Chondromalacia Patella: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Knee pain is always an alarming adventure for you & it may be the result of chondromalacia patella. It’s one of the major prime reasons for your anterior knee pain & the statistics suggest that is pointed out in approximately every fourth person in the USA. It is the unusual softening & deteriorates of the cartilage on the undersurface of your patella. It commonly starts gradually onset but it may also be induced by a knee trauma like a fall upon the patella or a sharp blow to your knee or a sports collision.

It’s specifically common in young athletes, active people, as frequent activity without rest may start to produce friction in your knee. The major complaints of this condition are dull or aching anterior knee pain, clicking noise when you flexing your knee scrape feelings, knee swellings but large numbers of people who have it never require medical care. The most widely used technique to treat its symptoms is to rest your knee.


There are no specific causes why the deterioration of the cartilage happens. Chondromalacia patella can happen due to the following common causes –

  1. A direct hit or injury to your patella.
  2. Recurrent pressure to your knee joint like running, jumping or skiing.
  3.  Excess unusual movements or hyper mobility of your knee joints.
  4. Intense trauma to your kneecap like as a fall.
  5. Continuous rubbing between your kneecap and the femur like as during jumping.
  6. Unusual patella placement.
  7. Great deal of activity involving in your knee.
  8. Muscular imbalance between the outside & inside of your thigh.

Risk for chondromalacia patella

There are different types of factors that can enhance your risk for progressing chondromalacia patella.

  1. Being female.
  2. Being overweight.
  3. Age under 25.
  4. Being active.
  5. Have flat feet.
  6. Have deficient leg arrangement.
  7. Ache from weak hamstrings.
  8. Hurting from arthritis.


Chondromalacia patella doesn’t normally have any visible symptoms, even though you can be noticed that your patella looks a little out as it slides to the side. Other manifestations of these conditions include –

  1. The most frequent symptoms are dull / aching pain in underneath the edges of your patella during walking or running.
  2. Your knee joint being unstable.
  3. Your knee movements being painful or difficult.
  4. Kneeling or squatting is sometimes too painful to attempt.
  5. Often this pain spreads to the medial side of your patella.
  6. Your knee perhaps mild swelling with extensive use.
  7. Holding your knee flexed for long periods of time can also causing pain.
  8. An overall felling of entireness, tautness or uncertain discomfort in underneath & close your patella.
  9. You can feel sensation of pooping or clicking noise while you flexed & extended your knee.

Grading of chondromalacia patella –

There have been four grades, classifying from grade 1 to 4 that indicates the intensity of chondromalacia patella. There’s Grade 1 is less extreme, while grade 4 signifies the highest intensity.

Grade 1 – severity signifies the breakdown of the cartilage in the surrounding area of your knee.

Grade 2 – signifies a breakdown of the cartilage in conjunction with abnormal; surface features. This normally signs the starting of tissue erosion.

Grade 3 – indicates thinning of your knee cartilage with active breakdown of the tissue.

Grade 4 – the most serious range signifies exposure of the bone with a considerable amount of cartilage damage.


When you pay a visit to your doctor looking for a diagnosis,  your doctor carries out a complete examination of your knee. The doctor touches your patella & closes proximity, feels the joint to observe when & how the distress shows itself & gets a checklist of your symptoms & clinical history. If the identifications are not apparent or symptoms do not better your doctor can decide one of the following –

  • A knee X-ray and/or blood test – this can assist to exclude certain types of arthritis or inflammation.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – to observe cartilage deterioration.
  • Arthroscopy – a low invasive approach to Imagine the inside of your knee joint that includes enter an endoscope & camcorder into your knee joint.


The purpose of treatment is to decrease the pressure on your patella & knee joint. Resting, fixing & cover with icing your knee joint may be the initial management. The cartilage destroys causing chondromalacia patella to recurrently compensates itself with rest. Its treatment commonly begins with the prevention & management of your pain. The most effective way to treat the manifestations of this condition includes –

  1. Covering your knee joint area by an ice or cold pack for 10-15 minutes , 3 times per day, for 5 days per week. Never apply ice or cold directly to your skin.
  2. Knee straps – using a knee strap precisely under your patella assists to alleviate pressure from your joint which can significantly declined your knee pain. They are easy – to – use & highly efficient.
  3. Knee pads – knee gel pads are a great way to alleviate pain & tenderness while you are kneeling. They relieve the pressure from the back of your patella & ensure cushioning.
  4. Knee exercises – stretching & strengthening exercises can effectively assist with chondromalacia patella. They can assist to you fight any muscle imbalance & enhance how the patella moves.
  5. Your physician can prescribe NSAIDs ( Non steroidal anti – inflammatory drugs) for several weeks to relief from immediate pain like as ibuprofen, naproxen etc.
  6. Topical pain remedies – these covers creams or gels that are used to your skin to assist with soft – tissue ache.
  7. Surgery – if conservative treatment procedures are no longer effective for this condition, surgical procedure may be proposed. The method used for your chondromalacia patella differ. In serious cases a composition of one or several of the following methods may be essential –
  8. Arthroscopic surgery
  9. Inserting a cartilage graft.
  10. Softening the back of your patella.
  11. Chondrectomy.
  12. Chondrectomy.
  13. Drilling.
  14. Full patellectomy.

The prognosis of chondromalacia patella is well. Almost everyone gets well with simple treatments like physical therapy. Chondromalacia doesn’t appear to be along with arthritis in your later years.