What is it?
Chondromalacia patella is a degeneration of the cartilage located on the underside of the patella caused by excessive compressive forces or by improper patella tracking.
(credit Fleet Feet Hartford for this illustrated analogy)
- As the knee flexes and extends, the patella glides inferiorly and superiorly. If the patella is not tracking correctly, the cartilage will degenerate as it is irritated by the medial femoral condyle. Imagine repeated rubbing and scraping where the knee is not designed to do so.
- Weakness in he medial aspect of the quadriceps muscle
- A large or small Q angle
- Excessive pronation alters tibial rotation affecting tracking of the patella
- Mild swelling, pain or aching after sitting
- Grinding or clicking sound
- Buckling or locking sensation in the knee
- Can be asymptomatic
- Treatment depends upon the cause and individual biomechanics
- If caused by overpronation consider a stability or motion control shoe/insert
- Knee strap to stabilize the patella
- Strengthening exercises
- If the injury does not appear to have poor foot biomechanics or their condition has not improved with a change of shoes and an insert, refer to an orthopedist or physical therapist for a more thorough evaluation