Comparing the Outcome of Electrical Stimulation and Physical Therapy in Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

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Primary Outcome Measures:
Secondary Outcome Measures:

  • Secondary outcome measure would be how many return to sports activity. [ Time Frame: 2 years ]

    Secondary outcome assessment will be to see how many in EMS+PT group and how many in PT group returned to their previous activity level of sports without any pain after completion of treatment.

  • At what point of time they returned to their sports activity [ Time Frame: 2 years ]

    It will be also noted and compared between the groups at what time period after the start of treatment they returned to their regular sports activities. We hypothesize that EMS group might return early.

The patellofemoral pain syndrome also known as anterior knee pain is a common entity in young athletic population. In patellofemoral knee syndrome, one of the theory is that the vastus medialis obliquus muscle is weak. To strengthen the muscle, physical therapy exercises are commonly used. This study evaluates addition of the electrical muscle stimulation device.The electrical muscle stimulation device “Flex MT Plus” (Electrostim Medical Services Inc. Tampa, FL) is a FDA approved device and has been used in knee for other conditions like treating for weakness associated with knee injuries or after knee surgeries. It has shown to improve the outcomes in above mentioned conditions. Its efficacy has been tested in patellofemoral pain syndrome but in smaller sample size. We intend to test it in larger sample size patient population.

Bily et al (2008) (reference #1) published their results on patellofemoral pain syndrome comparing EMS +PT to PT only and found that overall significant improvement in outcome score in all patients but when compared between the groups there was no difference. But there sample size was 19 patients in each group. Small sample size was one of the limitation of their study. We intend to collect 46 patients in each group to find significant difference based on power analysis.