Excessive lateral pressure syndrome

Excessive lateral pressure syndrome (ELPS) or patellar compression syndrome is the abnormal lateral tilt of the patella without lateral translation and considered one of the relatively common causes of anterior knee pain.

It can affect both adolescents and adults. 

Patients usually present with insidious onset anterior knee pain aggravated by physical activity.

ELPS is due to an imbalance between medial and lateral dynamic stabilisers, either secondary to more common abnormally tight lateral retinaculum/vastus lateralis or lax medial retinaculum/vastus medialis. This results in a lateral tilt of the patella without obvious subluxation or dislocation. In fact, in some cases, even slight medial translation can be present. Over time, chronic impaction of the lateral patellar facet to the lateral femoral trochlea ensues chondral damage and osteoarthritis.

Abnormal tilt can be measured by patellofemoral angle with a medial opening of the angle or an angle less than 8° is diagnostic of ELPS in an appropriate clinical setting. 

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Article information

rID: 38875
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Excessive lateral pressure syndrome (ELPS)
  • patellar compression syndrome

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