Striving to improve anterior knee pain treatment

elastic injury knee pain patella

One in three patients of sports medicine clinics seek treatment for anterior knee pain(1,2). The pain caused by this condition can prevent exercise or participation in sports, and can even lead to chronic disability and inability to work.

But a group of world experts is on a mission to improve the understanding and treatment of anterior knee pain. Along with knee brace manufacturers like DonJoy, their goal is to get people moving again.

What is anterior knee pain?
Anterior knee pain is another name for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), a term used to refer to pain originating from the patellofemoral joint or its surrounding soft tissues. Due to the pain being felt in all parts of the knee, anterior knee pain is actually a misleading name, though its use remains popular.

This chronic condition usually worsens with activities such as running, squatting, and climbing stairs, as well as sitting.

What is The Patellofemoral Foundation?
Founded in 2003 by Dr John Fulkerson, The Patellofemoral Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the care of individuals with anterior knee problems through targeted education and research.

The author of many articles and books on patellofemoral pain, Dr Fulkerson is Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Yale University. As well as sitting on the boards of a range of orthopedic associations, he has also been team doctor for the U.S. Olympic Ice Hockey team, the NHL Hartford Whalers, and the AHL Hartford Wolfpack.

Over the past two decades, The Patellofemoral Foundation has made progress in the understanding of anterior knee pain. Anatomic and clinical studies funded by it or carried out by its members have revealed previously unrecognized sources of pain leading to specific pain treatments around the front of the knee3.

During this time, technological advancements in radiology such as computerized tomography and MRI have also allowed greater understanding of the mechanical behavior of the patella.

The Patellofemoral Foundation

Yet despite this progress, much remains to be done to improve things for patients suffering from anterior knee pain. Among the objectives the foundation still seeks to achieve are to refine the indications for anterior knee pain management and surgery, improve bracing and non-operative measures, standardize operative approaches, and develop an educational network that reaches deep into the sports medicine and orthopaedic communities.

One of the companies supporting the foundation in its efforts is Enovis. With its DonJoy brand offering a full range of patellofemoral knee braces, the orthopedics manufacturer has an important role to play in the conservative management of patients with anterior knee pain.

Tru-Pull® and the role of bracing in anterior knee pain treatment
Donjoy Tru Pull Lite Patellofemoral Brace

A conservative aspect of anterior knee pain treatment is knee bracing. Wearing a patellofemoral knee brace can increase stability of the patella to reduce anterior knee pain(4).

Developed in partnership with Dr Fulkerson, DonJoy’s Tru-Pull Advanced® knee brace is designed to place a dynamic pull on the patella during knee extension to improve alignment and reduce anterior pain.

Available in sleeve or hinged versions, the Tru-Pull Advanced provides support for patients with patellofemoral malalignment, subluxation, and dislocations.

Also available is the Tru-Pull Lite™, a shorter, more slimline version for enhanced comfort and ease of use. It is recommended for acute mild to moderate anterior knee pain, support for patella instability, lateral subluxation, and maltracking.

DonJoy PateLax™ – flexible support for anterior knee pain
DonJoy Patelax worn going up stairs

DonJoy PateLax™ is a new knitted elastic support that protects and supports the patella and is used to address overuse injuries such as anterior knee pain.

The brace offers targeted compression and a comfortable fit with its soft, breathable, elastic materials in a 3D-knit design.

DonJoy PateLax offers the following features:
  • Its anatomically contoured knee pad provides a massaging effect and helps improve proprioception by aiding stability and guidance of the patella
  • The patellar tendon pad with strap helps relieve tension at the tip of the patella and the tibial tuberosity (the bump on the top of the tibia where the patellar tendon connects)
  • Medial and lateral support of the knee are provided by a pair of flexible bilateral stays
  • Compression-reduced edges help provide a comfortable fit by diverting pressure at the ends of the support
  • Breathability, comfort, and freedom of movement are aided by stretch zones over the patella and the back of the knee
  • Non-slip silicone-coated bands help keep the brace in place
  • Stylish, modern, and easy to wash, DonJoy PateLax is a comfortable and convenient way for people to address anterior knee pain.



  1. Chesworth, B. M., Culham, E., Tata, G. E., & Peat, M. (1989). Validation of outcome measures in patients with patellofemoral syndrome. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy, 10(8), 302–308.
  2. Boling, M., Padua, D., Marshall, S., Guskiewicz, K., Pyne, S., & Beutler, A. (2010). Gender differences in the incidence and prevalence of patellofemoral pain syndrome. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 20(5), 725–730.
  3. Fulkerson J. P. (2002). Diagnosis and treatment of patients with patellofemoral pain. The American journal of sports medicine, 30(3), 447–456.
  4. Selfe, J., Thewlis, D., Hill, S., Whitaker, J., Sutton, C., & Richards, J. (2011). A clinical study of the biomechanics of step descent using different treatment modalities for patellofemoral pain. Gait & posture, 34(1), 92–96.

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