Uncommon causes of anterior knee pain: A case report of infrapatellar contracture syndrome

Mark I. Ellen, Howard B. Jackson, Steven J. Dibiase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The uncommon causes of anterior knee pain should always be considered in the differential diagnosis of a painful knee when treatment of common origins become ineffective. A case is presented in which the revised diagnosis of infrapatellar contracture syndrome was made after noting delayed progress in the rehabilitation of an active female patient with a presumed anterior horn medial meniscus tear and a contracted patellar tendon. The patient improved after the treatment program was augmented with closed manipulation under arthroscopy and infrapatellar injection of both corticosteroids and a local anesthetic. Infrapatellar contraction syndrome and other uncommon sources of anterior knee pain, including arthrofibrosis, Hoffa's syndrome, tibial collateral ligament bursitis, saphenous nerve palsy, isolated ganglions of the anterior cruciate ligament, slipped capital femoral epiphysis, and knee tumors, are subsequently discussed. Delayed functional advancement in a rehabilitation program requires full reassessment of the patient's diagnosis and treatment plan. Alternative diagnoses of knee pain are not always of common origins. Ample knowledge of uncommon causes of anterior knee pain is necessary to form a full differential diagnosis in patients with challenging presentations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-380
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Anterior
  • Infrapatellar Contracture Syndrome
  • Knee
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Uncommon causes of anterior knee pain: A case report of infrapatellar contracture syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this