Runners Knee (Chondromalacia Patellae)

What is it?  

Chondromalacia patellae is a degenerative condition which affects the cartilage on the underside of the patella (knee cap).  The cartilage on the underside of the patella is hard and smooth and allows fluid movement of the patella over the femur (thigh bone). 

Chondromalacia occurs when this cartilage becomes soft and rough, due to general wear and tear, aging or injury.

Prevalence - 

Chondromalacia patellae is common in young adults (particularly women) who participate in sports that continually stress the knees i.e. cycling, soccer, dancing and running

Symptoms -

  • Discomfort and pain in and around the patella
  • Exacerbation of pain when squatting, walking up and down hills and stairs
  • Stiffness of the patello-femoral joint

Causes - 

  • General wear and tear through repetitive overuse
  • Previous injury i.e. patella fracture
  • Malalignment of the patella 




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