Chondromalacia Patella Signs Symptoms and Treatment
Chondromalacia patella is also called Patellofemoral syndrome
- Irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the Patella. This causes knee pain and is common in younger people and young athletes.
- Also known as runner’s knee
- Cartilage on the underside of the Patella deteriorates and softens.
- Common in athletic individuals and adults who have arthritis of the knee
- Most common cause of chronic knee pain
- Chondromalacia patella can be aggravated by activity or prolonged sitting with bent knees
Causes of Chondromalacia Patella
- The patella is normally pulled over the end of the femur in a straight line by the quadriceps. People who have chondromalacia patella have a patella that tracks toward the lateral side of the femur. This causes the under surface of the patella to grate along the femur which causes chronic knee pain.
- Overuse is also a common cause, running or jumping sports put repetitive stress on your knee. This can cause irritation under the kneecap.
- Injury or trauma to the knee such as dislocation or fracture.
- Knee surgery, in particular, the repair of the anterior cruciate ligament using your own patellar tendon as a graft, increases the risk of chondromalacia patella pain.
Symptoms of Chondromalacia Patella
- Front knee pain that tends to be an achy pain
- Pain when using stairs and the pain tends to be worse when going down stairs
- Pain after a prolonged rest
- Grating or grinding sensation when moving the leg
- Minor swelling around the patella
- Tenderness with any kind of pressure through the kneecap
Treatment for Chondromalacia Patella Pain
- Damage can often heal.
- The swelling must subside before the next step can be taken. This can be accomplished using a Super Cool Therapeutic Knee Wrap or Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
- Should take a break for several weeks doing activities that cause knee pain, then gradually get back to normal activities.
- Try to avoid high impact activities and participate in low impact activities.
- Once swelling decreases, physical therapy can begin
- Physical therapy should focus on strengthening and increasing flexibility
- Surgery may be necessary if recovery does not start after a few months
Diagnosing Chondromalacia Patella
- Patellar Grind Test (Clarke’s Sign)
- Extension Resistance Test
- The Critical Test