Article by John Miller
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.
Chondromalacia Patella Treatment
Chondromalacia Patella FAQs
Products Available for Chondromalacia Patella
Knee Ligament Injuries
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Other Knee-Related Conditions
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