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Patello-Femoral Rehabilitation

Welcome to our Patello-Femoral Rehab video. The goal of this video is to minimize pain around the kneecap and maximize recovery. This video should not be used as a substitute for regular physical therapy visits and guidance from your physician.

Click here to download a pdf version of the Patello-Femoral Rehabilitation Guide

Patella Femoral Brief Overview / Runner’s Knee

Patello-Femoral Rehabilitation / Runners knee exercises


GOALS:  Relieve excessive tension and pressure in the patello-femoral joint; allow for normal joint mechanics


  • Allow pain to guide intensity of exercises; reduce intensity of exercises if they are too painful
  • Conduct stretching exercises 3 times daily; hold the stretch for 30 seconds then relax for 15 seconds and repeat; do 5 repetitions of each exercise
  • Keep hips and thighs flat on floor during prone quad stretch; keep knees together during standing quad stretch


GOALS:  Improve stability and function of the patello-femoral joint; decrease irritation and pain


  • Do not progress to strengthening exercises until knee is pain-free during stretching and most daily activities
  • Conduct strengthening exercises once daily: 1-2 sets of 12-15 repetitions each exercise
  • Ankle weights can be added to increase resistance
  • Hold isometrics [wall squat] for 5 seconds
  • Begin gentle cycling or exercise bike in this phase (if knee is pain-free)
  • Continue twice daily STRETCHING
  • Perform exercises on both sides


GOALS:  Improve strength, muscle coordination, balance and stability


  • Plyometric exercises are done in later stages of rehab to help improve muscle coordination; avoid these exercises if they are too intense or if they cause pain
  • Proper landing technique is important – land with knees over feet and knees flexed to cushion landing
  • Land and hold single leg jumps for 2-3 seconds to improve balance


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