Stemcelldoc's Weblog

January 23, 2009

Patellofemoral Dysfunction

The patellofemoral compartment is commonly known as the knee cap joint.  The knee cap (patella)  sits on tops of the thigh bone (femur). 

patellofemoral-joint

With activity there is movement or tracking of the knee cap along the femoral groove.  If there is misalignment of the knee cap within the femoral groove, the patient experiences pain.

Lateral release is a common surgical treatment for patellofemoral dysfunction  which involves cutting the lateral retinaculum,  the fibrous tissue that supports the kneecap.  

lateral-retinaculum

The goal is to release abnormal lateral tension on the knee cap thereby allowing  normal tracking to occur.  Rehabilitation following surgery is extensive  usually requiring 3-5 months of physical therapy.  Unfortunately the body only requires  adjustments in very small increments such as millimeters.  Regrettably surgeons typically make adjustments in centimeters.  The difference is a 10 fold and the result can be an over adjustment with resultant  pain and deterioration of the cartilage.

Once there is loss of cartilage in the patellofemoral joint another surgery is recommended aimed at repairing the cartilage. 

Fortunately regeneration of cartilage in the knee is now available without surgery.  Regenexx enables patients the opportunity to regenerate cartilage by using their own stem cells.  Centeno et. al., have demonstrated cartilage regeneration using stem cell therapy.  Regenexx is a simple needle-in, needle out procedure that avoids surgery and anesthesia.

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