Patellofemoral joint diseases are commonly treated from physiotherapists. Patellar mobilisations can be performed manually, but automated, passive continuous mobilisation devices are popular and frequently used in the clinical practice. The Patello device is a new developed product, but its effectiveness has not been verified yet. The purpose of this pilot-study was to investigate the effects of this passive continuous motion device (CPMD) on patellar cranial-caudal translation.
Nine healthy participants (mean age: 36.0±10.74 yrs, mean height: 172.7±8.1 cm, mean mass: 72.4±8.6 kg) volunteered for this study. The participants’ right knee was investigated and placed at a flexion angle of 45° inside the device. The Patella bone was fixed to the device with two pincers to ensure full contact. A total of 50 repetitions, with a constant mobilisation speed, was conducted and the degree of translation was assessed after 1, 10, 20, 30 and 50 repetitions. The patellofemoral movement was measured B-Mode by ultrasound during the mobilisation of the patella.
The results of this pilot-study indicate, that the CPMD was effective to translate the patella within the trochlear groove after 1 (mean translation: 0.819cm, p<0.001), up to 50 repetitions (mean translation: 0.774 cm, p<0.001) compared to baseline. No significant differences (p>0.05) were observed between the repetitions.
In conclusion, the CPMD proved to be effective to mobilize the patellar bone in a healthy population. Further studies should investigate the possible effects of passive continuous mobilisations in a clinical setting.