Musculoskeletal disorders are one of the largest global contributors to years lived with disability and very costly to society. Patellofemoral pain (PFP) is a common knee complaint in individuals aged 10-50 and can affect quality of life, impacting one’s ability to participate in activities of daily living, work and sport. It is diagnosed clinically: Patients present with pain behind or around the patella, which is aggravated by activities such as squatting, running or stair climbing and tends to be recurrent or persistent in nature. Patients often report frequent use of pain medications, decreased physical activity levels and lower quality of life.
 
Although there are several systematic reviews which aim to evaluate the treatment options for PFP, comparative effectiveness has not been examined, which makes it difficult for clinicians to determine the most appropriate treatment options for their patients. A living systematic review (LSR) is continuously updated as new evidence becomes available. In a network meta-analysis (NMA), researchers can incorporate data from studies that do not necessarily have the same comparator group in a network of studies, allowing the authors to include studies that tested two or more kinds of treatment, with or without a control. This allows for direct comparison of treatment and indirect comparisons with the network - pretty cool! Interestingly, this approach allows researchers to rank interventions as comparably more or less effective. Thus, the aim of this LSR with NMA is to provide a continuously updated resource that simultaneously compares multiple interventions on the comparative effectiveness of evidence-based treatments for PFP…this can be considered the working ‘state of the evidence’ for this condition at this point.

THIS WEEK'S RESEARCH REVIEW: “Comparative Effectiveness of Treatments for Patellofemoral Pain”
 
This paper was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (2021) and this Review is posted in Recent Reviews, Knee and the 2021 Archive.
 
 
Patellofemoral pain

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