Effects of Patellofemoral Taping on Patellofemoral Joint Alignment and Contact Area During Weight Bearing

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Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy





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Study Design Controlled laboratory study. Background Although it has been theorized that patellofemoral joint (PFJ) taping can correct patellar malalignment, the effects of PFJ taping techniques on patellar alignment and contact area have not yet been studied during weight bearing. Objective To examine the effects of 2 taping approaches (Kinesio and McConnell) on PFJ alignment and contact area. Methods Fourteen female subjects with patellofemoral pain and PFJ malalignment participated. Each subject underwent a pretaping magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan session and 2 MRI scan sessions after the application of the 2 taping techniques, which aimed to correct lateral patellar displacement. Subjects were asked to report their pain level prior to each scan session. During MRI assessment, subjects were loaded with 25% of body weight on their involved/more symptomatic leg at 0°, 20°, and 40° of knee flexion. The outcome measures included patellar lateral displacement (bisect-offset [BSO] index), mediolateral patellar tilt angle, patellar height (Insall-Salvati ratio), contact area, and pain. Patellofemoral joint alignment and contact area were compared among the 3 conditions (no tape, Kinesio, and McConnell) at 3 knee angles using a 2-factor, repeated-measures analysis of variance. Pain was compared among the 3 conditions using the Friedman test and post hoc Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Results Our data did not reveal any significant effects of either McConnell or Kinesio taping on the BSO index, patellar tilt angle, Insall-Salvati ratio, or contact area across the 3 knee angles, whereas knee angle had a significant effect on the BSO index and contact area. A reduction in pain was observed after the application of the Kinesio taping technique. Conclusion In a weight-bearing condition, this preliminary study did not support the use of PFJ taping as a medial correction technique to alter the PFJ contact area or alignment of the patella. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2017;47(2):115–123. doi:10.2519/jospt.2017.6936


Kinesio taping; McConnell taping; patellar malalignment; patellofemoral pain


Physical Therapy



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