We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
For more information, go to

Did patellofemoral pain syndrome in my youth lead to my current knee osteoarthritis?

Q) Patellofemoral pain syndrome of the knee was first diagnosed when I was in my early 20s. I'm now in my early 50s and have been diagnosed with arthritis in my knees. How can there be no connection, as the information suggest, as I used to run 100 metres representing my school? 
Patricia Smith, Birmingham (Autumn 2011) 

A) Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as anterior knee pain and chondromalacia patellae, is a common symptom in teenagers, and in particular girls. Statistically and epidemiologically there's no connection between this condition (however named) and osteoarthritis developing later in life. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to everyone, as your case suggests, but we have to advise people using the facts for the population as a whole. Everyone is different, of course, and there may be special features that make arthritis more likely, but this is really an individual matter.

For more information, go to or call 0300 790 0400 to order the complete printed booklet.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.