When will my pain stop?

Although knee cap pain has traditionally been viewed as self-limiting, it is common for pain to continue in the longer term, but research related to the number of people with ongoing pain is inconsistent.

Gold standard physiotherapy has been reported to significantly reduce pain in 80% of patients after 1-year. On the other hand, other research has reported up to 91% of patients continue to experience pain 18 years after diagnosis.

In a more recent study, 57% of the patients reported unfavourable recovery at 5 to 8 years after treatment.

Regardless of the inconsistent research findings on how long pain might last, knee cap pain treatments including exercise, foot orthotics and taping can be effective in short-term. Thus, key factors for having a better long-term outcome are likely to be using these effective treatments.

 

Supporting articles

Collins 2013. Prognostic factors for patellofemoral pain: a multicentre observational analysis.

Lankhorst 2016. Factors that predict a poor outcome 5–8 years after the diagnosis of patellofemoral pain: a multicentre observational analysis.

Nimon 1998. Natural history of anterior knee pain: a 14- to 20-year follow-up of nonoperative management.

Sandow 1985. The natural history of anterior knee pain in adolescents.