Chondromalacia patella causes knee pain and tenderness, usually in the front or side area along with a grinding sensation in the joint. The condition is prevalent among teenagers and young adults, women and athletes who engage in sports that places excessive strain on the knee joint.
The condition is generally due to overuse or from abnormal force on the joint, usually from injuries or trauma. In some cases, it can develop if the patella is in the incorrect alignment.
What are the indications?
The main characteristic of chondromalacia patella is knee pain that becomes worsens by:
- Being seated for extended periods
- Moving out of a chair
- Going up and down the stairs
- Kneeling or squatting
When diagnosing the condition, the doctor will perform a physical exam and discuss the health history and accompanying symptoms.
Management of chondromalacia patella
It is vital to keep the affected knee stabilized using braces or wraps and allowing the joint to rest to lessen the discomfort. Nevertheless, it might be needed to use over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease the pain.
Exercises that strengthen the muscles adjacent the knee for added support are also beneficial. In some instances, physical therapy can also help lessen the pain and improve flexibility. In case the issue is due to an incorrectly aligned patella, surgery might be an option.