Contact Information

Department of Family Medicine

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Department of Family Medicine
4301 Jones Bridge Road, A1038
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799

Injury Prevention Research Lab: Completed Protocols

Oral Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate for Treatment of Patellofemoral Pain: A Pilot Study

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is one of the most common overuse injuries seen in active populations. PFPS accounts for a significant number of physician visits in both military and civilian populations and can lead to considerable disability. Current therapies for PFPS include physical therapy, activity modification, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, all of which have variable degrees of success. Glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate are supplements often sold in combination and used in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee.

The goal of this study was to examine the effects of oral glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate (G/CS) in conjunction with standardized home physical therapy (PT) to reduce symptoms from PFPS. This feasibility pilot study assessed whether PT plus G/CS is more effective than PT plus placebo in reducing PFPS symptoms.

The specific aims of the study were to:

  • Collect data on pain outcomes, functional knee status, overall functional health status, exercise level and time missed or time restricted from duty/work on active duty military personnel or their dependents with PFPS.
  • Gather preliminary data on the effective size and feasibility of conducting a larger randomized trial of PT plus G/CS for PFPS in active duty military personnel and their dependents.
  • Determine whether the follow-up schedule proposed in this study was feasible.

Enrollment for this study has closed. Analysis and publication are pending.


  • Dr. Anthony Beutler, Major, USAF, MC
  • Dr. Allyson Howe, Major, USAF, MC