About Us

The International Patellofemoral Research Network (iPFRN) is a group of researchers and clinicians with a specific interest in patellofemoral pain across the lifespan.

The iPFRN was established by five global leaders in patellofemoral pain research.

  • Professor Irene Davis

  • Professor Chris Powers

  • Professor Kay Crossley

  • Ms Jenny McConnell

  • Professor Erik Witvrouw

The 1st International Research Retreat was held in April 2009 in Baltimore, USA.  The mission of this innovative meeting was to bring together scientists from around the world whose research aimed at understanding proximal, distal and local factors related to the development and treatment of patellofemoral pain.  The program consisted of keynote presentations from Prof Erik Witvrouw (risk factors for patellofemoral pain) and Prof Kay Crossley (conservative treatment of patellofemoral pain), as well as 32 podium presentations and 11 poster presentations.  55 participants from 10 countries attended the two-day Retreat, and contributed to the development of the first Consensus Statement on patellofemoral pain, published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy.

Following the success of the first meeting, the 2nd International Research Retreat was held in August 2011 in the beautiful city of Ghent, Belgium.  The extended program of 2.5 days facilitated more consensus discussions, with the updated Consensus Statement published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy in June 2012.  Prof Chris Powers (mechanisms underlying patellofemoral pain) and Ms Jenny McConnell (sources of knee pain) presented keynote addresses, alongside 30 podium presentations and 19 posters.  In keeping with the Retreat atmosphere, 50 participants from 9 countries attended.

Vancouver, Canada was the location of the 3rd International Research Retreat in September 2013.  Two keynote speakers were invited for their scientific contribution to physiotherapy:  Prof Irene Davis (alignment and loading) and Prof Paul Hodges (pain and motor control).  The scientific program consisted of 58 abstracts (39 podium presentations, 19 posters).  Discussions resulted in further updates to the Consensus Statement, which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.  In 2013, we introduced a Clinical Symposium day, held after the Retreat.  Using the unique opportunity of a gathering of international patellofemoral experts, the Symposium aimed to disseminate knowledge from the Retreat to clinicians and researchers who have an interest in patellofemoral pain.  The collective expertise and engaged audience ensured the overwhelming success of this event, and its inclusion in future Retreat programs.

In September 2015, the 4th International Research Retreat headed to Manchester in the United Kingdom.  Despite typical gloomy UK weather, the atmosphere at The University of Manchester was vibrant, dynamic and interactive.  Interesting keynote presentations were given by Prof Andrew Amis (biomechanics of the patellofemoral joint), Prof David Felson (patellofemoral arthritis) and Dr Michael Rathleff (adolescents with patellofemoral pain).  67 abstracts were accepted for a podium or short presentation.  An important part of the 2017 program was a revised format of the consensus process, including expansion of the consensus topics within patellofemoral pain.  For exercise and physical interventions, consensus was based on evidence from published systematic reviews.  The three Consensus Statements were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).

The beautiful Gold Coast of Australia was the site for the 5th International Research Retreat in 2017 with the Clinical Symposium being held at The University of Queensland in Brisbane. Though the sunny beach was distracting, the meeting was productive and engaging. Keynote presentations by Prof Thor Besier (modeling and patellofemoral joint stress) and Prof Richard Souza (imaging for patellofemoral joint). Short (5-min) or podium presentations (55) were peer-reviewed and selected. The consensus was based on updating the previous consensus on exercise and physical interventions.  The Consensus Statement was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

In fall of 2019, the 6th International Research Retreat & Clinical Symposium will head to ‘America’s Heartland’ in Milwaukee, WI, USA. Building on traditions established with the first five Retreats, the aims of iPFRR19 will be to share the latest patellofemoral pain research developments, discuss the literature to formulate consensus statements to disseminate knowledge, and develop a future research agenda for patellofemoral pain.  Please click on the following links for more information on iPFRR19 and the Clinical Symposium.

Over nine years and five international meetings, the iPFRN has established a cohesive, collaborative network of patellofemoral pain researchers from around the world.  Our biennial meetings not only facilitate sharing and generation of knowledge, but have seen the emergence of strong and successful international collaborations, and new friendships.  This has contributed to the past successes of the iPFRN, and ensures a strong position of patellofemoral pain research, education and patient management into the future.