Methods to assess patellofemoral joint stress: A systematic review Academic Article uri icon


  • Changes in patellofemoral joint (PFJ) stress are related to the development and course of PFJ dysfunctions. Different methods for PFJ stress calculation have been used, making the comparison of PFJ stress values across different studies difficult. The purpose of this study was to systematically review the methods for PFJ stress calculation and highlight the differences among the methods. A systematic literature search was conducted in Medline, Embase, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus and Web of Science databases. Included studies examined PFJ stress in subjects with or without musculoskeletal conditions. Of 12,670 identified studies, 53 were included, with a total of 1134 subjects evaluated. The main differences among the methods to calculate PFJ stress were: i) method to calculate PFJ contact area; ii) method to calculate a constant (coefficient k) that defines the relation between quadriceps force and PFJ reaction force; iii) the inclusion of adjustments for sagittal plane forces. Considerable variability in PFJ stress results was observed. The greatest PFJ stress value was 55.03 MPa during a dance jump and the lowest value was 1.9 MPa during walking at the speed of 1.4 m/s. Most studies applied methods which use data from previous studies. However, methods which use data from their own participants for most parts of the calculation might be preferred to minimize potential errors. When direct measures are not possible, a standard method could be applied to facilitate comparisons among studies.


  • Silva Nunes, Guilherme
  • Silva, Rodrigo Scattone
  • dos Santos, Ana Flavia
  • Fernandes, Ricardo AS
  • Serrao, Fabio Viadanna
  • De Noronha, Marcos

publication date

  • 2018