Saikat Pal1, Thor Besier2, Michael Fredericson1, Gary Beaupre3, Scott Delp1, Garry Gold1
1Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States; 2University of Auckland, New Zealand; 3VA Palo Alto, Palo Alto, CA, United States
Patellofemoral (PFP) pain is common. Although there are several potential causes, patella alta (greater than normal patella height relative to the tibia or femur) is considered a pre-disposing factor in patellar maltracking and pain. However, evidence supporting a relationship between patella alta and maltracking is limited. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between patella height and patellar tracking in pain-free control and PFP subjects using novel upright, weightbearing MRI. We observed significantly greater patella height in maltracking PFP subjects. This study overcomes a critical barrier in understanding the mechanisms for PFP by providing new evidence relating patellar maltracking to patella height.