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Primary cartilage lesions and outcome among subjects with patellofemoral pain syndrome.

We investigated the association between cartilage lesion and future symptoms in two groups of subjects with patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). Group A consisted of 31 men (mean age 20.9 years, range 19-32) and group B of 28 consecutive patients (12 men and 16 women; mean age 27.8 years, range 15-50) operated on for PFPS. The mean follow-up time was 3.4 (range 1-7) years in group A and 4.9 (range 1-6) years in group B. At follow-up the subjects in group A with severe cartilage lesion (n = 10) reported more knee symptoms as measured by their Kujala score (mean 75.1, SE 3.6 vs. 88.5, SE 2.4) than those with minor cartilage lesion (n = 21) (age and follow-up time-adjusted P < 0.01). In group B the subjects with severe cartilage lesion tended to report more knee symptoms according to their Kujala score (mean 71.0, SE 7.0 vs. 86.1, SE 5.9; age, sex and follow-up time-adjusted P = 0.15) and VAS score (mean 51.8, SE 11.8 vs. 12.7, SE 10.4; adjusted P = 0.04) than the subjects without cartilage lesion. Our study shows that among the patients with PFPS, the subjects with severe cartilage lesion of the patella or femoral trochlea reported more subjective symptoms and functional limitations at follow-up than those without or with small cartilage lesion of the patella or femoral trochlea.

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