Usual Medical Care for Patellofemoral Pain Does Not Usually Involve Much Care: 2-Year Follow-up in the Military Health System.
OBJECTIVES: To identify the most common type and timing of interventions used to initially manage patellofemoral pain (PFP), and whether exercise therapy as an initial treatment was associated with a decreased likelihood of recurrence of PFP. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort. METHODS: Active-duty military service members (n = 74 408) aged 18 to 50 years and diagnosed with PFP between 2010 and 2011 were included. We identified the type and timing of interventions from electronic medical records and insurance payer claims, and studied the influence of early exercise therapy use on injury recurrence rates. RESULTS: In this cohort of patients with PFP, 62.3% (n = 46 338) sought no additional care after the initial visit. The most common initial pharmacological interventions were nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (4.1%), corticosteroid injections (0.4%), and muscle relaxers (0.3%). The most common initial nonpharmacological treatments were exercise therapy (7.6%), passive modalities (eg, hot packs, electrical stimulation, ultrasound; 0.6%), and manual therapy (joint manipulation and mobilization; 0.5%). Common specialty referrals were to physical therapy (3.3%) and orthopaedic providers (0.8%). If patients received at least 6 exercise therapy visits during the initial episode of care, they were less likely to have a recurrence of knee pain (odds ratio = 0.46; 95% confidence interval: 0.42, 0.49). CONCLUSION: Two in every 3 patients did not seek additional care after PFP diagnosis. For those who sought additional care, exercise therapy was the most common intervention, and higher doses of exercise therapy were associated with a reduced likelihood of having a recurrent episode of knee pain. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2021;51(6):305-313. Epub 10 May 2021. doi:10.2519/jospt.2021.10076.
Young, JL; Snodgrass, SJ; Cleland, JA; Rhon, DI
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