What is Chondromalacia? All You Need to Know!
Chondromalacia patellae is an inflammatory condition in the knee joint. This condition usually impacts young athletes who play sports such as basketball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and even CrossFit. It is a condition that involves the soft tissue around the patella (kneecap). When you have chondromalacia patellae, there is inflammation of the underside of your patella that can lead to painful grinding sensations when you squat or kneel.
Chondromalacia patellae is also known as Runner’s Knee or Patellar Tracking Syndrome. The condition affects about 8% of all adults. However, it’s much more common among adolescents and young adults who perform activities that put pressure on their knees such as running or squats.
What are the Causes of Chondromalacia Patellae?
There is no known single cause of Chondromalacia patellae. However, there are several factors that can contribute to the development of this condition. These factors include:
Overexertion of the knee joint: Chondromalacia patellae is more common in individuals who overuse their knees. This is especially common in young athletes who play sports such as basketball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and even CrossFit.
Weakness in the knee joint: If you have weak muscles around your knee, it can create a strain on your knee that can lead to inflammation and pain. This is especially true if you have weak quadriceps muscles.
Imbalanced knees: People who have a knee that bends inward excessively have a higher risk of developing chondromalacia patellae. This condition is known as “medial knee displacement”.
Symptoms of Chondromalacia Patellae
Pain in the front of the knee joint :This is most noticeable when you first start exercising or when you perform squats or lunges.
Pain that worsens: when you put pressure on your knees This is most likely caused by walking or squatting.
Pain that is not affected by resting: Unlike other types of knee pain, chondromalacia patellae does not go away when you rest your knee.
How is Chondromalacia Patellae Diagnosed?
Your doctor may make his diagnosis based on your symptoms, your medical history, and a physical examination. He may order an X-ray or an MRI scan to rule out any other conditions.
However, the findings from these tests are usually normal in cases of chondromalacia patellae. A diagnosis of chondromalacia patellae is usually based on your history and an examination of your knee. Your doctor may ask you to walk or squat to see if the symptoms are present.
Treatment for Chondromalacia Patellae
A chondromalacia patellae treatment depends on the severity of the condition. It also depends on how you want to manage the condition long-term. Therefore, the most important thing is to seek the help of a medical professional. Your doctor can determine the best treatment option based on your condition.
Pain-relieving medication: As part of chondromalacia patellae treatment, your doctor may recommend taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain-relief medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Resting your knee: This is the simplest form of chondromalacia patellae treatment. You have to rest your knee until the symptoms subside.
Physical therapy: A physical therapy program is usually recommended for people who have exhausted rest as a chondromalacia patellae treatment option. A physical therapist can help you build strength around your knee to prevent the condition from recurring.
Chondromalacia patellae is a condition that can affect anyone, even people who don’t engage in strenuous physical activity. It’s important to note that there is no cure for chondromalacia patellae. However, there are steps you can take to manage your symptoms as well as prevent the condition from recurring.
For long-term management of chondromalacia patellae, you should have a proper stretching and knee-strengthening routine. You should also be mindful of the activities that put pressure on your knees such as squatting and kneeling. If you experience knee pain that doesn’t go away even after resting, you should visit your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.