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Chondromalacia Patellae: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Chondromalacia patellae, also known as runner’s knee, is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in the kneecap. It is caused by the softening and degeneration of the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap. This can happen due to overuse, injury, or misalignment of the kneecap.

Symptoms

The most common symptom of chondromalacia patellae is pain in the front of the knee, behind the kneecap. The pain may be worse with activities such as running, jumping, squatting, or climbing stairs. It may also be worse after sitting for long periods of time or kneeling.

Other symptoms of may include:

  • Swelling and inflammation of the knee
  • A popping or grinding sensation in the knee
  • Difficulty flexing or straightening the knee
  • Weakness in the leg muscles around the knee

Causes

Chondromalacia patellae can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Overuse: It is common in athletes who participate in sports that require repetitive knee movements, such as running, jumping, and squatting.
  • Injury: A direct injury to the kneecap or knee joint can also cause this disease.
  • Misalignment of the kneecap: If the kneecap is not aligned properly, it can rub against the thigh bone and cause pain and inflammation.
  • Other factors: Other factors that may contribute to chondromalacia patellae include muscle weakness, obesity, and certain medical conditions such as arthritis.

chondromalacia patellae Treatment options

Treatment for typically focuses on reducing pain and inflammation and improving the alignment of the kneecap. This may involve:

  • Rest: Avoiding activities that aggravate the pain is important for allowing the cartilage to heal.
  • Ice: Applying ice to the knee for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day, can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Compression: Wearing a compression bandage or knee brace can help to support the knee and reduce swelling.
  • Elevation: Elevating the knee above the level of the heart when sitting or lying down can help to reduce swelling.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help to strengthen the muscles around the knee and improve the alignment of the kneecap.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help to reduce pain and inflammation. In some cases, stronger medications, such as prescription pain relievers or corticosteroid injections, may be necessary.
  • Surgery: In severe cases , surgery may be necessary to repair the damaged cartilage or to correct the misalignment of the kneecap.
Treatment for chondromalacia patellae

FAQ

Q: What is the difference between chondromalacia patellae and patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS)?

A: Chondromalacia patellae is a specific condition that affects the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap. PFPS is a broader term that refers to any type of pain in the front of the knee, behind the kneecap.

Q: How can I prevent chondromalacia patellae?

A: There are a number of things you can do to help prevent, including:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Wear supportive footwear.
  • Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.
  • Strengthen the muscles around your knee.
  • Stretch your hamstrings and quadriceps regularly.
  • Avoid activities that cause you pain.

Q: How long does it take to recover from chondromalacia patellae?

A: The recovery time for chondromalacia patellae varies depending on the severity of the condition. Most people recover within a few weeks or months with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. However, some people may experience chronic pain and inflammation.

Conclusion

Chondromalacia patellae is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in the kneecap. It is typically caused by overuse, injury, or misalignment of the kneecap. Treatment typically focuses on reducing pain and inflammation and improving the alignment of the kneecap. Most people recover from chondromalacia patellae within a few weeks or months, but some people may experience chronic pain and inflammation.

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