CONDITION - Knee Chondromalacia Patella

This disease is also known as softening of the cartilage of your knee cap or "anterior knee pain". This is a big medical word for a condition where the shiny cartilage surface of your patella (knee cap) is softened due to many factors including abnormal pressure across the joint surface or hormonal changes in your body.

This pain is usually located over the front of your knee and is described as a deep aching pain. It is sometimes associated with swelling and is usually worse when your knee is bent for long periods of time such sitting in a car or bus. The pain is also worse with such activities as squatting, kneeling or stair climbing (either up or down stairs). The pain is sometimes improved with rest and the use of pain medication.

It is sometimes associated with mild or moderate swelling of the knee and some people report a grinding feeling in their kneecap. It is more common in younger females especially after a growth spurt where the knee must carry more weight.

Many times this problem can be due to "excess lateral pressure syndrome"; that is, the kneecap tends to sit too far out to the side of the knee. Usually, this problem is related to how one's bones are shaped and determined by genetics. In this case, the kneecap is most tender when pushing on its outside ("lateral") surface.

It is usually pretty simple to diagnose chondromalacia. Mostly it is diagnosed based on your complaints. On physical examination, your doctor may push back on your kneecap. That often causes pain in people with this problem. The physician may also move your kneecap from side-to-side. If the patella does not move easily inwards (toward the other knee), the knee is described as having "lateral tightness", which is indicative of excess lateral pressure syndrome.

Chondromalacia patella is the most common cause of pain in the front of the knee.

To learn about the treatment of chondromalacia, click Next below:

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