This clinical investigation was undertaken to determine whether biomechanical foot orthoses (BFOs) can be used as first-line treatment of patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) within a family practice/sports medicine office setting. During a 36-month period from November 1995 through October 1998, those patients meeting the criteria for diagnosis and treatment of PFPS were prescribed BFOs as a first-line treatment if their knee pain occurred before, during, and after exercise (grade 3 pain) or if their knee pain prevented athletes/patients from participating in any form of exercise (grade 4 pain). Six months after the BFOs were properly fitted, each patient was sent a questionnaire to determine the outcome of treatment. On a scale from 1 (least painful) to 10 (most painful), the weighted average preBFO level of pain was 7.34 and 6 months later the weighted average pain level was 2.46. The overall weighted average knee-pain reduction was 4.9 (67% across the full range of patients). On the basis of this retrospective investigation, there are firm indications that high-quality, consistently fabricated BFOs offer athletes/patients a cost-effective first-line mode of treatment for PFPS of moderate to severe degree.
DOUG PITMAN, MD, is board-certified with the American Board of Family Practice and holds a Certificate of Added Qualification in Sports Medicine. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, Columbia Falls, MT.
DOUG JACK, CPO, is a certified prosthetist and orthotist with Northern Care Prosthetics and Orthotics, Kalispell, MT.
Doug Pitman, MD, c/o Columbia Falls Clinic, P.O. Box 100, Columbia Falls, MT 59912.
© 2001 American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists