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Targeted interventions for patellofemoral pain syndrome (TIPPS) classification of clinical subgroups

Selfe, J and Callaghan, M and Witvrouw, E and Richards, J and Dey, MP and Sutton, C and Dixon, J and Martin, D and Stokes, M and Janssen, J and Ritchie, E and Turner, D (2013) Targeted interventions for patellofemoral pain syndrome (TIPPS) classification of clinical subgroups. BMJ Open, 3. ISSN 2044-6055

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Abstract

Introduction Patellofemoral pain (PFP) can cause significant pain leading to limitations in societal participation and physical activity. An international expert group has highlighted the need for a classification system to allow targeted intervention for patients with PFP; we have developed a work programme systematically investigating this. We have proposed six potential subgroups: hip abductor weakness, quadriceps weakness, patellar hypermobility, patellar hypomobility, pronated foot posture and lower limb biarticular muscle tightness. We could not uncover any evidence of the relative frequency with which patients with PFP fell into these subgroups or whether these subgroups were mutually exclusive. The aim of this study is to provide information on the clinical utility of our classification system. Methods and analysis 150 participants will be recruited over 18 months in four National Health Services (NHS) physiotherapy departments in England. Inclusion criteria: adults 18–40 years with PFP for longer than 3 months, PFP in at least two predesignated functional activities and PFP elicited by clinical examination. Exclusion criteria: prior or forthcoming lower limb surgery; comorbid illness or health condition; and lower limb training or pregnancy. We will record medical history, demographic details, pain, quality of life, psychomotor movement awareness and knee temperature. We will assess hip abductor and quadriceps weakness, patellar hypermobility and hypomobility, foot posture and lower limb biarticular muscle tightness. The primary analytic approach will be descriptive. We shall present numbers and percentages of participants who meet the criteria for membership of (1) each of the subgroups, (2) none of the subgroups and (3) multiple subgroups. Exact (binomial) 95% CIs for these percentages will also be presented.

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