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Diagnostic Differences for Anterior Knee Pain between Sexes in Adolescent Basketball Players.

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a sex difference in the prevalence of specific patellofemoral disorders that cause anterior knee pain in adolescent basketball players undergoing pre-participation screening.

METHODS: SETTING: Biomechanical Laboratory.

METHODS: PARTICIPANTS: A total of 810 (688 female and 122 male) basketball players from a single county public school district.

METHODS: MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prior to the start of three consecutive basketball seasons, participants were evaluated for anterior knee pain. Testing consisted of completion of the Anterior Knee Pain Scale. Those with positive findings completed an IKDC form, a standardized history and a physician-administered physical examination.

RESULTS: Anterior knee pain was noted in 410 of 1620 knees (25.3%). 26.6% of female knees and 18.0% of male knees were affected (p<0.05). Patellofemoral dysfunction (PFD) was the most common diagnosis with an overall prevalence of 6.4% (7.3% females; 1.2% males). Less common were Sinding-Larsen-Johanssen disease (SLJ), 4.8% (5.0% females; 3.7% males), Osgood-Schlatter Disease (OSD) 2.5% (2.3% females; 4.1% males); and plica syndrome 2.3% (2.1% females; 3.3% males). The remaining diagnoses (trauma, fat pad syndrome, IT band and pes anserine bursitis) had a combined prevalence of 1.7% (1.9% females; 1.6% males).

CONCLUSIONS: PFD was significantly more common in females (p<0.05). Anterior knee pain was more common in adolescent female basketball players than in adolescent male basketball players.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Descriptive Laboratory Study. Level 1.

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