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Suffering with pain underneath your kneecap: What is chondromalacia patella?

Suffering with pain underneath your kneecap: What is chondromalacia patella?

Pain at the front of the knee is something we see very frequently here at our knee clinic in Solihull and Birmingham. It is very common and is often associated with dysfunction of the kneecap. This is referred to as patellofemoral pain and can be due to a number of reasons. The kneecap (or patella) is a small bone present at the front of your knee joint. The underside of the patella is covered with a layer of thick cartilage that allows for huge compressive forces and smooth gliding of the knee with movement. Overuse or misalignment of the patella can cause Progressive wear and tear of the cartilage.

What is chondromalacia patella?

Chondromalacia patella is a common condition whereby the cartilage on the undersurface of the kneecap becomes progressively irritated and damaged. The condition is most often seen among young athletes and older adults who have arthritis of the knee.

What are the causes of chondromalacia patella?

Genetic predisposition plays a part initially. Then biomechanically it is associated with knee misalignment or imbalance in the tightness of the quadriceps muscles holding it in place. This can then lead to patella maltracking and over tilting in one direction. Overuse of the knee in certain sports activities, Along with poor quadricep flexibility may cause wear and tear of the cartilage. This may cause rubbing or grinding of the kneecap against the bone instead of it smoothly gliding over the knee joint.

Chondromalacia patella can also be associated with traumatic injuries such as fractures or dislocations, or may develop as a part of ageing.

Symptoms of chondromalacia patella

Chondromalacia patella is a very common cause of knee pain, and is associated with a generalised term of patellofemoral pain which can be associated with a few different conditions. Symptoms include:

  • Pain in front, around or behind your knee

  • Worse when climbing up or down the stairs

  • Stiffness associated with sitting or standing for long periods,

  • Pain for extreme pressure is applied on the knee

  • Grinding or cracking sensation

Chondromalacia patella he is generally quite easily spotted by a professional clinician, without the necessary needs for imaging or MRI.

What is the treatment for chondromalacia patella?

Chondromalacia patella initially involves simple conservative treatments. You may be asked to rest your knee and avoid any activity that may strain the knee cap until the area is resolved. Here at Dynamic Regenerative Medicine we provide treatment of osteopathy and physical rehabilitation therapy in Birmingham to help you improve muscle balance and strength, decrease stress on your knee and aid in correcting the misalignment. Wearing support braces and taping around the knee may help you protect your joint, reduce pain and improve alignment. Application of ice on the knee may be recommended after exercise.

Here at Dynamic Regenerative Medicine in Solihull if necessary we provide we may also include specialist treatments like platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections or hyaluronic acid injection treatment. Thus, for a number of reasons – 1) if the treatment is not responding well enough from conservative measures, 2) to reinforce treatments, and 3) to work preventative.

The study below looked to assess the therapeutic effect of hyaluronic acid (HA) injection for treatment of chondromalacia patellae, and concluded this route to be very effective for treatment of patellofemoral pain, associated with chondromalacia patella. HA injection produces better long-term efficacy for treatment of early symptoms, and aims to work preventative for chronic pain and patellofemoral arthritis. Another study below for the treatment of CD with PRP.


Don’t let knee pain or injury get in the way for your sport or your life. Schedule a consultation with Dynamic Regenerative Medicine today, and let us treat your knee pain with confidence. We have clinics operating out of Solihull (Henley-In-Arden) and Birmingham (Edgbaston) .

Call us today 01564 330773


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