Chondromalacia Patellae – Frisco, TX
Chondromalacia Patellae or Runner’s Knee is a medical condition that affects the knee joint. Every joint in the body is protected by a membrane kind of a lining called the cartilage. When the cartilage lying beneath the knee cap is damaged or deteriorates, the condition is termed as Chondromalacia Patellae. This problem is mostly found to affect the sportspersons, youngsters who are physically very active or aged people. The kneecap or patella is placed in front of the knee joint and the ligaments, tendons and muscles help in supporting and movement of the knee. If any of these parts becomes dysfunctional, the cartilage is stressed and breaks down.

Causes Of Chondromalacia Patellae

  • Overuse injuries- athletes who play vigorous sport are prone to this condition
  • Congenital defects- defects in the alignment of the constituent bones of the knee joint can be a potential cause
  • Weak muscles- the hamstring and the quadriceps that support the joint may be weak which stresses the cartilage. Imbalance between the abductor muscles can also be responsible
  • A direct hit or trauma to the knee can damage the cartilage
  • Growth spurts in adolescents can lead to muscular imbalances
  • People with flat feet at are a higher risk
  • Women have lesser muscle mass compared to men and hence they tend to lose the cartilage lining sooner
  • Arthritis develops as the person ages and this leads to weakening of the supporting tissues and muscles besides softening of the cartilage

Symptoms Of Chondromalacia Patellae

  • A grinding sensation is felt when the knee is moved
  • Patellofemoral pain- the pain occurs in the knee cap area and is aggravated after a sedentary phase or during the morning hours when the patient gets up
  • Loss of range of motion- standing for long, walking and bending the knee is particularly painful
  • Swelling or tenderness may be seen near the knee joint

Diagnosis Of Chondromalacia Patellae

  • Thorough clinical evaluation of the knee to check for muscular imbalances and dislocated bones
  • X-ray examination to check for bone alignment and extent of damage
  • CT scans and MRI test may be recommended to analyze the other soft tissue structures and nerves in detail
  • Some cases may require arthroscopic examination which involves a small incision into the joint to insert a camera guided instrument to detect cartilage condition
  • The patient’s medical history and previous injuries if any are assessed

Treatment For Chondromalacia Patellae

  • Rest the affected joint and avoid any strenuous activity or exercise
  • Ice packs may be applied at regular intervals for the initial 2-3 days as it reduces swelling and pain
  • Pain killers as well as anti inflammatory drugs may be prescribed
  • Physical therapy may be helpful in restoring movement and strengthening the muscles
  • Arthroscopic surgery may be conducted to release pressure by cutting some of the ligaments
  • Surgical cartilage graft
  • Surgical procedures can be used to smoothen the underside of the patella so that it does not rub against the femur or damage the cartilage
  • People with flat feet can use special shoes or orthotic inserts to give more support to the fallen arch