Chondromalacia patella is a condition in which the cartilage on the undersurface of the patella (kneecap) becomes softened or damaged. It is a pathological finding at the time of surgery.
It is also referred to as “runner’s knee” or “patellofemoral pain syndrome.” It is an overuse injury found in athletes with extrinsic anatomical abnormalities of the lower extremity.
It is also caused by acute injury to the knee from a direct blow or patellar dislocation. It is common among young and athletics and older adults.
Symptoms of chondromalacia patella
- Knee pain and inflammation
- Grinding sensation with movements such as bending or stretching
- Pain worsens with an extended period of sitting or standing
The treatment of chondromalacia patella depends on the severity of the condition. The primary measures include on-surgical treatments such as:
- Ice compress
- Restriction of movements
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin
- Orthopedic knee braces to fix the knee position
- Physiotherapy to strengthen surrounding muscles and quadriceps
- Low-impact exercises such as stationary bicycle, swimming or isometric exercises
If the above measures do not help, arthroscopic surgical intervention is required.