Chondromalacia Patella

john miller physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

Chondromalacia Patella

Chondromalacia Patella

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Chondromalacia patellae is a subgroup of conditions that cause kneecap pain. These conditions fall under the Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome conditions.

What is Chondromalacia Patellae?

Chondromalacia Patellae by definition means "soft cartilage under the knee cap". 

Chondromalacia is due to an irritation of the undersurface of the kneecap. The undersurface of the kneecap, or patella, is covered with a layer of smooth cartilage. This cartilage normally glides effortlessly across the knee during bending of the joint. However, in some individuals with malalignment issues, the kneecap tends to rub against one side of the knee joint, and the cartilage surface become irritated, and knee pain is the result.

This condition often affects young, otherwise healthy athletes. Chondromalacia patella is one of the groups of conditions that cause anterior knee pain. When anterior knee pain or knee cap pain exists in the absence of cartilage softening is can be referred to as patellofemoral pain syndrome.

What are the High-Risk Sports?

The most common occurrence occur with sporting individuals, however, it can effect any member of the populations. It is common in football, cyclists, rowers, tennis, ballet, equestrian, gymnasts, volleyball, weightlifting, skiers, snowboarders and runners. In other words, any sport that involves running, jumping, squatting and landing.

Plus, the non-sporting person can even experience kneecap pain when descending or ascending stairs.

The condition usually results from either acute injury to the patella joint surface or from chronic friction between the patella and the groove in the femur (thigh bone) through which it passes as the knee bends.

Potential causes include a tight lateral knee structures such as the ITB, weak medial quadriceps (vastus medialis oblique - VMO), overpronating feet and weak lateral hip rotator muscles. These muscle imbalances result in a rotational instability that causes the patella to be laterally aligned in the femoral groove, which causes pain for the malalignment.

The good news is that patellar mal-tracking is very quickly fixed with physiotherapy assessment and intervention. Commonly, patients can leave the clinic pain-free after just one treatment session.

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Chondromalacia Patella Treatment

chondromalacia patella

  • Early Injury Treatment
  • Avoid the HARM Factors
  • Soft Tissue Injury? What are the Healing Phases?
  • Acupuncture and Dry Needling
  • Sub-Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
  • Active Foot Posture Correction Exercises
  • Gait Analysis
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Balance Enhancement Exercises
  • Proprioception & Balance Exercises
  • Agility & Sport-Specific Exercises
  • Medications?
  • Orthotics
  • Real Time Ultrasound Physiotherapy
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Brace or Support
  • Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
  • Heat Packs
  • Joint Mobilisation Techniques
  • Kinesiology Tape
  • Knee Arthroscopy
  • Prehabilitation
  • Running Analysis
  • Strength Exercises
  • Stretching Exercises
  • Supportive Taping & Strapping
  • TENS Machine
  • Video Analysis
  • Yoga
  • Chondromalacia Patella FAQs

  • Common Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
  • What is Pain?
  • Physiotherapy & Exercise
  • When Should Diagnostic Tests Be Performed?
  • How Does Kinesiology Tape Reduce Swelling?
  • Barefoot Running: Your MUST READ Guide to the Pro's and Con's.
  • How Can You Prevent a Future Leg Injury?
  • How Much Treatment Will You Need?
  • Runners: How to Reduce Your Knee Stress
  • Sports Injury? What to do? When?
  • What are the Common Massage Therapy Techniques?
  • What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
  • What Can You Do To Help Arthritis?
  • What is a TENS Machine?
  • What is Chronic Pain?
  • What is Nerve Pain?
  • What is Sports Physiotherapy?
  • What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
  • When Can You Return to Sport?
  • Why Kinesiology Tape Helps Reduce Swelling and Bruising Quicker
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    Products Available for Chondromalacia Patella

    Chondromalacia Patella

    Knee Pain

    Common Causes

    knee pain

    Knee Ligament Injuries

    Knee Meniscus

    Knee Tendonitis

    Muscle Injuries

    Children's Knee Conditions

    Other Knee-Related Conditions

    Knee Surgery

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    Last updated 09-May-2017 03:20 PM

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