolescents : original research article

Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1015-5163
  • E-ISSN: 2078-516X



The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a 2½-week conservative rehabilitation programme in addressing anterior knee pain in adolescents.

Subjects were randomly allocated to a control group (=12) and an experimental group (=18). The experimental group was subjected to a 2½-week strength, flexibility and neuromuscular rehabilitation programme. Both groups were tested before and after the 2½ weeks and the experimental group also 1 month after the post-test.
The experimental group reported significant ( < 0.01) improvement in pain (Visual Analogue Scale), disability (Patient-Specific Functional Scale) and condition (Scale for Change in Condition). The experimental group tested significantly ( < 0.01) better for strength (quadriceps and hamstrings), flexibility (quadriceps, hamstrings and gastrocnemius) and neuromuscular control (Willknox wobble board and Bass test of dynamic balance). The control group experienced no improvement in any of the tests.
The 2½-week rehabilitation programme for addressing anterior knee pain in adolescents proved to be effective. The study demonstrated good retention of improvements and even further improvement after cessation of the programme. Advantages are the short duration and the fact that patients are familiarised with a home programme which they are likely to continue with. Although not addressed in this study, literature indicates that restoration of neuromuscular control might be the main contributing factor for the success of the programme.

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