Download PDF       
Vol 53, No 4 (2019) Pages : 272- 277

Ultrasonographic assessment of quadriceps and patellar tendon thicknesses in patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome

Ahmet Özcan KIZILKAYA, Hilal ECESOY

Abstract
Objective
The aim of this study was to compare ultrasonographically measured quadriceps and patellar tendon thicknesses between Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) patients and age- and gender-matched healthy controls.
Methods
Among patients who presented to physical therapy and rehabilitation outpatient clinic in January–December 2016, 61 volunteers (28 men and 33 women; mean age: 30.79 ± 6.55 years) who were eligible considering the inclusion and exclusion criteria were enrolled. 30 were diagnosed with PFPS, and the remaining were age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers. Mean age was 30.03 ± 5.67 years in healthy subjects and 45.2% were of male gender. The patient group had mean age of 31.57 ± 7.37 years and 46.7% of the patients were male. Q angles were measured at standing, supine and sitting positions. Patellar and femoral tendon thicknesses and areas were measured ultrasonographically. Kujala questionnaire were used to evaluate the functional status of the participants.
Results
No significant difference was detected between groups regarding profession, educational background, and body mass indices (BMI) (p > 0.05). Q angle values were significantly higher in the patient group when compared to controls at standing (17.03 ± 3.84 vs. 13.87 ± 1.75°, p < 0.001), supine (16.20 ± 3.74 vs. 13.45 ± 1.79°, p = 0.001) and sitting (16.50 ± 3.28 vs. 13.71 ± 1.72°, p < 0.001) positions. Kujala score was significantly lower in the PFPS group when compared to controls (70.57 ± 8.37 vs. 98.58 ± 2.05, p < 0.001). Patellar (0.39 ± 0.08 vs. 0.32 ± 0.05 cm, p < 0.001) and quadriceps (0.64 ± 0.10 vs. 0.52 ± 0.09 cm, p < 0.001) tendon thicknesses were significantly higher in the PFPS group when compared to controls. There was no significant difference between groups regarding patellar tendon areas (p > 0.05). Patellar tendon thickness values of ?0.35 cm were found to have 66.7% sensitivity and 67.7% specificity for PFPS diagnosis in the ROC curve analysis (area under curve: 0.771, 95% confidence interval: 0.655–0.887, p < 0.001). Quadriceps tendon thickness values of ?0.54 cm were found to have 80% sensitivity and 71% specificity for PFPS diagnosis in the ROC curve analysis (area under curve: 0.824, 95% confidence interval: 0.710–0.939, p < 0.001). In PFPS patients, quadriceps tendon thickness had significant positive correlation with age (r = 0.405, p = 0.027) and BMI (r = 0.450, p = 0.013); and significant negative correlation with Kujala score (r = -0.441, p = 0.015). In the multivariate regression analysis, quadriceps tendon thickness was independently associated with the presence of PFPS (Exp (B): 3.089, 95% confidence interval: 1.344–7.100, p = 0.008).
Conclusion
Our study demonstrates that ultrasonographically measured patellar and quadriceps tendon thicknesses are significantly higher in subjects with PFPS and particularly, quadriceps tendon thickness may be used for the diagnosis.
Level of Evidence
Level III, Therapeutic Study.
ER -

Keywords
Patellofemoral pain syndrome Ultrasonography Quadriceps tendon thickness Patellar tendon thickness Patellar tendon area